People, Power and Identity in the Late Middle Ages: Essays in Memory of W. Mark Ormrod 0367859971, 9780367859978

June 6, 2021

Table of contents :
Half Title
Series Page
Title Page
Copyright Page
Table of Contents
List of figures
List of abbreviations
List of contributors
W. Mark Ormrod: a tribute
1 The revolt of the famuli at Barton upon Humber, Lincolnshire, in 1302
2 Taking the law into their own hands: extra-judicial violence in North Nottinghamshire during the civil war of 1321/1322
3 On the road and in the market: Chaucer’s mapping of 1381
4 Richard II and his sense of place
5 ‘I, Edmund’: a microhistory of an immigrant churchwarden in fifteenth-century Colchester
6 Breton immigration in late medieval England
7 The bishop of Winchester, the abbey of Titchfield and the ‘Pretended Chapel’ of Hook, 1375–1405
8 Monks on the move: the businessmen-religious of late medieval England
9 The realities of political marriage: Isabella of Aragon and Frederick III of Austria
10 Henry de Lacy and the kingship of Edward II
11 Faction, prerogative and the common profit of the realm in the Good Parliament
12 ‘During our absence or until further order’: Edmund of Langley, duke of York, and the custodianship of the realm, October 1394–May 1395
13 “Cherchant toute Egypte pour les bons homes”: Philippa de Vere (1367–1411) and her book
14 The Norman rolls of Henry V
15 Some afterthoughts on Edward II
16 ‘A woman given to slippery ways’? The reputation of Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent
17 John Talbot, John Fastolf and the death of chivalry
A bibliography of the major writings of W. Mark Ormrod

Citation preview

People, Power and Identity in the Late Middle Ages

Mark Ormrod’s scholarship sets new standards of meticulous archival research into late medieval society. This collection of groundbreaking essays celebrates his wide-ranging influence over several generations of scholars. The seventeen chapters in this collection focus primarily on the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries and are grouped around the themes of resistance, residence, religion, rule, record and reputations. Close scrutiny of medieval records lies at the heart of the volume, allowing for exciting new insights into late medieval life and political culture. The essays demonstrate the interconnectedness of the localities and the crown and of religious and political ideas, identities and practice. As such they follow the lead of Ormrod’s hugely important contributions to medieval studies in the last thirty years. Gwilym Dodd is Associate Professor of History at the University of Nottingham. Helen Lacey is Supernumerary Fellow in Medieval History at Mansfield College, University of Oxford. Anthony Musson is Head of Research at Historic Royal Palaces.

Studies in Medieval History and Culture

Recent titles include The Bible and Jews in Medieval Spain Norman Roth The Cursed Carolers in Context Edited by Lynneth Miller Renberg and Bradley Phillis Women in the Medieval Common Law c.1200–1500 Gwen Seabourne Jews and Converts in Late Medieval Castile Breaking with the Past Cecil D. Reid Mobile Saints Relic Circulation, Devotion, and Conflict in the Central Middle Ages Kate M. Craig Monetisation and Commercialisation in the Baltic Sea, 1050–1450 Edited by Dariusz Adamczyk and Beata Możejko The Fluctuating Sea Architecture and Movement in the Medieval Mediterranean Saygin Salgirli People, Power and Identity in the Late Middle Ages Essays in Memory of W. Mark Ormrod Edited by Gwilym Dodd, Helen Lacey and Anthony Musson For more information about this series, please visit: https://www.routledge. com/Studies-in-Medieval-History-and-Culture/book-series/SMHC

People, Power and Identity in the Late Middle Ages Essays in Memory of W. Mark Ormrod

Edited by Gwilym Dodd, Helen Lacey and Anthony Musson

First published 2021 by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN and by Routledge 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158 Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 2021 selection and editorial matter, Gwilym Dodd, Helen Lacey and Anthony Musson; individual chapters, the contributors The right of Gwilym Dodd, Helen Lacey and Anthony Musson to be identified as the authors of the editorial material, and of the authors for their individual chapters, has been asserted in accordance with sections 77 and 78 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. Trademark notice: Product or corporate names may be trademarks or registered trademarks, and are used only for identification and explanation without intent to infringe. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data A catalog record has been requested for this book ISBN: 978-0-367-85997-8 (hbk) ISBN: 978-1-032-02798-2 (pbk) ISBN: 978-1-003-01631-1 (ebk) Typeset in Times New Roman by codeMantra


List of figures List of abbreviations List of contributors Introduction

xi xiii xv 1


W. Mark Ormrod: a tribute



Resistance 1 The revolt of the famuli at Barton upon Humber, Lincolnshire, in 1302

21 23


2 Taking the law into their own hands: extra-judicial violence in North Nottinghamshire during the civil war of 1321/1322



3 On the road and in the market: Chaucer’s mapping of 1381



Residence 4 Richard II and his sense of place

73 75


5 ‘I, Edmund’: a microhistory of an immigrant churchwarden in fifteenth-century Colchester BA RT L A M BE RT




6 Breton immigration in late medieval England



Religion 7 The bishop of Winchester, the abbey of Titchfield and the ‘Pretended Chapel’ of Hook, 1375–1405

135 137


8 Monks on the move: the businessmen-religious of late medieval England



Rule 9 The realities of political marriage: Isabella of Aragon and Frederick III of Austria

175 177


10 Henry de Lacy and the kingship of Edward II


J. S . H A M I LT ON

11 Faction, prerogative and the common profit of the realm in the Good Parliament



12 ‘During our absence or until further order’: Edmund of Langley, duke of York, and the custodianship of the realm, October 1394–May 1395





13 “Cherchant toute Egypte pour les bons homes”: Philippa de Vere (1367–1411) and her book



14 The Norman rolls of Henry V A N N E C U R RY


Contents ix



15 Some afterthoughts on Edward II



16 ‘A woman given to slippery ways’? The reputation of Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent



17 John Talbot, John Fastolf and the death of chivalry



A bibliography of the major writings of W. Mark Ormrod Index

341 351


2.1 3.1 3.2 4.1 4.2 5.1 5.2 5.3 6.1 6.2


14.1 15.1

East Midlands, 1322 Roman and secondary roads in Essex and Kent Market towns in Essex and Kent Richard II’s sense of place Nottingham Castle in the sixteenth century. Etching from T. C. Hine’s scrap book, courtesy of Nottingham city museums and galleries Church of St Leonard-at-the-Hythe, Colchester. Photo supplied by the Friends of St Leonard-at-the-Hythe, photographer Alice Goss Detail of the membrane in the churchwarden accounts that deals with disputes over the church’s real property (C 47/37/18/35). Photo supplied by The National Archives Map of Colchester c. 1500, indicating the locations mentioned in Hermanson’s will. Own illustration of the author The Cornish hundreds and language boundary between western (Cornish-speaking) and eastern (English-speaking) regions in c. 1500 Administrative divisions and the language boundary between Upper Brittany to the east (French-Gallo speaking) and Lower Brittany in the west (Breton-speaking) in the late Middle Ages Part of the table of contents and the opening of the prologue to the Vie des pères, with the inscription of Sibyl de Felton’s acquisition of Philippa de Vere’s book. BnF f. fr. 1038, fol. 4r. Reproduced with permission of the Bibliothèque nationale de France Locations given for acts enrolled on the Norman Rolls of Henry V, 1417–1422 Charter of Edward II, 12 February 1327, confirming the liberties of the city of Dublin: Dublin City Archives, DCA 18

44 59 65 76 85 93 99 107 129


249 279 288

xii Figures 15.2 Image of Edward as Prince of Wales, followed by the beginning of the ‘Lament of Edward II’: BL MS Royal 20.A.II, fol. 10r 15.3 Anglo-Norman translation of Latin prayer Deus propicius esto inserted on the final folio of the Alphonso Psalter: BL MS Add. 24686, fol. 136r 15.4 Image from the fifteenth-century Chronique d’Angleterre by Jean de Wavrin showing the murder of Edward II by red-hot iron: Austrian National Library, ÖNB, MS 2534, fol. 374v (online image 758) 15.5 Image of the tomb of Edward II at Gloucester, dated between July 1338 and June 1340: BL MS Egerton 3028, fol. 63r

291 293

294 295



Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research The British Library, London Calendar of Charter Rolls Calendar of Close Rolls Calendar of Chancery Warrants Calendar of Fine Rolls Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem Calendar of Patent Rolls Canterbury and York Society Early English Text Society English Historical Review Fourteenth-Century England Foedera, conventiones, litterae et cujuscunque generis acta publica, ed. T. Rymer, 10 vols in 40 pts (The Hague, 1739–45) GEC The Complete Peerage, ed. G. E. Cokayne, 13 vols (London, 1910–57) HR Historical Research (formerly BIHR) JBS Journal of British Studies JEH Journal of Ecclesiastical History JMH Journal of Medieval History ODNB The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, ed. H. C. G. Matthew and B. H. Harrison, 60 vols (Oxford, 2004–) – online edition. P&P Past and Present PROME The Parliament Rolls of Medieval England, ed. P. Brand, A. Curry, C. Given- Wilson, R. E. Horrox, G. Martin, W. M. Ormrod and J. R. S. Phillips, 16 vols (Woodbridge, 2005) – online edition. RS Rolls Series SR Statutes of the Realm, 11 vols (London, 1801–28) TRHS Transactions of the Royal Historical Society VCH Victoria County History Unless otherwise specified, all unpublished documents are held in The National Archives (TNA), Kew, London.


Mark Arvanigian, California State University, Fresno Richard Barber, Independent Scholar Michael Bennett, University of Tasmania Douglas Biggs, University of Nebraska-Kearney David Crook, The National Archives and University of Nottingham Anne Curry, University of Southampton Paul Dryburgh, The National Archives Sylvia Federico, Bates College Chris Given-Wilson, University of St Andrews David Green, Harlaxton College J. S. Hamilton, Baylor University Maryanne Kowaleski, Fordham University, New York Bart Lambert, Vrije Universiteit Brussel Alison K. McHardy, University of Nottingham Seymour Phillips, University College, Dublin Craig Taylor, University of York Jocelyn Wogan-Browne, Fordham University, New York

Introduction Gwilym Dodd

This book was originally intended as a Festschrift for W. Mark Ormrod, to celebrate his astonishingly productive and distinguished career as a medieval historian. Tragically, however, he did not live to see the publication of the volume, though he knew that it was underway and was eagerly anticipating its completion. The present publication is therefore offered as a tribute to his memory, and in acknowledgment of the enormous contribution Mark made to scholarship and academic life in a period stretching from the completion of his PhD in 1984 to his untimely death in August 2020. Given the need to keep the volume within manageable proportions, it was clearly impracticable to commission essays from all the scholars who might have wished to contribute. Among the many who share the interests and approaches evident in his own work, the contributors assembled here have therefore been drawn from colleagues and research collaborators who worked most closely with Mark: it is a measure of the remarkable breadth of his intellectual impact that such a wide field of subject matter is represented. The contributors to this volume do not include Mark’s many former PhD students and those who worked with him on some of the big research projects that he instigated in the course of his career: a separate volume incorporating essays from those connected to Mark in these ways was published in July 2020.1 Mark was unquestionably one of the finest and most influential late medieval historians of his generation. His research transformed our understanding of how England was governed between 1250 and 1450 and will be an enduring legacy for future scholars. His roots, however, lay in South Wales, in Neath, where he was born to Margaret and David Ormrod on 1 November 1957, the eldest of three brothers, followed by Nicholas and Jonathan. From early on he showed the same determination to achieve excellence that was to be the hallmark of his academic work: he was a brilliant singer, a skilled clarinet player (he played in the West Glamorgan Youth Orchestra) and was head boy at Neath Boys’ Grammar School. He also loved acting – he played

2  Gwilym Dodd the lead in West Side Story in the sixth form and regularly trod the boards of the Neath Little Theatre, which had been co-founded by his maternal grandfather. Mark read History at King’s College, London, where he graduated in 1979 with the highest first-class degree recorded at that time, before embarking on research at Oxford under the supervision of James Campbell for a doctoral thesis on ‘Edward III’s Government of England, c. 1346–1356’. He then held a British Academy Fellowship at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, and a number of temporary positions at the Universities of Sheffield, Evansville (British Campus) and Queens University Belfast. In 1990 he moved to a lectureship at the University of York and was promoted to Professor in 1995. His best-known publication is a biography of Edward III (Yale, 2011). A work of monumental proportions, extending to over 700 pages, Mark succeeded where previous scholars had failed by providing a comprehensive overview of the reign of one of England’s most important and longest serving monarchs. In a brilliant and truly groundbreaking narrative, notable for its deftness of interpretation, its mastery of published and unpublished sources and its eloquence and sheer readability, Mark’s biography was received with the highest critical acclaim and will be the definitive work on the subject for generations to come. Mark would never have wished to be pigeonholed solely as Edward III’s biographer, however, nor even just as a political historian. In an astonishing publication record stretching across thirty years, Mark published over eighty book chapters and articles, fourteen edited collections and (as author or co-author) eight other books. As a historian, he was something of a force of nature. Together, this research established Mark as a leading authority on numerous aspects of the workings of the late medieval English state, including notably its finance, law and parliament, but much else besides. It was a particular hallmark of Mark’s scholarship that he never allowed his work to be circumscribed by traditional subject boundaries. In fact, his work constantly transformed and enlarged the parameters and methods of historical research – some of his most important contributions explored the themes of governance, reputation and identity through the lens of social and cultural history. The versatility he demonstrated in the sources he used and the methodologies he employed marked him out as a scholar of truly exceptional abilities and set the gold standard for a new type of cultural history of medieval politics. Mark was also a brilliant communicator. He had what he often praised in the work of others: innate flair. He understood the importance of making history interesting and engaging. Both in his published work and the countless talks he gave to academic and non-academic audiences, and to the undergraduate and graduate students he taught, Mark demonstrated a remarkable ability to make complex ideas easy to comprehend, and he enabled his readers and listeners to connect to his subject matter effortlessly. Mark never forgot that behind the fog of 600–700 years of time were real people living real lives, often in adverse circumstances. It was his ability to

Introduction  3 empathize with these people that made his work so engaging. Mark’s work overturned long-held orthodoxies and shaped new fields, but in critiquing the work of others he was unfailingly modest, generous and respectful. After the earlier peripatetic stages of his career, Mark gained permanent employment at the University of York in 1990, and it was here that he revealed a deeply conscientious commitment to the life of the University, taking on a number of challenging managerial roles. Under his leadership in 1998–2001 and 2002–2003, the Centre for Medieval Studies flourished. In 2001 and from 2003 to 2007 he was Head of the Department of History. He was a natural choice as the first Dean of the newly created Faculty of Arts and Humanities at York in 2009, a position that he held until his retirement in 2017. That he was able to sustain such a prodigious publication record in the face of these heavy administrative responsibilities remained a source of bafflement to many of his colleagues, and stands as testimony to his phenomenal work ethic, dedication and efficiency. His invaluable service to the University was matched by exemplary service in the cause of wider scholarship through leadership of externally funded research projects. It was characteristic of Mark’s approach that he saw research fundamentally to be not just the pursuit of individual endeavour, but a collaborative and collective enterprise. Further underlying this ethos was a deeply held conviction in the importance of making scholarship and medieval records as accessible and relevant to the widest range of audiences. In 2003–2007 he led the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)-funded Medieval Petitions project, which made possible the delivery of 18,000 fully searchable entries in The National Archives online catalogue; in 2012–2015 he co-led the AHRC project England’s Immigrants 1350–1550, which produced a database containing 66,000 entries; and in 2014–2015 he co-led the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation project The Archbishops’ Registers of the Diocese of York, 1225–1646, which established two major online research facilities. Over the course of his career Mark captured over £4 million of research funding – a truly remarkable achievement in a Humanities-based subject. The numerous collaborative partnerships these and other projects produced, both within York and beyond – notably with colleagues at The National Archives – remained for Mark a source of great professional pride. The opportunities the projects provided in helping younger scholars find their feet within academia also remained, for Mark, a key driving force. From 2008 to 2011, he served as a member of the council for the Royal Historical Society, and between 2008 and 2015 he chaired the British Academy English Episcopal Acta Project. As is testified by his regular open lectures and talks to history societies, as well as his numerous contributions to popular historical journals, newspapers, magazines and TV documentaries, Mark was committed to a ‘public engagement’ agenda long before this became fashionable or a requirement of the Research Excellence Framework. In conjunction with the Historical Association and the Runnymede Trust his England’s Immigrants 1350–1550

4  Gwilym Dodd contributed to changes in the national school curriculum in 2015, focusing on the long history of immigration in Britain. This work also led to the creation of the Runnymede Trust’s ‘Our Migration Story’, which won the Guardian Award for Research Impact in 2019. It was indicative of Mark’s intellectual generosity that he saw himself as much the facilitator of other peoples’ research as a researcher himself. Initiatives that flourished in York because of his leadership and support included the White Rose College of the Arts and Humanities (the AHRC-funded collaborative doctoral training centre), the York Festival of Ideas and the Centre for Christianity and Culture. He struck up a very close working relationship with the Borthwick Institute for Archives. Mark was also one of the founders of the internationally acclaimed York Medieval Press (working in association with Boydell and Brewer), and it was under his directorship and leadership in 1998–2005 that it took wing to become a major publisher of academic titles in its own right. Mark’s desire to nurture academic talent and provide a supportive research environment for younger scholars was as important to him as any of his other accomplishments. In the course of his career he supervised twenty-nine2 PhD theses and mentored over a dozen research assistants. He was a man of great kindness and intellectual generosity, offering support and encouragement to anyone – in or outside York – who approached him. Those who benefitted from this support – not just students, but friends and colleagues alike – will remember his wisdom, clear thinking and patience. He was a prolific attender of conferences, where he was unfailingly generous about sharing his ideas and discoveries. His commitment to the wider research community was particularly shown in his enthusiasm for the annual International Medieval Congress at Leeds, where, with his encouragement, many of his research students presented their research for the first time. Honest enquiry, free thinking and open debate remained the essence of his approach to his mentoring and to his work. His was the purest form of research mentality, devoid of all dogmatism and ego. Despite his eminence in academia, Mark remained disarmingly down to earth and approachable. Possessed of the sharpest of intellects, he was nevertheless quite happy to discuss less high-brow subjects and was firmly rooted in the real world. He will be remembered for the twinkle in his eye and his mischievous sense of humour. He laughed a lot and took a genuine interest in others. He was blessed with the love and support of his partner, Richard Dobson, and family. In the course of his long illness Mark displayed remarkable but entirely characteristic sanguinity. He was researching until the very end: his latest book Women and Parliament in Later Medieval England (Palgrave) was published in July 2020 and a

Introduction  5 second book (Winner and Waster) was delivered to the publisher Boydell and Brewer just ten days before he died. When he died Mark was not coming to the end of his publishing career: in many ways it could be said that the best was yet to come. Quite simply, he loved to research. It is immensely sobering to reflect on what great intellectual treasures have been lost to the study of the late Middle Ages as a result of these unfulfilled plans. The essays in this volume honour the achievements and lasting legacy of a bright and brilliant academic career. The themes into which they are grouped – divided into six typically Ormrodian-style alliterative subheadings – encapsulate the major strands that run throughout the groundbreaking work that Mark produced, though each in different ways also speaks to the wider themes with which the book as a whole is focused: people, power and identity. While the contributors have approached the task of exploring the ideas and questions in Mark’s work in different ways, all have written essays that have broad implications. Some consider the experiences and activities of whole groups of people (McHardy; Kowaleski), whilst others illuminate big themes through the prism of case studies (Lambert, Wogan-Browne). Many of the contributions in this volume examine the negotiation of power, some within confrontational contexts (Crook, Dryburgh, Federico, GivenWilson, Arvanigian), others in an environment of shared interests and cooperation (Biggs, Hamilton). Whilst Curry’s contribution speaks to the invaluable work Mark did in opening up the records of medieval central government to historical scrutiny, other chapters resonate with his pioneering work on identity and reputation (Green, Taylor, Bennett, Phillips, Lambert). We are also particularly pleased to include discussions focusing on medieval female subjects (Wogan-Browne, Barber, Green), since much of Mark’s work – including his penultimate monograph – explored the importance of gender in the late medieval state and society. None of the chapters fit exclusively into the categories to which they have been assigned, but each addresses in varying proportions the overall strands or themes which inspired the title of the volume. In writing them, the contributors have been conscious of the exacting standards Mark set in his own work: his attention to the detail, his ability to synthesize complex material and offer engaging and penetrating new insights; his faithfulness to the records and sources he used; his intellectual integrity. The volume is offered in tribute to one of academia’s brightest stars, an exceptional scholar and an outstanding human being.

W. Mark Ormrod A tribute Gwilym Dodd, Helen Lacey and Anthony Musson

With the tragic and untimely death of Professor W. Mark Ormrod aged sixty-two in August 2020, the academic world in general, and medieval studies in particular, lost one of its leading lights, a man whose publications, research leadership and intellectual generosity informed and inspired, in equal measure, a generation of scholars, students and the wider public. Only with the passage of time will the extent of Mark’s remarkable legacy to academia be fully understood, but it will undoubtedly be felt in multiple ways: in the very highest of standards he set in his research; in the vast array of resources he was instrumental in making accessible through multiple largescale research projects; in his inspirational teaching of undergraduates, his supervision of PhD students and his mentoring of research assistants; and in the work he did to bring the medieval world to a broader audience. It was characteristic of Mark that he excelled at everything he did, but research remained for him, throughout his career, his foremost passion. In a ‘virtual’ book launch held during the Covid-19 lockdown of the summer of 2020, shortly before he died, Mark underlined this point: in the midst of all the other pressures academics face on their time, research should always be placed at the centre of their endeavours, otherwise, he said (with characteristic sagacity), ‘we may as well all be working for an oil company’.1 His remarkable list of publications – reproduced as an Appendix to this volume – stands as testament to this ethos. His extraordinary work ethic and conscientiousness enabled Mark to maintain a prolific research output whilst at the same time discharging the many other duties and obligations of high academic office with exemplary efficiency. Mark was possessed of a brilliant intellect. This was evident in the seemingly effortless way he produced the highest quality work on a regular basis for over thirty years. This work came to be defined by a characteristically ‘Ormrodian’ style of writing, which displayed (amongst other attributes)

1 The book launch for Monarchy, State and Political Culture in Late Medieval England: Essays in Honour of W. Mark Ormrod, ed. G. Dodd and C. Taylor (York, 2020). The volume provides details of Mark’s prolific research grant capture and his PhD students.

W. Mark Ormrod: a tribute  7 mastery of the sources, fine historical judgement, clarity of purpose, an engaging turn of phrase, and genuine respect for his fellow scholars, past and present, whose influence on his own work he was always ready to acknowledge. These were qualities recognized by reviewers who variously praised his work for its ‘exemplary clarity and directness of purpose’,2 and for being ‘deft, coherent and highly readable’.3 Mark wrote as much for the non-specialist as for an academic readership, as shown by his ‘courteous provision of background information’, which helped make his work ‘immediately accessible’.4 He was not just a leader in his field; he led in many fields. In the depth and especially the breadth of his understanding of how England was governed, he was unrivalled. Few historians in the post-war era have matched Mark’s scholarly contribution on the politics and political culture of late medieval England. In this short tribute, we attempt to summarize this extraordinary body of scholarship. Given the enormous range of subject matter that Mark worked on, and the areas that drew his attention in more recent years, it would be easy to overlook the fact that his publication profile at the start of his career marked him out, above all else, as an historian of medieval state finance. In over a dozen articles and book chapters published across the late 1980s and 1990s, Mark set himself the daunting challenge of uncovering the workings and achievements of what he came to term the ‘fiscal state’. Initially, his work was narrowly focussed and inspired by the work of his PhD thesis on the governance of Edward III.5 In one of his earliest works, on the Protecolla Rolls of the 1350s and 1360s, he showed how the drive for reform and more efficient financial management on the part of the king’s ministers was undermined and ultimately defeated by royal meddling and interference.6 Here, as with so much of what Mark wrote on finance and other technical areas of late medieval governance, he never lost sight of the fact that behind systems, processes and statistics were real people pushing real life agendas, sometimes (perhaps often) in opposition to each other. His early work revealed the sheer complexity of the system of late medieval state finance, shaped as it was by a plethora of circumstances, personalities and priorities, and deeply embedded within the social, political and economic framework. From the outset, providing broader context and clear-sighted explanation to raw fiscal data became a central plank of Mark’s approach to his subject matter. It was evident in his essay on English customs, which highlighted the ‘windfall’ nature of the indirect taxation of the mid-fourteenth century.7

8  Gwilym Dodd et al. It was also shown to striking effect in his comprehensive re-evaluation of the Parish Subsidy of 1371 which revealed, amongst other key findings, how the priorities and prejudices of the broader political community were crucial in forging and to a great extent maintaining the idiosyncrasies of the English system of national taxation.8 This was an early foray into what Mark would later term the ‘political economy’, a phrase used to encapsulate the consultative and mediatory processes that overwhelmingly determined the shape of the medieval English fiscal system.9 These early publications revealed the soundness of Mark’s research methods, the clarity of his erudition and his grasp both of the forensic detail and broader significance of his research findings. They also underlined his sensitive handling of exchequer records and other related material. Mark readily acknowledged the enormous debt his work on finance owed to previous luminaries in the field such as Willard, Harriss, Carus-Wilson and Coleman; but equally, his work plugged vital gaps in historiographical coverage, not least by providing a comprehensive collection of fiscal data relating to crown income and expenditure across the Middle Ages. Between 1989 and 1992, he produced over 200 financial datasets relating to English and continental European medieval monarchies as part of the ‘Economic Systems and State Finance’ sub-strand of researchers working on the European Science Foundation-funded project ‘The Origins of the Modern State in Europe, 13th to 18th centuries’.10 This data established a firm statistical base which allowed Mark to reconceptualize the finances of the English state across the longue durée, and also to place the English evidence within a broader European context.11 It meant in particular that he was able to answer far-reaching questions with an empirical certainty that had entirely eluded his predecessors. One of his early publications to draw on this new data produced the first proper elucidation of the subtle but crucial change to occur in the importance and value of indirect taxation, relative to direction taxation, across the first half of the fourteenth century.12 In another, a tour de force in fiscal contextualization and statistical analysis, Mark placed the development of state finance in the thirteenth century within the broader context of the ‘real value of English money’ and in the process raised crucial questions about the relationship between the crown’s financial exactions and the wider

W. Mark Ormrod: a tribute  9 economy, the actual purchasing power of the king’s agents and the momentous structural shift that occurred across the century as crown revenue moved away from a fiscalité féodale to a fiscalité d’état.13 Mark’s inclusive approach to the subject matter reached its apogee with his brilliant elucidation of the ‘fiscal policy’ of Richard II in which he assessed how effectively the crown exploited changes within the structure and balance of international commerce in the last decades of the fourteenth century.14 In tackling such ambitious and complex matters, Mark’s handling of his evidence was characteristically adroit. Always careful to avoid pushing his conclusions too far, or to claim certainty in the face of an incomplete or equivocal picture, the sheer force of his reasoning, combined with the thoroughness and integrity of his research methodologies, nevertheless ensured that these publications collectively transformed our understanding of how the English crown mobilized the kingdom’s resources, how effectively it did so and what impact this had both on the crown itself and more generally on the medieval economy. In later years, Mark increasingly turned his attention to the experience of the medieval taxpayer. This signalled a broader shift in his research interests away from the overarching systems and structures of government to the experiences, values and interaction of medieval people – a shift of perspective, as it were, from ‘top-down’ to ‘bottom-up’. In one of his lesserknown contributions to the subject, his exploration of the extent of the fiscal burden in late medieval England offered an important corrective to the view that taxation was used by the social and political elites primarily to oppress the peasantry.15 To be sure, the system was unfair, but Mark showed that the workability of the English tax system rested above all on achieving the consent rather than the submission of those who paid taxes. The principles of fiscal equity and proportionality remained a vital counterbalance to the natural tendency of those in power to exploit their fiscal privileges. Mark carried these themes forward in a far-reaching essay on the tax regime under Henry V.16 Here, a notable highlight was his comparative analysis of the real tax burden across the late medieval period, and his conclusion that the wage revolution experienced after the Black Death more than offset the concomitant decline in population to make even the very heavy taxation of Henry V’s reign affordable for the ‘ordinary’ taxpayers of the kingdom. Affordability was key. In his essay on the rebellion of Archbishop Richard Scrope in 1405, Mark explored the political ideology underpinning Scrope’s rebel manifesto, noting in particular that it was Henry IV’s transgression of the fundamental fiscal principles of affordability and proportionality which

10  Gwilym Dodd et al. propelled the archbishop into taking such drastic action against his king.17 These two essays, on Henry V and Richard Scrope, showed Mark at his very best: his mastery of the sources, the flexibility of his methodologies and the flair of his writing. It was natural that Mark’s expertise in fiscal matters should be matched by a major contribution to the history of the medieval parliament. Parliament frequents his writing. Much of the time it is in the background, contextualizing other themes and considerations; as an historian of late medieval governance it could hardly be otherwise. But in a number of key contributions, parliament assumes centre stage. Taking pride of place was his contribution to the modern edition of the parliament rolls.18 It was Mark’s good fortune – or curse – to have responsibility for Edward III’s reign, a p eriod which saw a greater number of parliaments convened than any other – fifty-four altogether. His Introductions to these assemblies are a masterclass in scholarship, replete with clarification, explanation and a vast array of new insights and erudite observations. It would be easy to overlook the scale of Mark’s contribution to this project, and to the history of the medieval parliament in general. Taken together, his Introductions amount to over 160,000 words, more than enough to fill the pages of a major scholarly monograph. A number of his specialized publications traced the development of parliament along more traditional ‘constitutional’ themes; a notable early work was his exploration of the parliamentary representatives’ earliest petitions in the 1320s and 1330s which, Mark argued, displayed such a level of coherence and co-ordination as to suggest that MPs had fully emerged as ‘an independent force in English politics … with the potential to change the course of government policy’.19 He explored a further crucial stage in the political development of the medieval Commons in his study of the parliamentary state trials of Edward III’s last years.20 But Mark’s contributions to parliamentary history will be best remembered for his unparalleled mastery of the parliamentary records21 and for his exploration of the use and meaning of political language in a parliamentary context. In this latter regard, Mark developed the methodologies and approaches of the so-called ‘new constitutional history’ in two brilliantly argued essays, where he showed how important terms such as ‘profit of the king and kingdom’, ‘common profit’ and (simply) ‘commons’ were in shaping rhetoric and identity in parliamentary discourse.22

W. Mark Ormrod: a tribute 11 In 2003, Mark’s work on parliamentary records developed a new and hugely significant additional dimension when he secured funding under the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s (AHRC) Resource Enhancement Scheme for two major projects to catalogue and digitize the contents of TNA series SC 8, known anachronistically as ‘Ancient Petitions’, but for the most part constituting late medieval parliamentary petitions.23 Making the contents of this key series, comprising over 18,000 documents, fully searchable and accessible via the online TNA catalogue, has transformed our understanding of the business of the medieval parliament and generated a new sub-discipline of ‘petition studies’ in which scholars, including Mark himself, have carefully analysed the contents of the petitions and their broader significance within the late medieval English polity.24 For Mark, the great fascination of petitions lay in what he once memorably described as the ‘worm’s-eye view’ they provided on life in the later Middle Ages, and for the ‘demand’ rather than the ‘supply’ side of later medieval royal government that they highlighted.25 One major follow-up to this work was his publication, with Helen Killick and Phil Bradford, of the earliest petitions to have been compiled in the name of the Commons.26 Fittingly, one of his final publications was an exploration of the presence and representation of women in the medieval English parliament using petitions, a source that Mark was pivotal in bringing to the attention of the scholarly community, as his principal evidence base.27 As his work on petitions demonstrated, Mark’s command of both published and unpublished sources was extraordinary. He was never happier than ferreting away at TNA in obscure document classes, often emerging with a triumphant gleam when he discovered new evidence or was able to make fresh connections on the basis of a fragment of hitherto unidentified material. A previously unnoticed document in the unlisted TNA series E 208 (Exchequer, King’s Remembrancer: Brevia Baronibus files), for example, provided a rare opportunity to reconstruct both the structure of the household for the younger children of Edward III as constituted in 1340 and the identities of virtually all the members of its staff.28 He was also able to revisit and re-evaluate well-known documents and provide a valuable corrective to previous writing in many established areas. His reassessment of the 1362 Statute of Pleading, ‘one of the best known, but least understood,

12  Gwilym Dodd et al. statements on the use of the vernacular in medieval England’,29 is a case in point. Comparing the text on the parliament and statute rolls and setting it within the contexts of the prevailing linguistic, literary, legal and political cultures, Mark demonstrated that the legislation could be read in three ways: as part of the suite of political concessions the crown was offering the parliamentary Commons in return for a grant of taxation; as an affirmation of the new structure and powers of the county peace commissions; and as a symbolic assertion of Englishness triumphing over the linguistic and territorial hegemony of the French. In doing so, he was able to compare and contrast this Edwardian statement with the more widely recognized use of English as a mode of communication and discourse of governance under Henry V and Henry VI. His article was also a major contribution to the linguistic and literary history of England: Mark demonstrated the multilingualism of the late medieval state’s documentation, making crucial distinctions between written and spoken text and between different text types in the various offices of state and the courts. He showed that the older narrative linking what were assumed to be state policies on language with the adoption of English as a literary language by late fourteenth-century writers cannot be sustained, either for that period or for the fifteenth century. Mark’s mastery of the records of central government translated into an unparalleled understanding of how the late medieval English government worked. Many publications illuminated not only its inner workings, but also the motivations and machinations of royal administrators. His analysis of institutional developments and administrative practices in the chancery pinpointed important bureaucratic changes (such as the true origin of the sub pena writ, one of the most powerful instruments of royal justice) and enabled him to attribute (or newly attribute) them to particular individuals within the royal secretariat.30 More subtly, he was also able to show that the key bureaucratic reforms of the mid- and later fourteenth century under chancellors Thoresby and Waltham, respectively, not only led to greater efficiency and responsiveness to the king’s wishes, but were the product of high levels of accountability and co-operation within a united royal civil service.31 His analysis of the crown’s reaction to the Black Death ‘crisis’ was particularly astute,32 as was his evaluation of the administration, personnel and machinery of government before and after the Peasants’ Revolt, an area which ‘so few historians have examined’.33 On the performance of the crown in the face of this unprecedented upheaval, Mark’s conclusion was characteristically incisive: ‘the crown was incapable of devising a comprehensive and consistent policy either towards the rebels or the reform movement in

W. Mark Ormrod: a tribute  13 parliament [which said] much about the state of inertia into which the government had descended since the middle decades of Edward III’s reign’.34 His adroitness with fiscal and bureaucratic intricacies extended to related fields, such as the law. In partnership with Anthony Musson, he co-authored The Evolution of English Justice: Law, Politics and Society in the Fourteenth Century (1998), a book which helped to reinvigorate the study of legal culture. Faced with the task of evaluating competing historiographical traditions that endeavoured to characterize and explain the development of the law and legal system in medieval England, Mark hit upon modern evolutionary theory as a conceptual framework for understanding the disruptions and continuities apparent in the history of English justice. Borrowing from the natural sciences, notions of ‘exogenous’ (independent, sudden and unpredicted external triggers) and ‘endogenous’ (autonomous internal development) change not only neatly encapsulated the notable political, economic and social pressures of the era, but also brought into play a methodological approach which recognized ‘that human organisations and societal norms are not simply conditioned by external pressures but may also be affected by new cultural influences developing from within’.35 A consistent hallmark of Mark’s scholarship was the way he combined scrupulous empirical analysis of governmental and legal archives with a wider awareness of what these records meant for people’s everyday lives. By the mid-1990s, informed by the ‘linguistic turn’, this began to crystallize into the idea of ‘political culture’, with its focus on the political language, ideas, customs and social behaviour of medieval society. Here, Mark was a pioneer, publishing Political Life in Medieval England in 1995. On the face of it, this was a slim and accessible student textbook, showcasing Mark’s extraordinary ability to distil complex ideas into a succinct and clear form. In fact, he was setting out a new, far-reaching thesis on the emergence, integration and expansion of the polity in fourteenth-century England. He argued that this increasingly literate and engaged polity extended well beyond the ranks of the elite, creating a public forum and developing channels of communication from the regions to central institutions.36 By 2004, John Watts was able to say that Mark’s perspective was ‘now so widely appreciated as to be a commonplace’.37 Its legacy has been what might be called the ‘political turn’, an appreciation that a wide range of people in the later Middle Ages

14  Gwilym Dodd et al. could engage with political language, practices and institutions. Mark went on to demonstrate this approach in numerous successive publications. In 2000, Mark published another article on the Peasants’ Revolt which focused on Joan of Kent and signalled his intention to engage with new developments in gender history, using the role ascribed to Joan as a starting point to examine attitudes to women and sexuality expressed during the Revolt (‘In Bed with Joan of Kent’ also demonstrated Mark’s penchant for eye-catching paper titles – a title previously toned down to ‘The Princess in the Tower’ for his York Professorial Inaugural Lecture!). The methodology Mark employed, reading the chronicles carefully for their subtle and elusive assumptions about gender, pointed the way to future interdisciplinary research examining the layers of discourses within texts. This was not Mark’s only contribution to the history of women and gender. In the 2000s, when he was working on the Ancient Petitions project, the team made a discovery that transformed our knowledge of Alice Perrers, Edward III’s mistress and one of the foremost political actors in the later years of his reign.38 In three highly focussed articles, Mark revealed new details about Alice’s first marriage, elucidating her background in the years before she became Edward’s mistress, and providing a new perspective on the way she rose to power. Mark maintained this interest in women’s history and, characteristically, made sure that he saw Women in Parliament through to press with Boydell and Brewer in 2020. At the same time as publishing on the connections between political and gender history, Mark developed his interest in medieval views on sexuality and politics. In his article ‘Knights of Venus’, he discussed competing views and representations of masculinity and male sexuality in the Ricardian court.39 The same year, he published another article on boy kings and their transition to adulthood and sexual maturity; this appeared in an essay collection on Rites of Passage that he co-edited with his York colleague, Nicola McDonald.40 This was followed two years later by a seminal article on the ‘sexualities’ of Edward II. Here, he scrutinized Edward’s posthumous reputation, arguing that ‘Postmodernism…has taught us to treat such reputations not as deviations from some scientific truth about the past but as historical phenomena that existed, and exist, in their own right’.41 Mark advocated the relevance of queer studies, which offers a means of identifying allusive discourses on non-normative sex, gender and sexuality, within the dominant heteronormative cultures of the past. Thus, he argued,

W. Mark Ormrod: a tribute  15 ‘[t]he kinds of readings made possible by queer theory lead me to propose that issues of sex, gender and sexuality were not some kind of distraction from the “real” political issues of Edward II’s reign – favouritism, counsel, faction, tyranny – but, in fact, provided an important discourse through which those very problems could be articulated and their controversial outcomes be justified’.42 In characteristically eloquent manner, Mark dismantled outdated approaches to Edward II’s reputation, but simultaneously provided a new and productive avenue for future research. Mark’s work on Edward II formed part of a more encompassing interest in medieval monarchy in general and the reign of Edward III in particular, an interest that can be traced back to his very first book Crown and Political Society in the Reign of Edward III (Yale, 1990). It was acclaimed at the time as ‘a valuable and important book’43 and ‘a powerful and passionate work, rich in new insights. Nothing of comparable importance has been written on the reign for the past thirty years’.44 Yet, in spite of the ‘freshness’ of his approach and the revisionist advances that he afforded in Crown and Political Society, Mark was fully aware that (as in the words of Anthony Tuck) ‘Edward III still awaits the lengthy and magisterial treatment’ that had benefitted public perception of other medieval monarchs.45 While lesser historians may have regarded this as a criticism, for Mark the call for ‘fuller treatment’46 was a challenge he readily accepted. Over the course of the next two decades, he set out to rectify this historiographical lacuna by the publication of numerous articles and chapters which delved into the minutiae of the man, his family, beliefs, allies and enemies, setting these approaches alongside newly emerging insights into European diplomacy, the operation of parliament and the judicial system, magnate and gentry relations, religious and societal attitudes as well as contemporary literary works. In one very early publication, Mark highlighted how Edward moved to promote harmony at home through his offspring’s concentration on administration abroad and how his knowledge of their personalities bred reliance on their acting honourably.47 The ultimate failure of such a plan through unexpected mortality, loss of overseas territories and the king’s own mental and physical incapacity, he argued, should not diminish our appreciation of Edward’s ‘exceptional political perception’ or ‘the unusual spirit of harmony that prevailed in the Plantagenet family’, circumstances that explain the exceptionally long period of domestic peace from the 1340s to the 1370s.

16  Gwilym Dodd et al. A different facet of Edward III’s life – that of informality, intrigue and intimacy – was glimpsed through Mark’s analysis of the career of Edward’s one-time mentor and confidant, Richard de Bury (d. 1345), a man who successfully straddled the divide between the public and private lives of the king.48 Edward’s personal thoughts and habits were revealed through examination of a considerable body of previously neglected documentary, ceremonial, artistic and architectural evidence.49 Though historians’ attitudes had been steeped in ‘prejudices and generalizations’, no doubt coloured by Edward’s ‘sexual adventures’,50 Mark’s re-evaluation revealed, in fact, how entirely conventional and predictable this king’s personal devotions were. Devoid of new trends in mysticism, Edward escaped the influence of current religious debates and was not even directed by liturgical books: almsgiving, relic collecting and a deep-seated belief in the intercessory power of the Virgin Mary and the cults of native English saints were the elements that sustained Edward III’s personal faith. Typically, Mark’s conclusions drew a broader message: that the king’s official attitude to the church was quite different from his private beliefs, but nevertheless his private devotional tastes mapped closely onto the ideals of kingship and the public image he wished to cultivate for himself and his regime. In some of these publications, Mark may have been open to the criticism that he erred on the side of the ‘favourable view of possibilities’ and generally had an ‘upbeat view’,51 yet he was mindful of the dangers of hindsight and always attempted to provide a balanced assessment. Tellingly, his portrayal of Edward III was characterized as a ‘humane one’.52 Presciently, one reviewer of Mark’s 1990 book remarked that ‘his achievement will help decisively to shape and inform any future serious biography…’.53 It is thus for his incomparable insights into the personality of Edward III and the reevaluation of his reign in a mammoth biography in the Yale Monarchs series published in 2011 that Mark will predominantly be remembered for generations to come. In 2007–2010, Mark secured a Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship which enabled him to write up the book. Containing twenty-one chapters, he set himself the daunting task of writing a chapter every six to eight weeks. At the end of the Fellowship (as ever, Mark delivered on time) he had written a monograph of over 250,000 words. But he could have written far more; to a number of people he was heard to complain at the time (as always, with a glint in his eye) how unfair it was that he was permitted a word count no higher than that used for the biography of Edward II, a king who ruled for less than half the length of his son’s reign. Hailed as

W. Mark Ormrod: a tribute  17 54

‘a magnificent achievement’ and ‘a book to linger over, to return to, and to enjoy’,55 Mark’s achievement in this regard was generously acknowledged by Chris Given-Wilson, who concluded in his review of Edward III that ‘[t] his monumental work comfortably supersedes earlier biographies and will immediately establish itself as the definitive study of both the king and his reign’.56 Perhaps posterity will grant Mark a similar accolade to his own epitaph to Edward III.57 One of Mark’s final projects was England’s Immigrants, 1330–1550 ( Funded by the AHRC from 2012 to 2015, the team of researchers created a database with the names of over 64,000 first-generation immigrants to England. These names were drawn from records of registration and taxation created by the medieval English government. Drawing on all his past experience of leading major funded research projects, Mark achieved the very rare feat of bringing medieval studies into the limelight of current policy research and contributing to contemporary debates on Britain’s past. England’s Immigrants allowed for the creation of materials for the teaching of history in schools, and in particular new General Certificate of Secondary Education strands on migration and empire. The team also contributed to ‘Our Migration Story’, a Runnymede Trust website (awarded the Guardian University Award for Research Impact in 2019). Such were the profound ramifications of this work on immigration that Mark essentially carved out an entirely new field of scholarship, publishing an astonishing nine articles, two co-edited essay collections and a co-authored book based on the project’s findings in the six years from 2014 to 2020.58 Much of this work focussed on how the English crown addressed the challenge of having a significant immigrant population residing in England at a time when relationships with the home governments of those immigrants, in particular French residents, were under severe strain. Mark’s ‘Friendly Foreigners’ article, the most cited of all his work on immigrants so far, showed that denization, or the procedure for acquiring the rights of English natives, did not arise out of the needs of merchants and the context of international trade, as had so far been assumed, but out of the English

18  Gwilym Dodd et al. crown’s policy to minimize the disruptions of international warfare for its resident immigrants. The culmination of this research was published in Immigrant England 1300–1550, which demonstrated the range and importance of knowledge that could be gleaned from a forensic investigation of English governmental records on medieval immigrants.59 The authors demonstrated that although first-generation immigrants accounted for only c.1.5 per cent of the population, their concentration in certain areas (like port towns) and in particular trades (such as weaving) meant that in some places they were highly influential. Moreover, the book showed that first-generation immigrants had an economic, political and cultural impact on English society (not just in some places and trades) that was far greater than their numbers would suggest. These findings swept aside the traditional narrative that portrayed the Middle Ages as a quiet period between earlier waves of settlement from Romans, Anglo-Saxons, Vikings and Normans to the French Huguenots and Protestant dissenters in the mid-sixteenth century. It also challenged long-held notions that England became more insular across the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries as its sense of nationhood sharpened and it developed a more distinct ‘English’ identity. Late medieval English society was diverse and integrated. The book’s sections on ‘Saracens’, ‘Moors’ and people of ‘Inde’ are notably groundbreaking contributions to a growing body of scholarship on blackness and race in medieval art and literature.60 Mark’s early retirement in 2016 was a bitter blow for a man who still had many unrealized career plans to fulfil. But he remained as engaged and immersed in research as he had always been. Freed from the numerous and onerous responsibilities of University high office, he was able to do what he loved doing most: writing about the later Middle Ages. He was not in the end able to write the major works on late medieval political culture and the fiscal state that he had long earmarked for ‘retirement’, but what he achieved in this short time was remarkable all the same: two monographs, one jointly authored book, six research articles/chapters and a jointly edited collection of essays. His very final publication, Winner and Waster, delivered to the publisher ten days before he died, provides a glimpse of what Mark’s future research profile might have been: a methodologically versatile cultural view of politics and political engagement immersed in the social and economic conditions of the period. The impact Mark had on our understanding of the late medieval English political society was enormous, and his work will be cited and quoted for many generations to come. In this short piece, we have tried to do justice to a remarkable scholar and an astonishing record of publication, but Mark would have wanted to be remembered and his legacy to be recognized in

W. Mark Ormrod: a tribute  19 many more ways than simply the words he committed to paper. In many respects, Mark was always a tough act to follow, yet it was in his spirit of intellectual generosity that he did not claim to have uttered the last word on any subject. Indeed, having opened up so many fields, he was keen for other scholars and especially his own students (whom he discreetly mentored and championed) to follow his lead and challenge the received wisdom on institutions, events and personalities. But it was his approach to research that will perhaps leave the most enduring legacy, an approach in which he regarded research to be a fundamentally collaborative rather than competitive endeavour. The fruits of this ethos are to be seen in the innumerable conferences and workshops he supported, the twenty-nine PhD students he supervised, the numerous academic careers he helped establish, his contributions to and leadership of a dozen major research projects, his public engagement, his service to the wider academic community and the advice and encouragement he gave to countless people, in and out of academia, on medieval-related matters. It is a legacy that will benefit many future generations of medievalists and serves as a model not just for scholars in the Humanities but of all disciplines.

Acknowledgements Our thanks to Chris Given-Wilson, Craig Taylor and Jocelyn Wogan-Browne for their valuable advice in preparing this tribute.



The revolt of the famuli at Barton upon Humber, Lincolnshire, in 1302 David Crook

In the summer of 1302 a royal official, Richard Oysel, made a written complaint in the form of a petition to the council of King Edward I. It stated that there had been an attempt by some of the labouring men living in the manor of Barton upon Humber, then in his charge, to dictate the terms by which they would carry out their work, and to appoint their own officials to ensure that their instructions in this regard were carried out.1 Oysel’s information, with the council’s response added, survives among the ‘Ancient Petitions’ in The National Archives (TNA), and is printed below in the documentary Appendix. The details Oysel related were remarkable, to say the least. He reported that at the instigation of two ploughmen and two carters, eighty of the servants (or serfs) in the town of Barton upon Humber had agreed among themselves (sount entrealiez bien) that none of them would take less than sixteen shillings (sous) a year and their food; and that none of them would work in summer time unless they were allowed time to sleep and then take supper (soupe)2; and that no one with another master should interfere (nul de autre mester se entremettreit). To maintain and keep these arrangements, Oysel reported, they had appointed from among themselves a justice, a steward, a prison keeper and prison (prisoner e prison) within the king’s estate (le several le Roy), putting in stocks as punishment anyone brought before their aforesaid ministers and convicted for any offence. He requested that certain punishment should be imposed on the offenders, and especially upon the four leaders (cheuetains) who had initiated this common enterprise (commun dage). The reply to Oysel’s request (in Latin) was that the bailiffs should go before the treasurer and barons at the exchequer and the justices of the

24  David Crook Bench, and there do what, according to their discretion, ought to be done.3 The probable result of this was the attachment of the four leaders of the confederation. One man subsequently took legal action against the king’s officials in Barton, but it was over a year later when the matter reached the king’s court. In Michaelmas term 1303, the court of King’s Bench, then sitting in York because of the Scottish war, heard a complaint by Roger son of Roger le Clere of Barton upon Humber, against Robert de Burton and Stephen le Warner of Barton, as to why they had arrested him with force and arms (vi et armis) at Barton on 6 May 1302, imprisoned and maltreated him to his damage of £ 20 and against the king’s peace, and held him in prison for three weeks, to his further damage of £ 40. Burton and Warner denied the complaint and stated that le Clere and certain servants and famuli (estate labourers) of Barton upon Humber had wickedly confederated together and entered into an agreement by plighted faith (pactum fide) that none of them would serve for a lesser stipend than food and one penny for any working day, nor tend more than one kind of beast, and other unspecified articles made between them concerning services and stipends. This was, they said, to the damage and injury of all those of the locality who ought to receive the service of the famuli. Oysel had been instructed on behalf of the king to make an inquiry into such confederations made ‘in contempt of the king and to the mockery of his kingdom’ (regis contemptum et regni sui elusionem factis). He was also instructed to attach those who he found to be culpable in this regard. The inquiry found that le Clere and others (unnamed) were involved, so Oysel ordered Burton and Warner, described as his two bailiffs in those parts, to attach them. Because le Clere was unwilling to submit to justice nor allow himself to be attached, they arrested him. They asserted that they had done this in their capacity as royal bailiffs according to the ordinance of the king’s council, and attached him until he would submit to the judicial process. They asked for the appointment of a jury to substantiate or deny their claim. In response, le Clere reasserted his complaint and also asked for there to be an enquiry by a jury. The court decided that such a jury of local men should be summoned to come before it at the quindene of Hilary following, in late January 1304. Le Clere also at the same time brought a case against Robert son of Robert de Kelsey for the same offence. He did not appear in court, and the sheriff had been ordered to attach him also, but he had not been found. The sheriff was again ordered to arrest him and bring him before the court at the same date. There the documentary trail ends. No further entries in either case appear in the roll for that term or in any

The revolt of the famuli  25 subsequent roll, so the matter seems never to have come to any conclusion in the king’s court.4 It can be assumed that the Barton jury did not appear at the due date, and that the case, like many others, did not continue to resolution and judgement. It was notoriously difficult to secure the attendance of juries at hearings many miles away, although getting from Lincoln to York was a journey of only about sixty miles. At Westminster, where the court usually sat, some at least regarded Lincolnshire as being in ‘remote parts’ (in remotis partibus, scilicet, in comitatu Lincolnie), but the distance between the capital and the county town was over a hundred and forty miles, more than double the distance to York.5 It may well be that the leading men of Barton were in any case reluctant to serve on a jury with difficult questions to answer, and whose verdict would probably have important social and political repercussions in the area. Of the many people involved in these events, only five are named. Richard Oysel’s wider career is well documented in government records because he worked for the king in a senior capacity, and Robert de Burton and Stephen le Warner of Barton were presumably his local agents. So too was Robert son of Robert de Kelsey, who le Clere also sued in King’s Bench; he presumably took his name from North or South Kelsey, respectively 16 and 18 miles south of Barton, and north of Caistor. By far the most intriguing figure in the story is Roger son of Roger le Clere, who took Oysel and his men to court. His status is nowhere mentioned, but he was confident and wealthy enough to bring a trespass suit for damages to the King’s Bench at York towards the end of 1303, presumably after suing out and paying for a writ of trespass from the chancery. It seems therefore unlikely that he was one of the famuli himself, one of the two ploughmen or one of the two carters mentioned in Oysel’s petition, and those who he sued did not assert in court that he was. Perhaps he was either the justice or steward that Oysel had said that the famuli had appointed, said by Oysel to have been chosen from among them. The possibility that he was somewhat higher in social status than the famuli should be considered. A gentry family of ‘de Clere’, not ‘le Clere’ as he was named, flourished at Fotherby and Ludborough in Lindsey, a few miles north of Louth and about thirty miles from Barton, from the twelfth century to the mid-thirteenth century, and they seem consistently to have used the Christian name ‘Roger’. Before 1184, ‘lord Roger de Clere’ was mentioned in two charters made by of one of his tenants in Fotherby, and it may have been the same Roger who

26  David Crook was mentioned as the grandfather of the plaintiff in a foot of a fine relating to Ludborough church which was made in the king’s court in 1210.6 About 1223–1239, another ‘Roger de Clere, knight’, received a grant of property in Ludborough from the dean and chapter of Lincoln by chirograph.7 The family also held land in Surrey and Yorkshire, brought to it by William de Rus, husband of Roger’s daughter Agatha, but in 1249 the fortunes of the family foundered when the estate was inherited after Sir Roger’s death by their grand-daughter and heiress Maud, then aged only two. When Rus himself died in 1253 without a male heir, Ludborough escheated to the crown, and by 1260 it was held of William d’Aubigny by knight service.8 The possibility that Roger son of Roger le Clere was of higher status, perhaps an illegitimate son or grandson of Roger de Clere or some other relative who had not been provided for by the family, deserves consideration, although it is very tentative, especially as Oysel had in his petition said that the representatives of the famuli were chosen from among their number. If it did however have some substance, it might suggest that similar attempts by agricultural workers to regulate the terms of their employment could have happened elsewhere in the later years of the reign of Edward I, but have left no record in the archives of the king’s courts because the workers lacked someone like le Clere, able and willing to take court action against the allegedly illegal means used by the landlord to restore control. As it is, the uprising seems to be the only such event recorded in the records of the king’s highest court at that time. Barton upon Humber lies on the northern boundary of Lincolnshire facing the East Riding of Yorkshire on the opposite bank of the Humber, with the modern road to the new Humber Bridge running to the west of the town. It was at the key point on the route between Lincoln and eastern Yorkshire, and during the civil war in the reign of King Stephen in the middle of the twelfth century the river crossing was defended by a castle which seems subsequently to have been demolished.9 At the turn of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, it was linked to Hessle on the Yorkshire bank by a ferry apparently operated by two barges, one large and one small, which in 1299–1300 were being repaired.10 The town and the road leading to it from Lincoln are clearly depicted on the so-called ‘Gough Map’, probably drawn in the later fourteenth century.

The revolt of the famuli  27 In 1334 Barton had a higher population and tax base than any other town in the North Riding of Lindsey.11 During the thirteenth century it also had quite a complex tenurial structure. For over two centuries it had been under the principal lordship of the Gand family, and in 1281 Gilbert de Gand, the fifth of that name, claimed various privileges there before the justices in eyre holding pleas of quo warranto: a weekly market on Monday and a fair lasting eight days, view of frankpledge, ancient gallows and wreck of the sea.12 However, on 29 July 1294, Gilbert surrendered Barton and other manors that he held in southern Lincolnshire at Folkingham, Edenham and Heckington to the king, and received them back to hold for life; it was agreed that upon his death they were to revert to the king.13 That event came to pass not long before 17 March 1298, when he was about forty-nine years old, and the escheator took the four manors and the whole barony into the king’s hands.14 The manor of Barton was put under the control of Oysel on 21 September 1298, to be held during royal pleasure.15 The Gand barony included property in many counties, but in Lincolnshire it was centred on Folkingham and its castle, formerly the caput of an earlier Gilbert de Gand, the second of that name, who was briefly earl of Lincoln in the reign of King Stephen, from about 1149 to 1154.16 Gilbert had founded Rufford Abbey in Nottinghamshire about 1146 and granted it considerable property in Barton, mainly at the southern end of the village’s extensive territory near the Wolds, including a grange.17 The fifth Gilbert had no direct heir, and his heirs in 1298 were his nieces Margaret and Nicole, respectively the wives of William de Gerston and Peter III de Maulay, and their respective sons, Roger and another Peter. Gilbert’s own surviving sister, Juliana, by then over forty years old, already held a portion, and she appears from later evidence to have retained it.18 Neither of Gilbert’s nephews inherited Barton, however, under the terms of the agree

28  David Crook ment, and it remained in royal hands for nearly a decade. In 1298, Richard Oysel had been appointed keeper of the manor of Barton on behalf of the king, and in July 1302 he, now as bailiff of Holderness, still had it within his bailiwick, and he certainly still did in February 1304.19 Gilbert’s widow Lora belatedly received her dower in his land in June 1305, including that from the portion of Barton then held by Juliana de Gand.20 Then, as one of his earliest acts, Edward II in September/October 1307 granted to Henry de Beaumont, his ‘kinsman’ (second cousin), for good service rendered, the manors of Folkingham, Edenham and Barton, formerly of Gilbert de Gand, and also granted a weekly market, an annual fair and free warren in the demesne lands of all three manors and Heckington also.21 The dower lands of Lora de Gand were excepted from this grant. Before 1298, therefore, the Gand family had been chief lords of Barton under the king, but the tenurial structure they presided over there was very complex. In 1242–1243, under the heading for ‘Fees of G. de Gand in Lincolnshire’, there were six separate sub-holdings held by Ralph de Secheville (one knight’s fee); Robert de Tattersall (a fifth of a fee); Henry de Longchamp (a quarter of a fee); Robert de Willoughby (an eighth of a fee); Philip de Burgh (an eighth of a fee); and the constable of Chester (a twentieth of a fee).22 By the time of the death of Gilbert de Gand V in 1298 some holdings were still the same and some had changed. The constable of Chester continued to hold his twentieth of a fee; another Robert de Willoughby the same eighth of a fee but which had afterwards come into Gilbert’s hands; Richard le Rus of Barton held a fifth of a knight’s fee for a penny a year for all services, perhaps in succession to Tattersall; Robert de Houton held a quarter of a fee performing nothing but foreign service, perhaps in succession to Longchamp; and the abbot of Thornton held an eighth of a fee in frankalmoin.23 By about 1250–1260, the abbot also had a sheepfold called ‘Beaumundcote’ in Barton, still to be found on the map.24 St Peter’s church, today famous for its Anglo-Saxon architectural features and one of two parish churches in the town, was not in the gift of the Gant family but that of

23 CIPM, III, no. 474. 24 Rufford Charters, ed. Holdsworth, III, no. 907. For its location see the map in Brown, Notes on Barton-on Humber, II, opposite p. 92.

The revolt of the famuli  29 the abbot of Bardney, although in 1304 a vicar was presented by the king’s gift at a time when the abbey was in crown hands during a vacancy.25 In 1302, therefore, Barton consisted of a complex series of lordships, with the main former Gand property under the control of Richard Oysel on behalf of the king. The petition indicates that the famuli who formed the rebellious confederation were working on the lands of the king, not of any of the other local lords, since the reference prohibiting interference from another master (nul de autre mester se entremettreit) indicates that it did not affect all the lords, but only the king’s land. It also uses the terms ‘within the king’s estate’ (deinz le several le Roy) to describe the area within which the officials they had appointed were to operate.26 The documents show that the roles of the famuli in Barton, paid agricultural labourers as opposed to performers of customary services, involved ploughing, carting and the management of animals. This would be the straightforward meaning of servientes, famuli and servauntz, and this was practically always the status of charuers and charetters.27 It is most likely that Roger and his friends were full-time employees, although the pay of sixteen shillings a year they demanded would mean that they would work for only one hundred and ninety-two days a year, at a penny a day, the equivalent of thirty-two weeks at six days a week, probably varying according to the time of year in the agricultural cycle. The so-called ‘pipe roll’ of the bishop of Winchester for 1301–1302 provides the most abundant easily accessible comparative information about the activities and remuneration of the famuli and others on another estate at exactly the time of the Barton union.28 However, the bishop’s officials at that time employed little hired labour, depending overwhelmingly on stipendiary ploughmen, carters, shepherds and herdsmen to carry out regular tasks needed throughout the year, with customary services owed by the tenants on the manors supplying the rest.29 This evidence is therefore less suitable for comparison than that from some other estates where hired labourers formed a high proportion of the workforce.30 Michael Postan pointed out long ago that hired labour was increasingly the norm during the thirteenth century, with ploughmen employed on, for example, the estates of the earl

25 CPR 1301–7, p. 216. The vacancy occurred because the abbot, Robert of Wainfleet, was deposed by the king in 1303 and a royal custodian appointed (p. 210); after an appeal to the pope, Wainfleet was restored in 1311: Heads of Religious Houses II, ed. Smith and London, pp. 20–1. 26 On the roles and economic condition of famuli in this period, see in particular Rush, ‘Impact of Commercialisation’, pp. 123–39; and Farmer, ‘Famuli’, pp. 207–36. Rush’s two main sources were the account rolls of twenty-three Glastonbury manors for 1302–1303 and 1311–1312. 27 I am grateful to Paul Harvey for his expert opinion on these matters. 28 Pipe Roll 1301–2, ed. Page. 29 The position on the estates of Beaulieu Abbey in 1269–1270 was similar: see the references in Beaulieu Abbey, ed. Hockey, pp. 19–23 and references indexed under ‘famulus’. 30 Pipe Roll 1301–2, ed. Page, p. xix.

30  David Crook of Cornwall, the nearest to Barton being Howden, on the Yorkshire side of the Humber, in 1296–1308; and some of the manors of Crowland Abbey, like Whaplode in the extreme south of Lincolnshire, and near the other Gand manors in the county, in 1258.31 On the Winchester estate, the wages of stipendiary ploughmen and carters seem to have been 3s. a year on most of the manors, although at Esher it was twice that; at Wolvesey it was 5s.; and at Cams 4s.32 On the estates of the abbot of Glastonbury in 1302–1303 and 1311–1312, the equivalent stipends were nearly all worth 4s. or 5s., and the lowest was 3s. 10d.33 Ploughmen, carters, shepherds, swineherds, oxherds and cowherds also received payments in grain and stock34; typically on the Winchester estates a quarter of barley or rye every eight or ten weeks for a ploughman, and on several manors allowances of food at Christmas and Easter, worth a penny on each occasion.35 They also received quittances of rent of varying amounts, although this applied to carters only rarely.36 Only with these additional allowances would a stipendiary farmhand have sufficient to sustain a family.37 The fewer numbers of shepherds and cowherds received 4s. or 3s. or occasionally 5s., a cowherd 2s.38 In the later fourteenth century, the typical stipend for male stipendiary famuli on the Winchester estates was about 4s. a year, still at a standard level across all the manors; but such uniformity did not exist elsewhere, even within the same manor.39 Even on the Winchester estates, however, the stipendiary famuli were occasionally supplemented by hired labour. There is no evidence at all for the hiring of shepherds or cowherds during 1301–1302, but some for carters and ploughmen. At Cams in Hampshire, a carter was hired to carry the corn at harvest time for fourteen days at 7s., a rate of 6d. a day for seasonal work and more for two full weeks’ work than the normal annual carter’s stipend of 5s. on this manor.40 However, a man hired to plough there, working for seventy-two days between Easter and Michaelmas 1302, was paid only ½d. a day.41 This was a low rate of pay, and it seems likely that he

34 Pipe Roll 1301–2, ed. Page, e.g., pp. 60, 75, 83, 140, 142, 157, 163, 165–6, 264, 301, 340, 360, 366. 35 Ibid., pp. 18, 27, 32, 36, 42, 202. On the Glastonbury manors, the value of grain liveries was twice the amount of their cash stipends: Rush, ‘Impact of Commercialisation’, pp. 128–9. 36 Pipe Roll 1301–2, ed. Page, e.g. pp. 15, 25, 33, 40, 46, 54, 57, 61–2, 71, 77, 85, 91, 101, 105, 112, 118, 128, etc.

40 Pipe Roll 1301–2, ed. Page, pp. 364–5.

The revolt of the famuli  31 was a plough-holder, the man who conducted the plough, rather than the man who drove the oxen, like the plough-holder at Twyford hired for forty days ‘at the time of the summer sowing when they ploughed after dinner’ at the same rate.42 At Twyford, twelve ploughmen were allowed 1½d. each for twenty-two Saturday ploughings, probably stipendiaries being paid for additional duties and at a far more satisfactory rate.43 At Bishops Waltham each stipendiary ploughman received 1½d. for Saturday ploughing when ploughing for sowing and a penny when fallowing.44 At Morton, however, stipendiary ploughmen were not treated so generously for extra work, since three of them working for thirty-six Saturdays, which they were not obliged to do, received only ½d. additional stipend each for each Saturday.45 At Highclere, however, four ploughmen received an additional 4s. 6d. for a year of Saturday ploughings, in addition to their basic stipends of 3s., thanks to the bishop.46 In Lincolnshire, it appears by contrast that the Barton carters and ploughmen were dependent mainly on their wages for their livelihoods rather than stipendiaries living permanently on the estate, who would receive daily wages or supplements to their stipends only when they carried out work additional to that for which their stipends were paid. The 1d. a day wage that they demanded must have been what they considered necessary to cover their living expenses, because they did not have the substantial stipends and allowances received by settled famuli like those of the Winchester manors, nor did they have enough land to enable them to undertake their own cultivation as the manorial tenants did. Their employment, especially that of ploughmen, may have been partly or mainly seasonal, to add extra labour at times of intense activity, especially at harvest. These men were probably in effect compelled by economic circumstances and lack of geographical mobility to work in the neighbourhood of Barton, dominated by the now royal manor but including several other smaller estates within its substantial area, and may have felt that only by such an association could they hope to improve local wages and conditions of employment. On 26 February 1301 an oyer and terminer commission was issued to Richard Oysel and Ralph de Lellay to seek out a group of unknown men who had entered the king’s warren at Barton, hunted in it and carried away hares and rabbits, and at night had thrown down the gallows erected there.47 This

32  David Crook sort of attack on the privileges of manorial lords was probably becoming increasingly common all over England, generating many such commissions, but some more significant legal developments were in progress. The confederation of the Barton famuli was made during the period when the concept of ‘conspiracy’, principally in respect of the perversion of legal processes, was beginning to develop.48 The word conspiratio does not appear in either of the two Barton documents, but confederatio is sometimes associated with it in the earliest references. In January 1279 the justices in eyre in Kent and elsewhere were instructed to enquire into ‘conspiracies and confederations’, by which some men bound themselves together by oath to support their friends in assizes, jury trials and recognitions to the disadvantage of their opponents.49 Similar phraseology was used in a plea roll entry for a Herefordshire trespass case in king’s bench in 1281, when twelve defendants were described as ‘conspirators and confederates’.50 However, when in the Easter parliament of 1293 a parliamentary ordinance provided a specific writ of ‘conspiracy and trespass’ returnable in King’s Bench for those wishing to complain about ‘conspirators, inventors and maintainers of false plaints’, no mention was made of ‘confederates’.51 Nevertheless, the language used by Oysel’s bailiffs or their representative to describe the offences of the Barton famuli in the King’s Bench plea roll entry of 1303, that they invicem maliciose confederarunt et pactum fide media inierunt, bears some resemblance to the terminology used in conspiracy cases. Just after these events, however, the trailbaston ordinance of 1305 was followed by a supplementary ‘Ordinance of Conspirators’, sent on to the trailbaston justices on circuit, which broadened the range of conspiracy to include the recruitment of liveried retainers ‘to maintain their evil enterprises and stifle truth’.52 ‘Conspiracy’ and ‘confederation’ later came to be mentioned together in the stereotyped language of numerous general oyer and terminer commissions during the later fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. Their inclusion only became common in the 1350s, although a clear earlier example is a commission for the trailbaston sessions in southern and south-western counties which began at the end of 1334.53 The crucial difference was that the confederation of the famuli at Barton in 1302 aimed to improve their wages and working conditions, not to undermine legal process, so their alleged offence did not properly fit into the

48 Harding, ‘Crime of Conspiracy’, pp. 89–108. 49 CCR 1272–79, p. 519. 50 Select Cases, ed. Sayles, I, p. 76 (AALT-IMG 0005).

The revolt of the famuli  33 concept of conspiracy as it was coming to be defined in that period, and there is no evidence that its leaders were put on trial. We know so much about it because Roger son of Roger le Clere of Barton complained about his arrest and sued for substantial damages in King’s Bench. The Statute of Labourers from 1351, after the Black Death, which prescribed in detail what farmworkers could receive in wages, did not anticipate the emergence of any local confederations of famuli to challenge the effects of the laws, and no evidence of any such confederation appears in the surviving proceedings of the justices of labourers, which merely record the punishment of individuals breaching the terms of the statutes.54 The Barton confederation of famuli in 1302 seems therefore to have been an isolated and remarkable occurrence in the circumstances of a particular locality. Here we have, nevertheless, over half a millennium before the six so-called ‘Tolpuddle Martyrs’ of 1833– 1834 refused to work for less than 10s. per week, the earliest evidence of an association of agricultural workers attempting to improve their economic circumstances through a form of collective and coercive bargaining with employers, truly the earliest reference to an agricultural trades union in England as yet identified.55

Documentary appendix I SC 8/315, no. E176, Richard Oysel’s information as mentioned in the enrolment, plus the response. It was originally part of a longer document from which this portion was cut at top and bottom. It belongs to an original file of petitions returned to the Exchequer from the parliament of July 1302.56 Et sires pur ceo qe par la abette de deux charuers et de deux charetters sount entrealiez bien a quater vintz de ceus servauntz en la ville de Barton’ sus le Humbre qe nul de eux prendra meins de xvj. souz par an e sa table e qe nul de eux en este temps labora eynz ceo quil eit bon espace dormy e puis pris la soupe e qe nul de autre mester se entremettreit. Et a cestes choses meintener e garder avoient faite par entre eus justice, seneschal, pris[on]er57 e prison deinz le several le Roy a feure de cesps pur mettre en penaunce cil de eux qe devaunt lur ministres avauntditz en nul point feust atteint. Et de cestes choses devaunt Richa[r]d Oysel par bone enqueste ou grant

54 Putnam, Statutes of Labourers, passim. 55 I am grateful to Paul Harvey and Mark Bailey for very helpful comments and suggestions. Any errors in interpretation are mine alone. 56 The Parliament Rolls of Medieval England, 1302 summer parliament, appendix, petitions belonging to this parliament and not otherwise.

34  David Crook partie de eux se mistrent sont atteinz. Par quei le dit Richard prie qe certeine penaunce les seit eniointe. Et principalement a les quatre cheueteins qe tiel commun dage comencerent. Faciat ballivos illos venire ad scaccarium coram thesaurario et baronibus et justiciariis de Banco et ibi fiat quod per discrecionem suam viderint esse faciendum.

II KB 27/174, rot. 27 [King’s Bench, Michaelmas term 1303]; image at http:// Linc’. Robertus de Burtone et Stephanus le Warner de Barton’ super Humbre attachiati fuerunt ad respondendum Rogero filio Rogeri le Clere de Barton’ super Humbre de placito quare vi et armis ipsum Rogerum apud Barton’ super Humbre ceperunt et imprisonaverunt et maletractaverunt et alia enormia etc. ad dampnum ipsius Rogeri viginti librarum et contra pacem regis etc. Et unde queritur quod die sabbati proxima post festum Apostolorum Philippi et Jacoby anno regni regis nunc xxx. ipsum Rogerum ceperunt et imprisonaverunt et in prisona per tres septimanas detinuerunt i i; unde dicit quod deterioratus est et dampnum habet ad valenciam quadraginta librarum. Et inde producit sectam etc. Et predicti Robertus et Stephanus veniunt. Et defendunt vim et injuriam quando etc. Et dicunt quod predictus Rogerus et quidam servientes et famuli de Barton’ super Humbre se invicem maliciose confederarunt et pactum fide media inierunt quod nullus eorum alicui serviret pro minori stipendio quam pro victu suo et pro ii denario quolibet die operabili et quod non custodirent alia averia quam unum genus averiorum et alios articulos de serviciis et stipendiis suis inter se fecerunt ad dampnum ii dispendium omnium illorum de patria qui servicium hujusmodi famulorum habere debuerunt, per quod Ricardus Oysel ballivus domini regis ibidem confederacionem et maliciam predictas consilio domini regis ii apud London’ in termino sancti Michaelis anno ii. xxx. incipiente intimavit, ubi injunctum fuit ei ex parte domini regis quod diligentem faceret inquisicionem super hujusmodi confederacionibus in regis contemptum et regni sui elusionem factis et omnes illos quos ii culpabiles inveniret attachiaret etc.; unde idem Ricardus super hoc facta inquisicione invenit predictum Rogerum et quosdam alios ii culpabiles, per quod precepit predictis Roberto et Stephano ballivis suis in partibus illis quod illos attachiarent, qui quidem Robertus et Stephanus pro eo quod predictus Rogerus se justiciari noluit nec pati se attachiari ipsum arestarunt quousque etc.; unde dicunt quod ipsi tanquam ballivi domini regis predictum Rogerum juxta ordinacionem consilii domini ii, prout supradictum est, atachiarunt quousque se ii justiciari voluit, et non contra pacem etc. Et de hoc ponunt se super patriam etc.

The revolt of the famuli  35 Et predictus Rogerus dicit quod de injuria sua propria vi et armis ipsum ceperunt et imprisonaverunt sicut superius se queritur et hoc petit quod inquiratur. Et predicti Robertus et Stephanus similiter. Ideo veniat inde jurata coram [domino rege]58 a die sancti Hillarii in.xv. dies ubicumque etc. Et qui nec etc. Quia tam etc. Idem Rogerus optulit se quarto die versus Robertum filius Roberti de Keleseye de placito predicto. Et ipse non venit. Et preceptum fuit vicecomiti quod attachiat eum etc. Et vicecomes retornavit quod non est inventus etc. nec aliquid etc. Ideo sicut pluries preceptum est vicecomes quod capiatur quod sit coram rege ad prefatum terminum etc.

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58 MS. Omits.

36  David Crook The Registrum Antiquissimum of the Cathedral Church of Lincoln, IV, ed. C. W. Foster and K. Major, Lincoln Record Society 32 (1937). Rotuli Parliamentorum, I (London, 1767) (Rot. Parl). Rufford Charters, ed. C. J. Holdsworth, Thoroton Society Record Series 29, 30, 32, 34 (1972–81). Select Cases in the Court of King’s Bench, I, ed. G. O. Sayles, Selden Society 55 (1936). Select Cases in the Court of King’s Bench, II, ed. G. O. Sayles, Selden Society 57 (1938). Select Cases in the Court of King’s Bench, III, ed. G. O. Sayles, Selden Society 58 (1939). Transcripts of Charters relating to Gilbertine Houses, ed. F. M. Stenton, Lincoln Record Society 18 (1922).

Secondary sources Abbott, M. R., ‘The Gant Family in England, 1066–1191’ (unpublished Ph.D. thesis, University of Cambridge, 1973). Beveridge, Sir W., ‘Wages in the Winchester Manors’, Economic History Review 7 (1936–7), 22–43. Brown, R., Notes on the Earlier History of Barton-on Humber, II (London, 1908). Davis, R. H. C., King Stephen (London, 1967). Farmer, D., ‘The Famuli in the Later Middle Ages’, in Progress and Problems in Medieval England: Essays in Honour of Edward Miller, eds. R. H. Britnell and J. Hatcher (Cambridge, 1996), pp. 207–36. Harding, A., ‘The Origins of the Crime of Conspiracy’, TRHS 5th Series 33 (1983), 89–108. McFarlane, K. B., ‘Had Edward I a “Policy” towards the Earls?’, History 50 (1965), 145–59; reprinted in McFarlane, K. B., The Nobility of Later Medieval England (New York, 1973). Postan, M. M., The Famulus: The Estate Labourer in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Centuries, Economic History Review, supplement series 2 (1954). Putnam, B. H., The Enforcement of the Statutes of Labourers (New York, 1908). Rush, I., ‘The Impact of Commercialisation in Early Fourteenth-Century England: Some Evidence from the Manors of Glastonbury Abbey’, Agricultural History Review 49 (2001), 123–39. Sanders, I. J., English Baronies: A Study of Their Origin and Descent, 1086–1327 (Oxford, 1960). Sherman, R. M., ‘The Continental Origins of the Ghent Family of Lincolnshire’, Nottingham Medieval Studies 22 (1978), 23–35. Smith, D. M. and London, V. C. M., eds., The Heads of Religious Houses: England and Wales, II, 1216–1377 (Cambridge, 2001).


Taking the law into their own hands Extra-judicial violence in North Nottinghamshire during the civil war of 1321/1322 Paul Dryburgh

Among the numerous petitions submitted to the York parliament of May 1322,1 the assembly which sealed Edward II’s victory over his baronial opponents after a prolonged civil war, is a remarkable request made to the king and his council in the name of a six-year-old girl.2 Richera, daughter of William of Cadeby of Lincolnshire, is one of the youngest petitioners in the almost 18,000 records surviving in the Ancient Petitions series (SC 8) in The National Archives, the digital delivery and improved description of which is one of Mark Ormrod’s greatest scholarly achievements.3 Richera relates her father’s seizure and overnight detention at Warsop in north Nottinghamshire, an area exposed to gang warfare and extra-judicial violence, at a critical phase of the conflict. Thereupon, William was beheaded by local men and his estates consequently forfeited. She hoped the king would, by his grace, grant her inheritance; her father was guilty of no crime and had been killed without judgement. Richera did not, however, petition alone; her mother Euphemia requested the restoration of lands jointly enfeoffed upon her and her late husband, and the brother and widow of William’s companion Thomas of Owmby, also beheaded, petitioned respectively for their inheritance and dower.4 These are the bare bones of a complex story. My aim is to flesh it out by delving deeper into the detail. I hope to use this one story to enhance our view of a civil war in which many communities and individuals seemingly took the law into their own hands, exploiting it for profit – personal, commercial or legal – or perhaps fearing the consequences if they did not. I want to extend our knowledge of local loyalties and explore

38  Paul Dryburgh the local understanding and exploitation of criminal justice in a turbulent decade. We are fortunate that these three sets of petitions and numerous associated writs and returns allow us to reconstruct the fates of William of Cadeby and Thomas of Owmby. They also attest to the surprising efficacity and speed of royal justice and to the grace a victorious Edward II showed to at least some petitioners in straitened circumstances. Endorsements to each petition assigned justices to summon the sheriff and coroners of Nottinghamshire to empanel jurors to establish the truth and then return their findings into chancery. Thus, on 24 May 1322, the king commissioned John de Doncaster, Laurence de Chaworth and Robert Russel to investigate the events leading to the forfeiture of Cadeby and Owmby, falsely believed in the aftermath of their deaths to have been his enemies and rebels.5 Previously justice of the Common Bench, Doncaster was one of the most experienced and trusted assize justices of the period.6 In 1322, he received several special commissions to investigate crimes against the king in the north; on 20 April, for example, he presided over a hearing in York into the robbery at Pontefract of 1,000 marks being brought from London by the royal valet Foious de Caillou.7 On 25 May, Doncaster attested a writ ordering John Darcy, sheriff of Nottinghamshire, to empanel a jury at Retford, around twelve miles northeast of Warsop, on 9 June, attend himself and summon the county coroners to testify about their inspection of the victims’ bodies.8 Darcy’s inquisition returns into chancery gave fuller details of the circumstances of the deaths of Cadeby and Owmby and provided the evidence required for the restoration of their estates.9 A panel of twelve local men, though only one – Robert de Burton – explicitly from Warsop, gave evidence to the justices before Darcy and the coroners Roger de Sancto Andrea and Robert de Wolryngton. They testified that on Thursday, the eve of St Gregory last (11 March), around midday, William of Cadeby and Thomas of Owmby passed through the middle of Warsop. Certain young men from outside the village (quidam garciones extranei) followed them and their party, possibly along the main highway (erant garciones itinerantes per viam).10 At this point, John, the smith of

Taking the law into their own hands  39 Palterton, William de Colley and other unknown men (alii ignoti) arrested these young men, accusing them of committing robbery in the area (imponentes eis quod ipsi fecerunt vnam roberiam ibi in patria). Their interest or sympathy piqued, Cadeby and Owmby challenged the arrest, only to be accused themselves of being of the young men’s band (imponentes predicto Thoma de Ouneby/Willelmo de Cadeby fuisse de societate predictorum garcionum extraneorum) and then arrested, seized and detained until vespers on the following day. With the sunlight waning on that Friday, the captors dragged Cadeby, Owmby and the young men outside the village and, of their own deed, beheaded them without any cause (extra dictam villam duxerunt et ipsos de facto suo proprio decolauerunt absque aliqua causa). Asked if the deceased had committed any robbery or other criminal act which could have merited their arrest, the jurors said not. Asked whether either Cadeby or Owmby were rebels or enemies of the king, they said not. A chancery endorsement directed that their tenements forfeited for this reason should not remain to the king and that inquisitions post mortem should be taken. In response to chancery writs of late June 1322, Alan de Copledyke, the official tasked with receiving and valuing contrariants’ lands in Lincolnshire, convened juries in Lincoln on 9 July to take such inquisitions. These confirmed Richera of Cadeby and Walter, brother of Thomas of Owmby, as respective heirs.11 Four days later, the king ordered Alan to remove the king’s hand from their inheritances, as neither William of Cadeby nor Thomas of Owmby held land in chief or had been rebels.12 In many senses, this closed a traumatic episode for the two families; royal grace and the unexpectedly well-oiled mechanics of justice in the aftermath of the civil war had ensured the restoration of lands wrongly forfeited and the maintenance of property rights in law, at least in this one case. And yet, this resolution leaves as many questions as answers: in what context were the petitions submitted; who were the victims and were they truly suspect; who were the perpetrators of the arrest and what might their motivations have been in resorting to such extreme violence; did they believe they were acting within the law; and what does this reveal about the local political context? If we start with the context in which the petitions were submitted, Mark Ormrod, in a masterly contribution to the 2008 festschrift for David Crook, demonstrated that the civil war of 1321/1322 produced dozens of petitions from individuals and communities in the crucible of south Yorkshire, north Nottinghamshire and the Isle of Axholme in northwest Lincolnshire, who felt their best chance of redressing grievances was resort not to common law action but to direct petition for royal grace. This was partly due to the widespread, chaotic nature of the violence loosed throughout England, but which was concentrated in that area in early 1322, and partly also to a perception

40  Paul Dryburgh that local justice might neither be swift nor equitable.13 It was also attributable to the more receptive nature of royal grace in the aftermath of the Battle of Boroughbridge (16 March 1322) and the subsequent pursuit, capture, imprisonment and execution of a number of leading contrariants.14 Indeed, attracting petitioners who had suffered from the activities or connections of the king’s enemies might be deemed integral to restoring pristine royal authority and asserting grace. Towards the start of the York parliament, Edward II formally revoked the Ordinances, those provisions for good government and restraint of royal excess imposed upon him in 1311 and a catalyst for bitter quarrelling over the decade.15 At a stroke, Edward reasserted his ‘executive privilege’ to decide royal business.16 He would not debar the community of the realm from discussing or legislating on matters touching the common good and his private affairs, but would reaffirm parliament as the proper national forum rather than magnate assemblies. Moreover, in reissuing some of the ‘good points’ of the Ordinances enshrined within the new Statute of York, he aimed to show an appreciation for the concerns of all his subjects.17 Seymour Phillips has convincingly argued that Edward’s subsequent pursuit of the confiscated estates of the contrariants proved a cynical lack of magnanimity in these concessions.18 Nevertheless, it is probably in the light of higher expectations of grace and fair treatment of claims to forfeited estates that we should see the petitions at the heart of this discussion and those of some of their fellow petitioners. This impression is heightened if we examine the personal context in which our petitions were drafted. It is possible to discern an external influence over, certainly, the petitions of Walter of Owmby and his widowed sister-in-law Alice and possibly over those of Richera of Cadeby and her mother. The petitions of Walter and Alice appear from palaeographic analysis to have been drafted by the same individual and include an almost identical concluding sentence. Here, Gilbert of Toothby, uncle of Alice, prayed the king ‘that he might do this thing by good grace or by the ransom which the said Gilbert is ready to make him at his will to act as an example in other similar cases’.19 Apparently from the hamlet of Tothby in northeast Lincolnshire, Gilbert was a royal serjeant with experience on judicial commissions in the county and elsewhere.20

20 CFR 1319–27, p. 35; CPR 1321–24, pp. 15, 204.

Taking the law into their own hands  41 He appears to have been in favour, being granted a protection on 20 May 1322 during the parliament.21 It must have been at his initiative that these petitions were forwarded. Equally, while there is no explicit association between them and those of Euphemia and Richera, the linguistic similarities – though not the palaeographic (the hands are distinctively different) – and the story they tell perhaps indicate they were at least drafted under the same tutelage.22 Gilbert clearly knew how to navigate the processes of supplication. He appreciated what might appeal to the king, in terms of a financial incentive and the linguistic triggers to bring success: in his petition Walter of Owmby locates the seizure and execution of his brother ‘lately after the defeat at Burton’.23 We will return to the broader context of Burton shortly, but this standoff across the River Trent in early March witnessed, on 10 March, Thomas of Lancaster, the king’s chief opponent, effectively declare open rebellion against his cousin.24 The implication in Walter’s declaration that his brother and by association William of Cadeby had been unlawfully killed following the skirmish at Burton was clear – this had been an extra-judicial arrest and execution, perhaps perpetrated by those inimical to the king. There might also be deliberate echoes here – meant for the king – of the extra-judicial abduction and beheading of his favourite Piers Gaveston by men loyal to Lancaster in June 1312.25 Nevertheless, Gilbert’s intervention bore fruit and the petitions were conceded and due legal process set in train. So, who were the victims and what might they have been doing to have suffered their grisly fates? This is not an easy question to answer. Inquisition post mortem returns reveal Thomas of Owmby and William of Cadeby to have been minor Lincolnshire landholders, north and east of the county town. Owmby’s estates were scattered across the vills of Owmby, Cold Hanworth and Tetford, held in fee, and Willingham, held by the gift of his father.26 Owmby and Tetford were held respectively of Henry Burghersh, bishop of Lincoln, whose relationship with his uncle, the rebel Bartholomew de Badlesmere, jaundiced the king’s view of him, causing his temporalities to be seized; and the archbishop of York, Edward II’s friend, William

24 CCR 1318–23, p. 522. For chronicle narratives: BL Cotton Nero MS D X, f. 112; Anonimalle, ed. Childs and Taylor, pp. 104–5; Vita, ed. Denholm-Young, pp. 206–9; and for interpretation, Maddicott, Thomas of Lancaster, pp. 309–10; Phillips, Aymer de Valence, p. 223. 25 Vita, ed. Denholm-Young, pp. 48–9; Hamilton, Piers Gaveston, pp. 98–9. 26 SC 8/133/6608; CIPM, VI, no. 355, p. 214. Owmby appears to be the vill in Aslacoe wapentake near Caistor rather than Owmby-by-Spital off the Ermine Street a few miles north of Lincoln, if the evidence in note 31 below links the two men correctly. Willingham has not been identified.

42  Paul Dryburgh Melton.27 Intriguingly, Willingham was held of the heirs of Henry de Lacy, earl of Lincoln, whose daughter Alice had married Thomas, earl of Lancaster in 1290, bringing Thomas numerous Lincolnshire estates at Henry’s death in 1311.28 William of Cadeby shared some of these tenurial connections: he held his chief manor of North Cadeby of Lincoln Cathedral, having been jointly enfeoffed thereof by final concord in 1314, and a moiety of the manor of Caenby of the bishop of Lincoln, along with land in nearby Osgodby and Owersby.29 Both men were perhaps involved in mercantile activity, possibly in marketing wool. They are of an ilk with many other growers and buyers who appeared in the markets and fairs of town and countryside during the Middle Ages, and in the contemporary systems of credit and debt.30 Prior business connections might be glimpsed in a certificate of statute merchant – the system by which local credit transactions were recorded – entered in 1315, by which one Thomas de Hotham of Owmby recognised his debt of £8 6s. 8d., owing since 1310, to William, son of William of Cadeby. We know from the final concord entered in 1314 mentioned above that this William is our victim.31 Whether Thomas de Hotham was his business partner can only be speculation; little else is discoverable about ‘Thomas of Owmby’. It may be indeed that their journey via Warsop represented the return to their estates from market, though precisely which is not obvious. Nottingham, one of the leading commercial centres in the East Midlands, held its weekly market from Friday evening to Saturday evening, while Derby’s burgesses claimed a four-day market on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.32 Warsop is located close to the Derbyshire border towards the southwestern end of Bassetlaw wapentake at the northern tip of Nottinghamshire. It sat on the highway which immediately linked the royal demesne manor of Mansfield (and then on to Nottingham) to the south and the Furnival caput of Worksop to the north. Warsop also had road links in a northeasterly direction to Retford, the chief town of the wapentake, where

30 Bell, Brooks and Dryburgh, English Wool, pp. 59–63. For broader analysis of mercantile activity and the wool trade, see Power, Wool Trade in English History, passim; Lloyd, English Wool Trade, Chapter 2, pp. 25–60. 31 C 241/80/48. For other certificates of 1305–1306, in which Thomas de Hotham of Owmby is the debtor, see C 241/46/333; C 241/48/19. For the statute merchant system, see Nightingale, ‘Knights and Merchants’, pp. 36–62. 32 Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs (sub Derby, Nottingham). Mark Ormrod highlighted the example of another Lincolnshire man John Kygge of Grantham, who petitioned Edward II in 1322 about the plunder in November 1321 by men of the contrariant John de Mowbray of his ship at Kinnard’s Ferry on the Humber bound for market in Nottingham: Ormrod, ‘Road to Boroughbridge’, pp. 79–80.

Taking the law into their own hands  43 in June 1322 the inquisition into the executions was held. Interestingly, the annual fair in Retford was set for the feast of St Gregory (12 March) – the date of the beheadings – so perhaps our victims were heading there to conclude a business trip.33 Continuing in that direction travellers aiming for northern Lincolnshire would reach the Trent. By travelling northeast as far as Warsop, it seems that Cadeby and Owmby had eschewed a crossing route further to the south that would have taken them via Newark to Lincoln along the Fosse Way. It is possible they aimed to cross the Trent at Torksey or Gainsborough, closer geographically to their estates. Despite silting of the Foss Dyke in the thirteenth century, which provided a canalised conduit for merchandise from the north Midlands and Yorkshire to Lincoln and Boston, England’s principal wool port outside London, Torksey remained an active settlement with toll and trading privileges. Gainsborough, a prescriptive borough, was the furthest point on the Trent that could be reached by seagoing vessels and another potential crossing point.34 Having said all this, there is no unequivocal proof that Cadeby and Owmby were merchants. There is no suggestion that their goods were impounded at their arrest or reclaimed after their deaths. They do not appear to have been targeted as merchants: this was no highway robbery gone wrong. One inescapable conclusion is that they were unlucky, in the wrong place at the wrong time. In early 1322, physical and political geographies combined to place Warsop within a vulnerable, sensitive area. As the civil war reached its climax and resistance to the crown began to fragment, large numbers of men flooded the area. The manor of Warsop was held by John de Somery. Inquisition post mortem jurors testified in August 1322 that Warsop and the nearby manor of Eakring had been demised to him by John (son of Richard) de Sutton, whose family had held it for two generations and to whom it was returned on 6 November 1322 after Somery’s death.35 Somery, an important landholder in several counties, most obviously of multiple knights’ fees in Staffordshire36 and the manors of Newport Pagnell (Buckinghamshire), Bradfield and Sulham (Berkshire) and Old Swinford (Worcestershire),37 was most pertinently a royal household knight. He had been involved in the king’s campaign against his baronial opponents that had simmered since

3 6 The fees are listed in an order to the two escheators north and south of the Trent to deliver her inheritance to his sister Margaret and her husband John de Sutton on 26 February 1323, and also included estates in Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Surrey and Warwickshire: CCR 1318–23, pp. 630, 632.

44  Paul Dryburgh

Figure 2.1 East Midlands, 1322.

the emergence of the Despensers’ ambitions in the Welsh Marches during 1320 (Figure 2.1).38 On 23 April 1321, Somery had acted as a go-between for the king, bearing the response of Humphrey de Bohun (earl of Hereford and Essex and leader of the marcher contrariants) that he would not attend Council while the younger Despenser remained in Edward’s company.39 After a summer during which the Marchers linked up with Thomas of Lancaster and secured the Despensers’ exile, a retaliatory military offensive was launched by the king in November 1321, coinciding with their recall to England.40 As 38 Phillips, Edward II, pp. 363–9, 373–94; Davies, ‘Despenser War’, pp. 21–64. 39 CCR 1318–23, p. 367. 40 Phillips, Edward II, pp. 394–403; Maddicott, Thomas of Lancaster, pp. 300–4.

Taking the law into their own hands  45 Alistair Tebbit noted, many household knights and others with connections to the familia were involved, including John de Somery.41 On 30 November, Somery and other commissioners were ordered ‘to attack any of the king’s subjects who may rise against the king, taking with him the posse of the counties of Warwick, Leicester, and Stafford’, in which he had been appointed to raise mounted men and foot soldiers to set out against the contrariants.42 Somery was marking himself out as a trusted and effective royal agent. The subsequent winter campaign, in which Somery was involved and which witnessed the capture of leading rebels and brought Edward’s victory over the contrariants, has been brilliantly mapped out in recent scholarship, and it is unnecessary to retrace those well-trodden footpaths here.43 Similarly, the reconstruction by Mark Ormrod of the exploitation of the maelstrom of civil war in south Yorkshire, north Nottinghamshire and north Lincolnshire has demonstrated the deleterious effects on local communities and individuals. But, there are elements and episodes in the campaign that may be relevant to the beheading in Warsop of William of Cadeby and Thomas of Owmby on 12 March 1322. At the end of February 1322, a frustrated Lancaster ended the siege of the royal castle of Tickhill, held for the crown by the constable William Aune. Lancaster and the earl of Hereford moved quickly to prevent a northern advance by royal forces, then massing in the West Midlands, by blocking the river crossing at Burton upon Trent (Staffordshire) from about 1 March.44 Though the earls moved from Lancaster’s castle at Pontefract, his force besieging Tickhill may have passed through or skirted Warsop as they marched for Derby and then Burton. Likewise, the mobilization of royal forces must have had a local impact. Stung by the assault on Tickhill, Edward began raising a sizeable army in early February. On 7 February, Warsop’s manorial lord John de Somery was commissioned to raise the forces of five midland shires as Edward mobilized the north and midlands against the insurgents.45 The following day, Edward ordered the seizure of contrariants’ estates in Lincolnshire and commanded the sheriff of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire ‘to pursue, arrest and imprison certain contrariants

4 4 Maddicott notes the burning of the town and destruction of Burton bridge at this time: Thomas of Lancaster, p. 310.

46  Paul Dryburgh who are wandering in his bailiwick, taking the posse if necessary’.46 On 11 February, Edward ordered a muster of somewhere approaching 20,000 men at Coventry on 5 March. Four days later, the sheriff of Shropshire and Staffordshire was ordered not to array Somery’s tenants, as John would provide as many men as he could ‘by all means’, although whether this implied from his wider estates is not clear.47 Edward simultaneously ordered all sheriffs to arrest those committing great damages against him and his people and to raise the hue and cry against all who appeared to be contrariants, as certain magnates were going about taking royal castles and towns and those of faithful subjects, killing and wounding such men, stealing their goods and taking grievous ransoms.48 A similar order of 23 February aimed to pursue those contrariants who had, so spies informed the king, been allowed to pass north through Northamptonshire in great number.49 So, while its results did not match the king’s ambition, this was clearly an attempt to mobilize the community of the realm against his opponents, drawing large numbers of people into and through Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and south Yorkshire.50 Eventually, the two armies faced each other across the Trent near Burton in the opening weeks of March 1322.51 Shorn by the defection of his leading retainer Robert de Holand and therefore leading a depleted force estimated at under 1,000 men, Lancaster nevertheless unfurled his banners before fleeing for his castle at Tutbury.52 Described as ‘a fatal move which effectively declared open rebellion against the king’, this allowed Edward to pronounce Lancaster and the contrariants as traitors. They were to be pursued, the king proclaimed on 11 March, with the hue and cry.53 It presaged a final pursuit of Lancaster to his refuge in Pontefract, his defeat at Boroughbridge

46 CFR 1319–27, p. 91; CCR 1318–23, pp. 418, 515–6; Foedera, II, i, pp. 472–3. 47 CPR 1321–24, p. 64; CCR 1318–23, p. 421. Further nationwide commissions were issued on 13–16 February: CPR 1321–24, pp. 73–4; CCR 1318–23, pp. 516, 519, 520–4. 48 CFR 1319–27, p. 96; CCR 1318–23, p. 512; Foedera, II, i, p. 473.

Taking the law into their own hands  47 and the long weeks of bloody retribution enjoyed by Edward against his nemeses.54 Although Lancaster himself initially sought refuge at Tutbury, the main body of his army probably retraced their steps north in flight. It is plausible that men from both armies at Burton passed through Warsop, and that the area was visited by unknown men whose intentions were unclear in such a febrile atmosphere. Indeed, if we return now to the inquisition jurors’ testimony of 9 June concerning the deaths of William of Cadeby and Thomas of Owmby on 12 March, we find they admit they did not know who was in the company of John the smith and William de Colley, their killers, ‘because so many were unknown there in the local area then on account of the disturbance at that time in the realm’.55 We know that Walter of Owmby was keen to stress the link between his brother’s unlawful killing with Burton the day before and that royal officials believed them to have been enemies and rebels of the king at their arrest.56 However, even if we accept that the seizure of these two men, their household and the young men whose arrest they queried on the late morning of 11 March 1322 occurred amid the fog of civil war, or that they perhaps believed they might have the backing of their manorial lord John de Somery in punishing ‘rebels’, the extent and nature of the violence perpetrated against Cadeby and Owmby is altogether more extreme.57 Other men were persecuted after the skirmish, including John de Clif, Lancaster’s retainer, detained for eight days after Burton in nearby Clipstone Peel, but the arrest, overnight detention and beheading of Cadeby and Owmby went beyond legal bounds, as we will now discuss when looking at the perpetrators.58 Why, then, might a gang of Warsop men believe their actions to be proportionate? The identification of the perpetrators is an important step in answering this question. The inquisition jurors could only supply the names of two men – John the smith of Palterton and William de Colley. Palterton lies about seven miles from Warsop, just across the county border into Derbyshire. While not making him a villager, it does not necessarily make him an outsider. William de Colley, however, was from Warsop. We know this because in 1329 Edward III revived the general eyre and licenced trailbaston commissions pursuant to the 1328 Statute of Northampton. Anthony Verduyn has argued that this revival attempted to redress grievances from

54 Maddicott, Thomas of Lancaster, pp. 310–2; Phillips, Edward II, pp. 410–22. 55 quia multi ignoti fuerunt tunc ibidem in patria propter tempus perturbacionis adtunc in regno: SC 8/203/10106; SC 8/204/10184. 56 SC 8/203/10102–3; SC 8/204/10183. 57 On 12 March, the king mandated a pursuit of rebels by Somery and Ralph Basset of Drayton and writs of aid to the sheriffs of five midland shires, including Nottinghamshire: CFR 1319–27, p. 106; CPR 1321–24, p. 81.

48  Paul Dryburgh the past decade of disorder.59 The rex roll of crown pleas from the Nottinghamshire eyre of 1329–1330 names the gang as John of Palterton, John de Colley, John de Mora, Peter de Mora, John de Godeshalue, Robert Gunnild and William, brother of John de Colley of Warsop.60 In this and a subsequent entry, Godeshalue acquitted himself by juror testimony.61 In the same eyre, two other men – Nicholas Barker of Worksop and John Payn of Warsop – who had previously been indicted for the killings were acquitted by, respectively, the record of Richard de Whatton, previous Nottinghamshire assize justice, and the verdict of the visne of Warsop before the Bassetlaw jurors.62 That leaves us with six men found guilty of fleeing sometime after their beheading of Cadeby and Owmby, who were subsequently put in exigent and outlawed. Initially they had been placed in the frankpledge of William Payn of Warsop, but as he did not produce them, he was amerced. Similarly, because the vill of Warsop had not seized them, it was amerced. Had the community closed ranks to protect these men? Later knowledge of their fates thus far escapes us. However, we might see here evidence of the type of local criminal gang of which Scott Waugh and John Bellamy have written, even if on a smaller scale.63 During Easter term 1323, John de Colley failed to respond to a suit in king’s bench against the prior of St Oswald, Nostell, which had small parcels of land in Warsop and a chapel at nearby Sookholme, and so was distrained to appear in Trinity term.64 Warsop, too, was not immune from other small-scale criminality: another plea in King’s Bench of Trinity term 1323 involved Matilda, daughter of John de Blacwell, suing six villagers for trespass, but again they did not come and were distrained to appear in the next term.65 Whatever their offences, they were serious enough to warrant suit before the highest criminal court. That, though, cannot be said of the killers of William of Cadeby and Thomas of Owmby; they were pursued by royal justice for fleeing. Their flight suggests they were aware of the gravity of their actions, but does the considered, apparently deliberate, nature of the overnight detention of their captives before beheading them suggest they perhaps believed themselves to be acting legitimately? Execution by beheading in England was reserved for traitors in the most high profile cases; in the early fourteenth century, it became part of the deconstruction of public reputation and elaborate rituals of dehumanisation

Taking the law into their own hands  49 66

and retaliation. Generally speaking, hanging was the usual judicial means of execution for crime in England.67 Beheading, though, was considered punishment for lesser criminals under certain circumstances: outlaws, those who had persistently failed to answer legal summons and therefore stood outside the law, could be beheaded when captured and killed, if they resisted,68 just like those who were caught (and resisted) after a pursuit on suspicion of a criminal act.69 As Henry Summerson notes in a superb analysis of the law and practice of summary justice, it ‘was certainly capable of being terribly abused’.70 Nevertheless, the fact that the men of Warsop chose beheading as their means of execution for Cadeby and Owmby without the pursuit – and the apparent belief at the time that they were rebels – perhaps indicates they believed themselves to be acting in a semi-official capacity in support of the king at a time of serious disorder. In order to prevent mob rule and lynch law in local justice, the practice of beheading criminals was, in theory, regulated. The arrest of felons was usually based on a system of indictment and appeal before local courts.71 However, in the circumstances outlined above, upon the discovery of an offence – whether that be theft, robbery (stealing with the use of violence) or unlawful killing – the hue was to be raised. Shouts or horn calls were to be issued that would alert anyone in the vicinity.72 Village constables, in charge of policing at community level, were then to raise a posse to begin a pursuit, and a charge was to be made upon capture and before execution. If the raising of the hue and cry was presented at the sheriff’s tourn as expected, it could produce information to alert communities to the presence of criminals and facilitate their pursuit, capture and punishment. The raising of the hue also ought to have resulted in a presentment to the wapentake court, but beheadings should also have been presented to the county court or the eyre.73 The beheadings of William of Cadeby and Thomas of Owmby in Warsop in 1322 conform, as far as we can tell, to none of these judicial practices. The young men following them were arrested, on suspicion of robbery, before Cadeby and Owmby themselves were arrested. We might suspect the wider community of Warsop was increasingly wary of roaming bands of robbers as law and order appeared to fragment in early 1322. Indeed, a petition from the rector of Kippax in West Yorkshire complained about the driving off 66 Westerhof, ‘Deconstructing Identitites’, pp. 87–106. 67 Hudson, English Common Law, p. 78; Summerson, ‘Attitudes to Capital Punishment’, p. 124. 68 Crime, Law and Society, ed. and trans. Musson, p. 17; Bellamy, Crime and Public Order, p. 105.

50  Paul Dryburgh of two horses and 133 sheep from his land at nearby Everton (Nottinghamshire) into the Isle of Axholme by a gang of local men.74 England in the early 1320s was still impacted by the famine which had ravaged western Europe since around 1315 and was dealing with a new threat posed by animal murrain.75 The harvest of 1321 had been poor, the following winter ‘unusually harsh’.76 The escalation of local brigandage and then outbreak of civil war exacerbated a long-standing crisis. As Summerson observed, the activities of thieves ‘were probably seen as all the more dangerous for constituting an attack on the material resources of a society which had very little to spare’, and a small unknown group could also have been a physical as well as material threat.77 We can certainly say that William of Cadeby had a chequered criminal past, although his killers were unlikely to have known. In Hilary term 1321, a year before his killing, Adam of Swillington impleaded ‘William de Cateby’ and thirty other men for forcibly seizing and abducting sixty oxen and sixty cows at Osgodby (Lincolnshire) on 26 May 1320 and of otherwise breaching the king’s peace. The defendants challenged the charge and both sides put themselves on the country.78 However, in Easter term that year, a petition was made to the king on behalf of ‘William de Cateby’, then imprisoned in Lincoln Castle for charges brought before the keepers of the peace.79 William would answer any charge, and the king wished he should be delivered and not be further exhausted by lengthy imprisonment (Nolentes igitur predictum Willelmum per diutinam detencionem in prisona predicta taliter fatigari …). Should he have been found guilty of trespasses not touching felony and could find sufficient mainpernors, then the sheriff should deliver him from gaol. Delivery was achieved by mainprise, the inquisition jurors of 10 January 1321 returning that Cadeby struck and maimed one Robert le Somter of Barlings in the Lincoln fair on 24 June 1317. Moreover, William, said the jurors, ‘is a common evildoer and disturber of the king’s peace’ (est communis malefactor et pacis domini Regis perturbator). There may then have been few in Lincolnshire who lamented his demise. Nevertheless, it remains the case that the only potentially reliable information we have about Cadeby and Owmby’s fate is the inquisition jurors’ testimony that they were detained overnight before being led outside the village to be slain; after their death, they were initially deemed by remote

Taking the law into their own hands  51 royal officials to be enemies and rebels of the king. Accusations of robbery were made against the young men but no judicial presentments followed; we can surmise that the perpetrators were not local officials – constables, bailiffs or even keepers of the watch. By perhaps making it known that their captives had been rebels and therefore potentially to be treated as outlaws as well as robbers might have been greater post factum justification. But no hue was raised and no pursuit made. Even if they offered initial resistance, it would stretch credibility to pass off execution after a detention of maybe thirty hours as representing summary justice. Whether the captors robbed and/or assaulted them during detention is not known and never asserted, but their flight is telling – they did not wish to present their captives to public view, potential liberation or common law justice. This delay speaks of uncertainty, debate and a conspiracy to conceal. Where does this leave us? In the research for this contribution, I have yet to come across exact parallels.80 The vast majority of recorded beheadings in judicial records took place immediately after pursuit, as we would expect, and this appeared to be common usage across England. Nottinghamshire examples from the 1329 to 1330 eyre show the crown exerting its post factum rights rather than challenging the usage itself: the sheriff of Lincolnshire was ordered to attach a sub-escheator to explain to the king and the men of Kneesall why he had withheld goods seized from malefactors beheaded in flight there for homicide, without warrant; the community of Treswell by Retford was amerced because it buried the killers of a priest beheaded in flight outwith the view of the coroners.81 This has echoes of the Warsop case with the Nottinghamshire coroners certifying that they had not examined the body of William of Cadeby because they knew nothing about it.82 There may not have been a body to present! However, the potentially strongest echoes of the Warsop case I can find come in 1408, where miscreants in Leicestershire placed individuals under house arrest and in shackles.83 Once their abettors arrived, they plotted how to kill their captives, and ‘falsely and feloniously usurping and taking upon themselves the royal power and without any legal authority’, they beheaded the victims. In this case, though, the perpetrators were pardoned. It is also not implausible that Cadeby had an idea of the fate which awaited them. He was a frequent visitor to Lincoln and had in 1321 been imprisoned in the castle. He may well have heard of the notorious 1318 case of

80 Summerson counted fifty-seven beheadings in the 1292 Lancashire eyre. Noteworthy examples where the crown disputed the action or the perpetrators justified it according to local custom can be found in Crown Pleas of the Lancashire Eyre, ed. Lynch, II, pp. 50–1, no. 65; 114–5, no. 186; 126–9, no. 204; 132–5, no. 218a–b; 156–7, no. 228; 158–9, no. 231; 206–9, no. 307; 412–3, no. 719.

52  Paul Dryburgh an extra-judicial beheading just outside the city.84 Following a wage dispute between Elias Martel of Canwick and his servant Thomas Leure, Elias and two other men assaulted Thomas with a falchion, poleaxe and long knife. When the village constables were called by Elias, they found Thomas bleeding profusely and his hands tied. The constables flatly refused to comply with Elias’ request to take the dying man out of the vill and behead him for stealing a white mare, saying: it was not the custom in the county of Lincoln to behead anyone restrained or for whatever reason arrested, rather it is the custom to take a prisoner of this kind in Lincoln and to present him to the sheriff with the stolen goods … Undeterred and under cover of night, Elias and his accomplices dragged Thomas to Galgtrepittes near Bracebridge and beheaded him. They presented the head to the constables and compelled them to present it to the sheriff. As they acknowledged that the hue had not been raised and they did not know the deceased, the sheriff refused to accept the presentment. Here then we have a beheading carried out secretly with some forethought. And yet, in this and none of these other examples have we beheadings for which no hue and cry or pursuit had been raised, the detention of the victims for more than a day and then execution with little ceremony outside the bounds of the community. That a small group of local men could expedite killings of apparent strangers without obvious personal motive and of dubious legitimacy fits with what we know about disturbances locally and nationally during the civil war of 1321/1322. It also speaks both to the fear within communities in this part of England of the criminal consequences of loyalties and enmities over which they had little control and the lengths to which individuals might go for personal gain, including the exploitation and misappropriation of legal usage and practice. There is, however, much about the remarkable arrest, detention and beheading of William of Cadeby, Thomas of Owmby and their three nameless companions that remains inscrutable, even to the record.

Acknowledgements This contribution owes its inspiration to a presentation, ‘Murder, Mayhem and Executive Stress in 1320s Lincolnshire’, delivered at the 2017 International Medieval Congress by Alison McHardy. I am incredibly grateful to Dr McHardy for sharing her text and allowing me to follow in her formidable footsteps. The petitions on which this contribution is based are now published in Petitions from Lincolnshire, ed. Dodd and McHardy, nos 52A-K, pp. 79–87. The transcriptions and translations above are my own, however. 84 KB 27/235, rot. 98, and commentary in Crime, Law and Society, ed. and trans. Musson, pp. 239–41.

Taking the law into their own hands  53 I would also like to thank Dr David Crook for reading and commenting on a draft. All conclusions are my own.

Bibliography Manuscript sources London, British Library Cotton Nero MS D X, chronicle 1287–1323, attributed to Nicholas Trivet. London, The National Archives C 134: Inquisition post mortem. C 241: Certificate of Statute Merchant. JUST 1: Eyre Roll. JUST 4: Assize File, 1314–23. KB 27: King’s Bench plea roll. SC 8: Ancient Petitions.

Printed primary sources Anonimalle Chronicle 1307 to 1334, ed. W. R. Childs and J. Taylor, Yorkshire Archaeological Society, Record Series, cxlvii (Leeds, 1991). Calendar of Close Rolls, Edward II, 4 vols (London, 1892–98). Calendar of Documents Relating to Scotland Preserved in the Public Record Office, ed. J. Bain, 4 vols (Edinburgh, 1883–7). Calendar of Fine Rolls, Edward II, 2 vols (London, 1912). Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, vol. VI: 1316–1327 (London, 1910). Calendar of Patent Rolls, Edward II-Edward III, 6 vols (London, 1891–1904). Crime, Law and Society in the Later Middle Ages, ed. and trans. A. J. Musson, with E. Powell (Manchester, 2009). Crown Pleas of the Lancashire Eyre 1292, ed. M. Lynch, 2 vols (The Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire CXLVIII–CXLIX, 2014–5). Foedera, conventiones, litterae et cujuscunque generis acta publica, ed. T. Rymer, 2 vols (London, 1816–20). Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs in England and Wales to 1516, ed. Samantha Letters – online edition ( The Parliament Rolls of Medieval England [PROME], ed. P. A. Brand, A. Curry, C. Given-Wilson, R. E. Horrox, G. H. Martin, W. M. Ormrod and J. R. S. Phillips, 16 vols (Woodbridge, 2005) – online edition. Petitions from Lincolnshire, c. 1200–c. 1500, ed. G. Dodd and A. K. McHardy, Lincoln Record Society 108 (Woodbridge, 2020). Statutes of the Realm, 11 vols (London, 1801–28). Vita Edwardi Secundi, ed. N. Denholm-Young (London, 1957).

Secondary sources Bell, A. R., Brooks, C. and Dryburgh, P. R., The English Wool Market, c. 1230–1327 (Cambridge, 2007). Bellamy, J. G., ‘The Coterel Gang: An Anatomy of a Band of Fourteenth-Century Criminals’, EHR 79 (1964), 698–717.

54  Paul Dryburgh Bellamy, J. G., Crime and Public Order in England in the Later Middle Ages (London, 1973). Bennett, N. H., ‘Burghersh, Henry (c. 1290–1340), Bishop of Lincoln’, ODNB: https://doi-org/10.1093/ref:odnb/4007. Buck, M. C., Politics, Finance and the Church in the Reign of Edward II: Walter Stapledon, Treasurer of England (Cambridge, 1983). Crook, D., ‘Clipstone Park and “Peel”’, Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire 80 (1976), 35–46. Davies, J. C., ‘The Despenser War in Glamorgan’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Third Series 9 (1915), 21–64. Dodd, G., ‘Parliamentary Petitions? The Origins and Provenance of the “Ancient Petitions” (SC 8) in the National Archives’, in Medieval Petitions: Grace and Grievance, ed. W. M. Ormrod, G. Dodd and A. Musson (Woodbridge, 2009), pp. 12–46. Frost, J. A., The Foundation of Nostell Priory, 1109–1153, Borthwick Papers 111 (York, 2007). Haines, R. M., The Church and Politics in Fourteenth-Century England: The Career of Adam Orleton, c. 1275–1345 (Cambridge, 1978). Harris, S. J., ‘Taking Your Chances: Petitioning in the Last Years of Edward II and the First Years of Edward III’, in Medieval Petitions: Grace and Grievance, ed. W. M. Ormrod, G. Dodd and A. J. Musson (Woodbridge, 2009), pp. 173–92. Hill, J. F., Medieval Lincoln (Stamford, CT, 1990). Hill, R. M. T., ‘Melton, William (d. 1340), Archbishop of York’, ODNB: https:// doi-org/10.1093/ref:odnb/18538. Hudson, J. F., The Formation of the English Common Law. Law and Society in England from the Norman Conquest to Magna Carta (London, 1996). Kaeuper, R. W., ‘Law and Order in Fourteenth-Century England: The Evidence of Special Commissions of Oyer and Terminer’, Speculum 54 (1979), 734–84. Kershaw, I., ‘The Great Famine and Agrarian Crisis, 1315–1322’, P&P 59 (May 1973), 3–50. King, A. C., ‘False Traitors or Worthy Knights? Treason and Rebellion against Edward II in the Scalacronica and the Anglo-Norman Prose Brut Chronicles’, Historical Research 88:239 (2015), 34–47. Lloyd, T. H., The English Wool Trade in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1977). Maddicott, J. R., Thomas of Lancaster, 1307–1322: A Study in the Reign of Edward II (Oxford, 1970). Maddicott, J. R., ‘Thomas of Lancaster, Second Earl of Lancaster, Second Earl of Leicester, and Earl of Lincoln (c. 1278–1322)’, ODNB: https://doi-org/10.1093/ ref:odnb/27195. Musson, A. J., Public Order and Law Enforcement: The Local Administration of Criminal Justice, 1294–1350 (Woodbridge, 1996). Newfield, T., ‘A Cattle Panzootic in Early Fourteenth-Century Europe’, Agricultural History Review 57 (2009), 155–90. Nightingale, P., ‘Knights and Merchants: Trade, Politics and the Gentry in Late Medieval England’, P&P 169 (2000), 36–62. Ormrod, W. M., ‘The Road to Boroughbridge. The Civil War of 1321–2 in the Ancient Petitions’, in Foundations of Medieval Scholarship: Records Edited in Honour of David Crook, ed. P. Brand and S. Cunningham (York, 2008), pp. 77–88.

Taking the law into their own hands  55 Ormrod, W. M., ‘Introduction: Medieval Petitions in Context’, in Medieval Petitions: Grace and Grievance, ed. W. M. Ormrod, G. Dodd and A. Musson (Woodbridge, 2009), pp. 1–11. Phillips, J. R. S., Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke, 1307–24: Baronial Politics in the Reign of Edward II (Oxford, 1972). Phillips, J. R. S., Edward II (New Haven, CT and London, 2010). Platts, G., Land and People in Medieval Lincolnshire (Lincoln, 1985). Power, E., The Wool Trade in English Medieval History (Oxford, 1941). Prestwich, M. C., ‘The Ordinances of 1311 and the Politics of the Early Fourteenth Century’, in Politics and Crisis in Fourteenth-Century England, ed. J. Taylor and W. R. Childs (Gloucester, 1990), pp. 1–18. Rigby, S. H., Boston, 1086–1225: A Medieval Boom Town (Lincoln, 2017). Summerson, H. R. T., ‘Attitudes to Capital Punishment 1200–1350’, in Thirteenth Century England VIII, ed. M. C. Prestwich, R. H. Britnell and R. F. Frame (Woodbridge, 2001), pp. 123–33. Summerson, H. R. T., ‘Introduction’, in Crown Pleas of the Lancashire Eyre 1292, ed. M. Lynch, The Record Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, CXLVIII (Chester, 2014), pp. 1–60. Tebbit, A., ‘Household Knights and Military Service Under the Direction of Edward II’, in The Reign of Edward II: New Perspectives, ed. G. Dodd and A. J. Musson (Woodbridge, 2006), pp. 76–96. Thoroton, R., Thoroton’s History of Nottinghamshire: Volume 3, Republished with Large Additions by John Throsby, ed. J. Throsby (Nottingham, 1796). Tringham, N. J., ed. A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 9, BurtonUpon-Trent (London, 2003). Trueman, J. H., ‘The Statute of York and the Ordinances of 1311’, Speculum 31 (1956), 611–25. Verduyn, A., ‘The Politics of Law and Order during the Early Years of Edward III’, EHR 108 (1993), 842–67. Waugh, S. L., ‘The Profits of Violence: The Minor Gentry in the Rebellion of 1321– 1322 in Gloucestershire and Herefordshire’, Speculum 52 (1977), 843–69. Westerhof, D., ‘Deconstructing Identities on the Scaffold: The Execution of Hugh Despenser the Younger, 1326’, JMH 33 (2007), 87–106.


On the road and in the market Chaucer’s mapping of 1381 Sylvia Federico

In the weeks and months immediately following the Great Rising of 1381, witnesses and commentators tried to make sense of what had happened: was there a discernible purpose to the violence, even a misguided one? Or was it a monstrous expression of diabolical inspiration, signifying nothing?1 The judicial system, similarly, was at pains to distinguish leaders of the rebellion who had some responsibility for its aims and objectives from the general mass of followers, and to further distinguish these groups from people who were simply caught up in or even themselves victimized by events.2 Modern historians have largely inherited these taxonomies in attempts to assign meaning to the revolt.3 Some of its signal characteristics – the burning of documents, for instance, the reading of proclamations or the carrying of banners of St George – are activities deemed to be aligned with political goals, such as an end to serfdom, organization of alternative governance or reform of the king’s council, and are privileged as such. Other crimes – such as assault or theft – although far more prevalent in the records, are understood to be merely opportunistic, unguided by a discernible ideology

On the road and in the market  57 and therefore not really part of the rebellion. Indeed, the fact that the overwhelming number of charges in the aftermath of the revolt involves such non-ideological crimes has disqualified it as a political movement for many analysts.4 The current essay is inspired by Mark Ormrod’s consistent glossing of the ways in which medieval accounts of seemingly private or personal (and often sexualized) topics were in fact essential elements of political rhetoric.5 Like Ormrod, I will read the political in the personal, and suggest in this case that we err in trying to separate out those aspects of the revolt that look to us to be strategic from those that seem merely tactical.6 Using spatial analysis, this essay attempts to more precisely track the ways in which small-scale, opportunistic and palpably self-interested energies during the Rising of 1381 defined political action for its participants and contemporary observers. At the same time that scholarship has privileged the ‘big idea actions’ of the rebellion over the smaller ones, so also have we witnessed a common bias towards the events in London as those more important to the aims of the rebels, with regional events correspondingly less weighted.7 But unmediated localness is of paramount importance to understanding the ideology of the revolt. As Steven Justice has written, the rebels’ principles of political reform centred on the distinction between the ‘plague of clerkly administration’ and the ‘contractual, face-to-face, communally sanctioned life of the rural village’.8 Citing Thomas Walsingham, Justice continues that the rebels ‘“judged no name more honorable than the name communitas”—rightly understood to be the village as a political corporation with rights and responsibilities in the common law, derived immediately from the crown’.9 The rebels’ knowledge of the forms of such law was supported by the ‘persistence

58  Sylvia Federico of local memory in the countryside’.10 If we acknowledge the Rising of 1381 as primarily inspired by and reflecting local concerns, knowledge and grievances, not only do those localities themselves become our proper object of study, but the idea of place emerges as an urgent symbol of and conduit for its main motives. This paper revisits the debate over the political meaning of the Rising of 1381 through a fresh consideration of roads and markets as the spaces not just in which or via which the events of the revolt took place, but rather as spaces that inspired and reflected the rebels’ ideas of social justice. Through such analysis, we see that the ‘super-localism’11 of the rebellion – the disparate and hopelessly idiosyncratic motives that have often disqualified it as a coherent movement in the judgement of many historians – is in fact its main point. I also suggest how Chaucer’s ‘General Prologue’ to The Canterbury Tales not only maps onto this overlooked spatial aspect of the ‘grammar of insurgency’12 in late medieval England, but indeed constitutes a major component of that discourse; in light of the evidence, we must reorient our understanding of what Caroline Barron has called Chaucer’s ‘almost complete silence about the events of 1381’.13

On the road As much as proclamations, which were one of the hallmarks of the rebellion, roads themselves were the ‘regular means of mass communication in the late Middle Ages’.14 In addition to the thousands of miles of Roman roads, a large system of secondary roads emerged during the Middle Ages to serve more local needs. This secondary system, as F. M. Stenton notes: provided alternative routes between many pairs of distant towns, united port and inland markets, permitted regular if not always easy communication between the villages of a shire and the county town which was its head, and brought every part of the country within a fortnight’s ride of London.15 Villagers or townspeople who would have regularly travelled to markets, and less frequently but still regularly the longer distances to fairs, would have possessed a ready local knowledge of the routes that connected their

On the road and in the market  59

Figure 3.1 Roman and secondary roads in Essex and Kent.

villages and manors with others in their county, including ‘stretches of prehistoric ridgeway, cart-ways which had originally formed the boundary of Saxon furlongs, and [very small] track-ways which had once led through woodlands or across wastes’.16 Although small roads existed all over medieval England, Figure 3.1 shows a striking absence of secondary roads in Kent, where the majority of the outbreaks of revolt in 1381 occurred at points arrayed along the large Roman roads.17 Terrain is a key consideration for this phenomenon: where the marshy lowlands of the northern Thames estuary permitted the use of many secondary roads (and also encouraged the use of small craft upon brooks and streams), we see a large amount of rebel activity happening away from the Roman roads in Essex. The hills, downs and valleys of Northern Kent, however, made footpaths and small cartways more conducive for travel and the

60  Sylvia Federico establishment of a secondary road system impractical. Knowledge of these often obscure ways, the details specific to most effectively getting through territory – or even those specific to most productively wandering by the way – was proper to those local men and women who had traversed the space for years, with the backways and byways functioning as alternatives to the ‘king’s highway’.18 Such communication became a major source of contention when villagers were denied access to casual movement on the main road, as they increasingly were in the years leading up to the revolt. In 1381, the type of road you were on served as a marker of belonging to one or several of the main contesting groups of the revolt. These patterns also underscore the main characteristic of this revolt: how individual and group actions became legible as ‘political’ activities even while at the same time remaining fixed to their local place of origin. From 1376, when a commons petition against vagrants was introduced in the Good Parliament, walking on the public road without an authorized reason was considered a crime.19 The impetus for the petition was to further restrict workers’ free movement in the wake of the largely ineffective rules codified in the 1352 Statute of Labourers. In the post-plague devastated countryside, the 1376 petition notes, servants and labourers – if they were accused by their masters of poor work or were insulted at being paid the legally suppressed wage – would ‘take flight and suddenly leave their employment and district, going from county to county, hundred to hundred, and vill to vill, in places strange and unknown to their masters’. While at large in this way, the wayward workers were received and taken into service in new places, ‘at such dear wages that example and encouragement is afforded to all servants to depart into fresh places, and go from master to master as soon as they are displeased with any matter’. Even worse, the petition continues, these wanderers often lolled about, becoming beggars and ‘staff strikers’ in order to lead an idle life.20 The context for the petition, in the mid- to late 1370s, shows how private parties increasingly took legal action to frustrate the rapid social dynamism of the post-plague years. As Kellie Robertson has demonstrated, these newer forms of legal practice effectively excluded the lower orders of society from benefits that landowners increasingly enjoyed, mainly the freedom to determine labour contracts and to bring goods and services to

On the road and in the market  61 21

market. By the 1380s, as Shane Legassie observes, the situation was such that any movement on the road could be deemed suspicious in the context of routine crackdowns on vagabonds, wayfarers and so-called ‘false pilgrims’, all in the service of curbing the mobility – and by extension, the power – of labourers.22 The freedom to negotiate an advantageous price for one’s own labour and the related freedom to move about to secure such a transaction form the ideological backbone of the rebels’ objectives – however individually diverse they may have been. From the demand for the ‘end to serfdom’ to the destruction of objectionable documents, and from the attacks on lawyers to the attacks on foreign workers in London, the contested road is not just the route taken to say and do such things, but is the motivator of such things. And as much as a proclamation or a banner, being on the road signalled being a rebel in 1381. The well-known case of John Shirle of Nottinghamshire shows how the new vagrancy laws were used in the aftermath of the revolt to ensnare its participants. Shirle was accused, in pleas held on 16 July 1381, of speaking ‘damaging words’ in a tavern in Bridge Street, Cambridge – mainly the opinion that the rebel John Ball had been unjustly condemned to death. For this crime he was hanged. But the indictment notes that Shirle was initially arrested because he had been a vagrant. He: was taken because it was found that he had been a vagabond [vagabundus] in various counties during the whole time of the disturbance, insurrection and tumult, carrying lies as well as silly and worthless talk from district to district, whereby the peace of the lord the king could rapidly be broken and the people be disquieted and disturbed.23 Given the context of the sanctions against gathering in the road, to be present on it was assumed to be an act of rebellion. As the authorities understood with Shirle, so also people in the countryside understood of themselves. The records frequently describe people gathering in the woods to organize in secret before then moving en masse to the public road. The rebels, largely drawn from Essex and Kent, did not simply leave those counties and march to London; rather, their presence on the roads within the counties constituted much of their revolt.24 Mobs gathered

24 In the four counties of Kent (118), Hertfordshire (35), Essex (105) and Suffolk (72), some 330 villages were involved in the Rising. See Dyer, ‘Social and Economic Background’, who has extracted the names of 400 rural rebels (actual number is probably tenfold that), and estimates that 107 court rolls were destroyed (p. 12). Incidentally, Dobson surmises

62  Sylvia Federico in woods and forests before taking to the rural roads, using the cover of the forest to conspire and lay plans: Walsingham tells us that Falcon Wood outside St Albans was used as such a convening spot25, while the Chester Indictment Roll records ‘secret confederacies within the woods and other hidden places’ near Chester.26 On the way home, the woods and forests were again used as hiding places when the tide had turned and the rebels were being sought for justice: Walsingham describes people hiding in ditches in Essex trying to escape the pursuit of Woodstock and Percy; the soldiers pursued many men to the edge of the forest but would not follow them in, because of the danger.27 After ‘abandoning to the soldiers the 800 horses they had been using to draw and carry their loads’, many men were ‘protected and saved by the cover of the woods’ and went on to try to regroup in Colchester.28 While the woods were teeming with agitated folk, the open roads were where their defiance was made manifest.29

In the market While the road system was the fundamental communication network in 1381, the market was the fundamental ‘node’ within that network.30 The market is also the place at which people and goods circulating via unofficial

25 26 27

28 29


that one of the reasons so many villages and towns immediately to the north and south of the Thames estuary (i.e., southern Essex and northern Kent) rose up was because these people were, ‘like the Londoners themselves, undoubtedly nervous about the dangers of a naval attack up the Thames in the years immediately before 1381’ (Peasants’ Revolt, p. xxxvi). Peasants’ Revolt, ed. Dobson, pp. 269–74 (citing Walsingham, Historia Anglicana, I, pp. 467–73). Peasants’ Revolt, ed. Dobson, p. 297 (citing Chester Indictment Roll, Chester 25, no. 8, membr. 57). It is interesting to note here how Walsingham’s imagination conjures the woods as a terrifying wilderness, into which vast numbers of people could simply vanish – an idea reflected in contemporary popular romances and ballads that situate the forest as a site of heroic outlawry – when in fact the English countryside, including its forests, had been intensively cultivated and managed for years. Chaucer himself, of course, served as substitute forester in North Petherton (Somerset) during the Canterbury Tales period. See Weiskott, ‘Chaucer the Forester’. On the connection between forests and ‘outlaw romance’, see Harlan-Haughey, Ecology of the English Outlaw, passim. Peasants’ Revolt, ed. Dobson, pp. 311–2 (citing Walsingham, Historia Anglicana, II, pp. 16–22). The emphasis on secrecy was a constant theme in the judicial records from the Rising and its several ‘after shocks’: in September of 1382, for instance, a group of people in Norfolk were inspired by the devil to try to capture and kill Henry Despenser. Their plan was to go ‘secretly to Saint Faith’s fair and force all the people gathered there either to swear to support them or to suffer immediate slaughter. If successful, they planned to occupy the abbey of St Benet of Hulme secretly’ (Peasants’ Revolt, ed. Dobson, p. 334, citing Walsingham, Historia Anglicana, II, p. 70). For more on this conspiracy, see Prescott, ‘Abbey of St Benet of Holme’, passim. Masschaele, ‘Public Space’, p. 390.

On the road and in the market  63 channels enter the public sphere. More than 1,000 markets were created in England between 1200 and 1350, reflecting as many scholars have noted the increasing role of money in the medieval economy.31 The right to hold a market was granted by royal franchise and entitled the holder to certain economic advantages, including the collection of tolls and ‘a monopoly of sales transactions in the surrounding area’.32 Given the financial rewards of a successful franchise, the distance between markets emerged as a highly contentious matter, as markets established too close to each other would undermine the monopoly that the franchise guaranteed.33 Even if not all market franchises were profitable, the monopolies were nevertheless resented by those who did not have them, a situation specifically singled out for complaint during the revolt. One of the rebels’ signal demands – right along with the request ‘to be free and quit of all bondage and the yoke of servitude’ – during their meeting with the king at Mile End was that they ‘should in future be free to buy and sell in all cities, boroughs, and market towns’.34 This direct appeal to Richard II sought to negotiate a fair deal between the monarch and the commons, sidestepping those in between – administrators and landowners – who either were perceived to be indifferent to the problem or were actually benefitting from it. The right to negotiate in direct free exchange was a crucial means of asserting oneself as an agent in what historians frequently refer to as the new transactionalism of the late fourteenth century. Claire Valente underscores this point in noting that the rebels of 1381: perceived, largely correctly, that access to the king’s justice was more restricted than previously, that the nobles no longer were acting as representatives of the community and that, even if the parliamentary Commons was taking up that role, it did so fitfully and fruitlessly.35

34 Reign of Richard II, ed. McHardy, pp. 68–9, citing Historia Vitae, ed. Stow, pp. 61–6.

64  Sylvia Federico Such a perception of the need to act on one’s own behalf, with one’s own resources, reinforces Paul Strohm’s foundational assertion on the shift in late fourteenth-century English social relations, from the vertically oriented feudalism to a reoriented horizontal plane of individual transactions, and from static to dynamic definitions of status or station.36 As economic forces were reshaping the possibilities for defining one’s place in society, the market emerges not only as a crucial space for such jostling but also as a key signifier of cultural transformation. As a place and as a symbol for the idea of social place, the market offered the very kind of redress sought by the rebels of 1381. Markets were furthermore fundamental to the valuable exchanges of news or tidings that enabled the landscape of social change in late medieval England.37 Because of their centrality to the social life of rural villagers, markets were typically used as sites for the official reading of royal proclamations.38 As James A. Doig writes, proclamations could cover a wide range of subjects, including requests for certain people to be present on a specified day at a specified place, and orders to secure certain types of action.39 And while Latin was the language of the writ, local village officials, possibly the sheriff’s clerks, were responsible for translating the text of the proclamation into English.40 The rebels imitated this form of communication in their own proclamations: writing, posting and reading aloud at the market their orders and requests for action41; the marketplace, because it brought together an ‘influx of people from surrounding villages’, ensured that the information or news would ‘reach as broad a public as possible’.42 As I have tried to show in Figure 3.2, the spatial patterning of markets in 1381 provided an ideal communication network for such tidings through widespread and dense territory, from home to market and back home again and then on to another market the following day. It would seem inevitable that the established routes for bringing goods and news to market became the routes used for the revolt; or, to put it another way, the revolt was communicated so quickly because many saw in it

36 See Strohm, Social Chaucer, passim. 37 See Britnell, ‘Markets, Shops, Inns, Taverns and Private Houses’, passim. 38 As Masschaele, ‘Public Space’, writes, for the royal administration ‘the chief advantage of using markets to broadcast information lay in their popularity with the peasantry’ (p. 391).

On the road and in the market  65

Figure 3.2 Market towns in Essex and Kent.

a ready opportunity, a market, in which to trade in their own definitions of justice. The Dunstable chronicler’s account neatly maps the rebels’ use of the road and market network to convey themselves and their demands. The chronicler notes that the outbreak of violence in Dunstable happened after a group of merchants went to the market at St Albans, thirteen miles away, where they witnessed the attack on the abbey; as they returned home later that day, they entered into a ‘conspiracy’ among themselves to attack the priory of their own town.43 These merchant rebels, who included the mayor, extorted from the prior a charter of liberties, including an article ‘that the butchers and fishermen of the neighbouring towns should not sell meat and fish within the borough of Dunstable’.44 In short, they demanded

4 4 Ibid.

66  Sylvia Federico a monopoly – the very opposite of the market deregulation that the rebels of Mile End asked for. These examples show us how established road and market patterns structured the movement of people and ideas during the revolt, but also demonstrate how the outbreaks of violence in 1381 were flashpoints for very specific local antagonisms, de-centred and often spontaneous – as opposed to a unified, concerted, coordinated effort. The rebels did not have a uniform set of desires. But they did have a common desire to enter into exchanges whose profit and purpose were to be determined by themselves, each according to her or his own aims and objectives.45 As Andrew Prescott has written, historians must avoid applying a reductionist view of the political character of this revolt, which was after all often spread by lunatic vagabonds’ rumours in roadside taverns.46 But we must be careful to not dismiss the homely local or roadside tavern as a site for revolt in favour of some grander public stage. Like roads and markets, ale stalls, taverns and inns play a crucial role in understanding the political meaning of 1381. As the work of Judith Bennett and Peter Clark has shown, a number of subversively charged social networks converge in the consumption and production of ale, with brewsters considered a particularly disobedient lot, inns to be places of ill repute and drinkers, of course, to be loose of both speech and morals.47 These observations consistently accompany contemporary narratives of the revolt, virtually all of which, as Ralph Hanna has observed, ‘comment at some point on foolish drunkenness’.48 Shirle’s case, already discussed in relation to his being taken as a vagabond, is further significant in that he was accused of spreading news of the revolt in a tavern, in the market town of Cambridge. Not only was he on the road with no legitimate purpose or destination, with the sole apparent function of his motility to ‘carr[y] lies as well as silly and worthless talk’, he stopped long enough in a drinking hall to disseminate his views. One man’s ravings become a conspiracy when shared with a group: as Hanna comments, Shirle’s speech, in ‘communicating events that have occurred at a distance’, functions as a kind of ‘super-localism, the enunciated interconnection of communities through “news”’.49 Shirle’s case underscores the idea that according to the authorities, taverns are places where local matters become weaponized and rebels are formed.

48 Hanna, ‘Pilate’s Voice’, pp. 798–9.

On the road and in the market  67

Chaucer’s rebels The importance of the tavern as a gathering site for plotters of mischief cannot be understated. We must also bear in mind that the pilgrimage route along the road through Kent to Canterbury was a main conduit for the rebellion. The Kentishmen, according to Walsingham, once they heard what the men from Essex were doing, without delay did the same thing: ‘in a short time they stirred up almost the whole province to a similar state of tumult’. Crucially, they focused on the pilgrimage road: soon they blocked all the pilgrimage routes to Canterbury, stopped all pilgrims of whatever condition and forced them to swear… to promise to come and join the rebellion when they were sent for and to induce their fellow villagers to join them, and to pay no tax except the customary fifteenths. Walsingham continues that ‘soon afterwards the news of these deeds passed rapidly through the counties’.50 Such news would have had to have travelled – like all pilgrims would have travelled – along the bottleneck of the main road (the peculiarity of the terrain through this section of Kent having resulted in a lack of secondary roads), creating a forced density of mixed types of traffic. The way to Canterbury, in other words, was a natural conduit for conflict, a place where social antagonists could not help but meet. This very road played a prominent role in a new conspiracy that arose in Kent in September 1381: according to the confession of John Cote of Loose in the parish of Maidstone, some pilgrims recently ‘come out of the north country to the town of Canterbury, related in the said county of Kent’ that John of Gaunt had made all his natives free, a rumor that inspired a group of ‘malefactors’.51 As Legassie reminds us, part of the restrictions on mobility during the last quarter of the fourteenth century focused on pilgrims, who ‘were singled out for particular scrutiny, occasioning satire, moral panic, and—increasingly—institutionalized surveillance’.52 In this climate of increased scrutiny, inns were identified in 1384 as sites of particular concern, since the assembling of wayfarers that typically occurred there had the potential to threaten civic peace. The law was established in the City of London: that all innkeepers within the liberty should be sworn to harbour no one longer than a day and night, unless they were willing to answer for

50 Peasants’ Revolt, ed. Dobson, p. 133 (citing Walsingham, Historia Anglicana, ed. Riley, I, pp. 453–6). 51 Ibid., p. 324 (citing Coram Rege Roll, Michaelmas 5 Richard II [KB 27/482, Rex membr. 1]). 52 Legassie, Medieval Invention, p. 5.

68  Sylvia Federico them and their acts, nor to receive to their tables any strangers called ‘travaillyngmen’ or others, unless they had good and sufficient surety from them for their good and loyal behaviour.53 From the mid-1380s, even to assemble in an inn was potentially to arouse suspicion. Of course, we cannot now avoid seeing The Canterbury Tales in relation to the prevalent contemporary restrictions on and opinions regarding insurgent travel, vagrancy and false pilgrims: when Chaucer’s far-flung wayfarers gather in an inn in Southwark, elect a leader and make a sworn pact (‘forward’) among themselves to ride together towards the market town of Canterbury, telling tales of foolishness along the very road that large numbers traversed in 1381, the potential for reading the text’s subversion, criminal mischief and threat of violence is high. Several scholars have productively framed the issue: David Aers, for instance, has pointed to the way the text ‘reflect[s] market values and pursuits’54 and Strohm has glossed its road narrative as a celebration of variable style in relation to hegemonic discourse,55 but neither has fully considered the meaning of the market and the road in relation to 1381. Justice has come closest in seeing the map of the revolt in the narrative device of Chaucer’s poem, noting that as the pilgrims move along the road, ‘the places they pass are potential palimpsests through which the memory of the Rising threatens to appear’. But Justice considers this possible specter of 1381 as a temporal, and thus past, event, arguing that Chaucer ‘almost invites recollection’ of 1381 but ultimately ‘must ward it off to secure its own continuation’.56 In this, Justice joins other critics who see various moments in the text as temporarily expressive of rebel sympathies: Lee Patterson on the Miller, for instance, or Susan Crane on the Wife of Bath, both of whom suggest that Chaucer briefly imagines rebel ideology only to have it shut down, replaced with a diffusion of merely local or occupational antagonisms.57 But if recent work on the revolt has established anything, it is that the local or occupational is the political in 1381. If we understand the market and the road as they signified to the rebels, as conduits for and symbols of their own capacity for status motility, we see that Chaucer is anything but silent. The tales are ‘news’ – from separate places and perspectives – that in their exchange become ‘super-local’ and thus forge a community, however

56 Justice, Writing and Rebellion, pp. 224–5. In thinking more about Justice’s idea of the ‘palimpsest’, I have wondered if the movement of Chaucer’s pilgrims along the rebels’ road but counter-directionally away from London might be considered a movement back in time, back towards the submerged (and largely silenced) local events and antagonisms that inspired the revolt.

On the road and in the market  69 carnivalesque or ‘topsy turvy’ in nature.58 Throughout this poem that is famously about which forms of language pertain to specific types of knowledge, control over such forms constitutes a major point of contention among the pilgrims on the road and between the characters within their tales – many of whom display a deep familiarity with literate and legal writing and engage in intellectually precise attacks on that documentary culture. These depictions contribute to Chaucer’s comedic strategy, as the ‘low’ characters, like so many of the rebels of 1381, consistently demonstrate knowledge that falls outside of their proper place, surprising and typically besting their ‘betters’. The tales themselves are expressions of individual agency (through tissues or layers, of source material and influence, parody and satire) that cumulatively constitute a discourse of insurgency, whether fine or crude, reflecting either a coherent philosophy or merely a desire to settle an old score. ‘I was of hir felaweshipe anon’,59 says Chaucer’s rebel narrator, joining himself with a group of strangers met in an inn, diverse folk with diverse views who negotiate a contract, hit the road with their scandalous tidings and transact with each other to define and maintain their own advantage along the way. Chaucer’s poem is steeped in the values of the revolt and, though naming it only once,60 thoroughly engages its ideological space.

Acknowledgements I am very grateful to Helen Lacey and Zach Stone for their many helpful comments on this essay, and to Michael Hanrahan and Branden Rush for their help with the maps.

Bibliography Printed primary sources Annales Monastici, Annales Prioratus de Dunstaplia, Annales Monasterii de Bermundeseia, ed. H. R. Luard, 5 vols (London, 1866). The Calendar of Select Pleas and Memoranda of the City of London, ed. A. H. Thomas, 3 vols (London, 1926–32). G. Chaucer, Riverside Chaucer, ed. L. D. Benson (Boston, 1986). Chronicon Henrici Knighton, ed. J. P. Lumby, Rolls Series, 2 vols (London, 1889).

70  Sylvia Federico Historia Vitae et Regni Ricardi Secundi, ed. G. B. Stow (Philadelphia, 1977). The Peasants’ Revolt of 1381, ed. R. B. Dobson, 2nd ed (London, 1983). The Peasants’ Rising and the Lollards, ed. E. Powell and G. M. Trevelyan (London, 1899). The Reign of Richard II: From Minority to Tyranny, 1377–97, ed. and trans. A. K. McHardy (Manchester, 2012). Rotuli Parliamentorum; ut et Petitiones, et Placita in Parliamento, ed. J. Strachey, 6 vols (London, 1767–77). T. Walsingham, Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Lumby, Rolls Series, 2 vols (London, 1862–4).

Secondary sources Aers, D., Chaucer (Brighton, MI, 1986). Barron, C., ‘Review of Steven Justice, Writing and Rebellion’, Albion 29 (1997), 277–9. Bennett, J. M., Ale, Beer and Brewsters in England: Women’s Work in a Changing World, 1300–1600 (Oxford, 1996). Bennett, J. M., ‘Compulsory Service in Late Medieval England’, P&P 209 (2010), 7–51. Briggs, K., Maps of Roman Roads in England: All Roads ( images/Roman_roads_NG_all.pdf). Britnell, R. H., The Commercialisation of English Society, 1100–1500 (Manchester, 1996). Britnell, R. H., ‘Markets, Shops, Inns, Taverns and Private Houses in Medieval English Trade’, in Buyers and Sellers: Retail Circuits and Practices in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, ed. B. Blonde, P. Stabel, J. Stobart, and I. Van Damme (Turnhout, 2006), pp. 109–24. Carlin, M., ‘The Host’, in Historians on Chaucer: The ‘General Prologue’ to the Canterbury Tales, ed. S. Rigby (Oxford, 2014), pp. 460–80. Certeau, M. de, The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. S. Rendall (Berkeley, CA, 1984). Challet, V., ‘Violence as a Political Language’, in The Routledge History Handbook of Medieval Revolt, ed. J. Firnhaber-Baker and D. Schoenaers (London, 2017), pp. 279–91. Childs, W., ‘Moving Around’, in A Social History of England 1200–1500, ed. R. Horrox and W. M. Ormrod (Cambridge, 2006), pp. 260–75. Clark, P., The English Alehouse: A Social History, 1200–1830 (London, 1983). Crane, S., ‘The Writing Lesson of 1381’, in Chaucer’s England: Literature in Historical Context, ed. B. Hanawalt (Minneapolis, MN, 1992), pp. 201–21. Doig, J. A., ‘Political Propaganda and Royal Proclamations in Late Medieval England’, Historical Research 71 (1998), 253–80. Dyer, C., ‘The Social and Economic Background to the Rural Revolt of 1381’, in The English Rising of 1381, ed. R. H. Hilton and T. H. Aston (Cambridge, 1987), pp. 9–42. Forrest, I., Trustworthy Men: How Inequality and Faith Made the Medieval Church (Princeton, 2018). Hanna, R., ‘Pilate’s Voice/Shirley’s Case’, South Atlantic Quarterly 91 (1992), 793–812. Harlan-Haughey, S., The Ecology of the English Outlaw in Medieval Literature: From Fen to Greenwood (New York, 2016).

On the road and in the market  71 Hindle, P., Medieval Roads and Tracks (London, 1998). Horden, P., ‘Introduction: Towards a History of Medieval Mobility’, in Freedom of Movement in the Middle Ages: Proceedings of the 2003 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. P. Horden (Donington, 2007), pp. xvii–xxxiv. Howell, M. C., Commerce before Capitalism in Europe, 1300–1600 (Cambridge, 2006). Jones, E. D., ‘Villein Mobility in the Later Middle Ages: The Case of Spalding Priory’, Nottingham Medieval Studies 36 (1992), 151–66. Justice, S., Writing and Rebellion: England in 1381 (Berkeley, 1994). Killingray, D. and Lawson, T., ‘Markets in the Medieval Period’, in An Historical Atlas of Kent, ed. T. Lawson and D. Killingray (Chichester, 2004), pp. 50–1. Kowaleski, M., Local Markets and Regional Trade in Medieval Exeter (Cambridge, 1995). Legassie, S., The Medieval Invention of Travel (Chicago, IL, 2017). Letters, S., Online Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs in England and Wales to 1516 ( Liddy, C., ‘Urban Conflict in Late Fourteenth-Century England: The Case of York, 1380–1’, EHR 118 (2003), 1–32. Magary, I., Roman Roads in Britain, 3rd ed. (London, 1973). Masschaele, J., Peasants, Merchants, and Markets: Inland Trade in Medieval England, c.1150–c.1350 (New York, 1997). Masschaele, J., ‘The Public Space of the Marketplace in Medieval England’, Speculum 77 (2002), 383–421. Ormrod, W. M., ‘In Bed with Joan of Kent: The King’s Mother and the Peasants’ Revolt’, in Medieval Women: Texts and Contexts in Late Medieval Britain. Essays for Felicity Riddy, ed. J. Wogan-Browne et al. (Turnhout, 2000), pp. 277–92. Ormrod, W. M., ‘Knights of Venus’, Medium Aevum 73 (2004), 290–305. Patterson, L., Chaucer and the Subject of History (Madison, WI, 1991). Poos, L. R., ‘The Social Context of Statute of Labourers Enforcement’, Law and History Review 1 (1983), 27–52. Prescott, A., ‘The Abbey of St Benet of Holme and the English Rising of 1381’, in Monastic Life in the Medieval British Isles: Essays in Honour of Janet Burton, ed. K. Stöber, J. Kerr and E. Jamroziak (Cardiff, 2018), pp. 139–57. Prescott, A., ‘“Great and Horrible Rumour”: Shaping the English Revolt of 1381’, in Routledge History Handbook of Medieval Revolt, ed. J. Firnhaber-Baker and D. Schoenaers (London, 2017), pp. 79–96. Prescott, A., ‘The Judicial Records of 1381’ (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of London, 1984). Raftis, J. A., Tenure and Mobility: Studies in the Social History of the Mediaeval English Village (Toronto, 1964). Robertson, K., The Laborer’s Two Bodies: Literary and Legal Production in Britain, 1350–1500 (New York, 2006). Scase, W., ‘Strange and Wonderful Bills’, New Medieval Literatures 2 (1998), 225–47. Sobecki, S., ‘A Southwark Tale: Gower, the Poll Tax of 1381, and Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales’, Speculum 92 (2017), 630–60. Stenton, F. M., ‘The Road System of Medieval England’, Economic History Review 7 (1936), 1–21. Strohm, P., ‘A Peasants’ Revolt’, in Misconceptions about the Middle Ages, ed. S. J. Harris and B. L. Grigsby (New York, 2008), pp. 198–203.

72  Sylvia Federico Strohm, P., Social Chaucer (Cambridge, 1989). Valente, C., The Theory and Practice of Medieval Revolt in Medieval England (Aldershot, 2003). Weiskott, E., ‘Chaucer the Forester: The ‘Friar’s Tale’, Forest History, and Officialdom’, Chaucer Review 47 (2013), 323–36. Wenzel, S., Latin Sermon Collections from Later Medieval England: Orthodox Preaching in the Age of Wyclif (Cambridge, 2005).



Richard II and his sense of place Michael Bennett

In summer 1393, Richard II visited Titchfield Abbey in Hampshire. According to a note entered in the abbey’s register, the king and queen arrived on 22 August with an entourage, including John Waltham, bishop of Salisbury, Roger Mortimer, earl of March, and Edward, earl of Rutland.1 Going out in procession to meet them, the abbot and convent led them, solemnly chanting and with bells ringing, into the church. The royal party stayed the night at the abbey, leaving the next day after a meal. The careful recording of the route by which the party had come from Warsash to Titchfield reflects the abbey’s interest in the compilation of itineraries at this time.2 Since Warsash was the site of a ferry and the royal party reportedly returned to the New Forest the same way, it appears that the king had crossed the Solent by boat.3 Unfortunately, there is no direct indication of the nature and purpose of the visit. For Richard, it may have been simply a summer excursion. One possibility is that he wished to see Portchester Castle, about five miles from Titchfield. If so, it would provide some context for the building of royal apartments in the castle in the late 1390s.4 This paper considers Richard II’s sense of place. Although born in Bordeaux, he was the first king of England since the Norman Conquest whose parents were both native born. He also travelled more extensively in England and the British Isles than any other monarch until modern times. More physically active than is sometimes assumed, he seemingly enjoyed being on the move, and took an interest in sites relating to England’s royal and religious past. In this sense, this paper complements Mark Ormrod’s discussion of Richard’s sense of English history.5 More basically, of course, it builds on the work of Nigel Saul, who compiled an itinerary for Richard, discussed its significance, and richly illumined the king’s attachment to Westminster.6 It

76  Michael Bennett draws, too, on a larger body of scholarship on Richard’s relations with other cities and regions.7 The aim, then, is to offer a broader exploration of Richard’s sense of place, the geopolitics of his reign and the manner in which he sought to harness the strategic significance and symbolic power of key sites (Figure 4.1).

Figure 4.1 Richard II’s sense of place.

Richard II and his sense of place  77 Brought to England as a four-year-old, Richard lived with his parents, the Black Prince and Joan of Kent, at Kennington near London, or Berkhamsted nestled in the Chilterns.8 Prior to his accession in 1377, he can have seen little of the country outside the capital and the Home Counties. If Richard was briefly the darling of the Londoners at the time of his father’s death in 1376 and his coronation in 1377, there was little else in the first years of his reign to incline him to look positively on his kingdom and its people. Disturbances in the capital in 1378 led to his first parliament being held in Gloucester, but a visit to the tomb of Edward II, deposed and murdered fifty years earlier, cannot have brought comfort to the young king. Apart from brief summer trips to the midlands in 1379 and 1380, Richard continued to spend most of his time in the Thames valley. In June 1381, he found himself holed up in the Tower of London as the rebels took over the capital. In the following months, Richard took to the field to exact retribution, but was fortunately dissuaded from his resolution ‘to obliterate that race of men of Kent and Jutes from the land of the living’.9 Over the course of his reign, as will become apparent, Richard often felt himself aggrieved by his countrymen. There are nonetheless hints of his strong attachment to England, not least in his concern for compatriots who were buried in distant lands. In later years, he was concerned to repatriate the remains of Englishmen who had died overseas, beginning with his elder brother Edward, who had died in Bordeaux in 1370.10 Richard’s marriage to Anne of Bohemia in 1382 brought greater independence in his domestic arrangements. Over summer, he and his new wife spent time at Woodstock and made a visit to Bristol, part of the queen’s endowment.11 In spring 1383, the royal entourage set out through Hertfordshire and East Anglia to Our Lady of Walsingham, and then headed westwards into the midlands. Over the years, Richard continued to make free of the hospitality of monastic houses, occasionally rewarding them with gifts and other favours, but often leaving them out of pocket. In the following years, Richard’s itinerary started to reflect a well-established royal pattern, in which the summer months were ones of movement, often associated with hunting. Still, his perambulations of his realm served some serious purposes. The handsome young king showed himself to his subjects, met notables in the provinces and visited major churches and shrines, often sites associated with his royal forebears. His visit to Gloucester in 1378 presumably seeded the initiative in 1385 to seek Edward II’s canonization, and his stay at Bury St Edmunds in 1383 can be linked with his early adoption of St Edmund, King and Martyr, as a patron.12 In 1383, too, he witnessed a miracle at Ely attributed to St Etheldreda (Æthelthryth), the seventh-century

78  Michael Bennett princess who preserved her virginity through two chaste marriages.13 Spending several months in the heartland of the old kingdom of Wessex, he travelled as far west as Corfe Castle in Dorset, the site of the murder of another royal saint, Edward, King and Martyr, four centuries earlier. In returning to the capital he took in the cathedral cities of Winchester and Chichester, and later in the year visited Rochester and Canterbury.14 Between autumn and spring, Richard generally remained close to Westminster, the heart of his kingdom. Westminster Abbey, with its shrine of St Edward the Confessor, where he had been crowned and where he went to pray during the crisis in 1381, was his holy of holies. Acknowledging the political centrality of the palace complex at Westminster, he commissioned a series of statues of thirteen kings for the hall. Although he conducted formal business at Westminster, he did not much use the palace or the Tower of London as a residence. His palace at Eltham, on the south bank of the Thames, was a convenient base for business in the capital, and with inner and outer courts, well suited for both public and private functions. More intimate was the palace of Sheen, a little further upriver, Richard’s main retreat from the turmoil of the city. In the Thames-side palaces in the mid1380s, Richard and his queen were at the heart of a courtly milieu in which Geoffrey Chaucer found inspiration to write Troilus and Cresyde and Legend of Good Women, one version of which ends with an instruction that it be presented to ‘the quene, / … at Eltham or at Sheene’ (F 496–7). After Queen Anne’s death at Sheen in 1394, Richard ordered the demolition of Sheen palace, though not before selecting a site at nearby Isleworth for a replacement. In 1395, William Yevele created a model of a new palace for his approval.15 On the move in the provinces, Richard could enjoy the company of friends and favourites. In summer 1383, he perhaps relished for the first time avoiding the oversight of tiresome ministers and censorious magnates. When messengers caught up with him at Daventry with reports of a possible military threat from France in September, he immediately saddled up and rode at speed to St Albans, where he changed horses before pressing on to Westminster.16 The sources provide only occasional glimpses of the people accompanying him in the provinces. He was attended by Thomas Mowbray, earl of Nottingham, at Eltham in April 1383 and at Barnwell near Cambridge in July; he attended mass in the lodgings of Robert de Vere, earl of Oxford, in Salisbury in late April 1384; and after touring Dorset and Hampshire over summer, he and his entourage attended Mowbray’s wedding at

Richard II and his sense of place  79 17

Arundel Castle. There were older men, too, in his inner circle, notably Sir Simon Burley, under-chamberlain of the household, Michael de la Pole, his chancellor, and Thomas Rushook, his confessor. The expedition to Scotland in summer 1385, in which Richard was joined by the queen and his favourites, provided a larger opportunity to build an esprit de corps among the men in his service. Setting out northwards at the head of a large army, he arrived in Leicester, according to an observer, ‘accompanied, preceded, and followed by the flower of English knighthood’.18 At York, he was the guest of Archbishop Neville, with whom he developed some rapport. Less auspicious was a fracas in which John Holland, the king’s half-brother, slew another young nobleman. Passing through Durham and Newcastle, Richard led his army into Scotland as far as Edinburgh before retracing his path southwards. He sought to protect Melrose Abbey, the burial place of several Scottish kings, from destruction, and later compensated the monks for damage done.19 Although the expedition was no great triumph, it occasioned some self-congratulation in court circles, with Richard augmenting the status of Robert de Vere to the marquis of Dublin and raising de la Pole to the peerage as the earl of Suffolk.20 By this stage, Richard had some sense of England’s political geography. Aware of rebellion and insubordination in London and the southeast in the 1380s, he took measures to build royal power in the region. In 1383, he supported the election of Nicholas Brembre as mayor of London, and over the next five years he was the king’s man in the capital.21 He sought to establish Sir Simon Burley, his mentor, as his chief lieutenant in Kent. Setting aside Edward III’s last wishes, he sought to endow him with the Leybourne inheritance in Kent that his grandfather had intended to use for pious purposes. In January 1384, he appointed Burley to the prestigious and politically sensitive position of constable of Dover Castle and warden of the Cinque Ports; his attendance at the installation, at Burley’s request, suggests that they were aware that the appointment would not be well received locally.22 In his grant of the castle and lordship of Queenborough in Kent to Robert de Vere in January 1385, Richard showed his awareness of its contentiousness by attaching to the charter the curse of God, St Edward and his own on any who sought to oppose it.23 Although the royal position in Kent was superficially strengthened, Burley’s arrogance and greed merely served to fuel resentment and hostility to the court.24

22 Saul, Richard II, pp. 163–4. 23 CPR 1381–5, p. 542. 24 Saul, Richard II, pp. 163–4; McHardy, Reign of Richard II, pp. 145–7.

80  Michael Bennett In autumn 1386, Richard faced a truculent parliament in Westminster. After being warned of the fate of Edward II by his uncle Thomas of Woodstock, duke of Gloucester, he reluctantly accepted the impeachment of de la Pole and the establishment of a Continual Council to rule in his name for twelve months. Shortly afterwards, he withdrew from the capital. On 4 December 1386, he was in the diocese of Salisbury in the company of the triumvirate who would be his chief advisers over the next twelve months, namely Archbishop Neville of York, de Vere and de la Pole.25 In February 1387, he headed northwards, basing himself for a month and a half at Nottingham, with side trips to Lincoln and elsewhere, before returning to Windsor for the Garter Feast. In June, he left again for the west Midlands, spending many weeks in the diocese of Coventry and Lichfield, including a fortnight in the palatinate of Chester.26 During this time, he declined to co-operate with the Continual Council in Westminster, secured the advice of judges that support for the Council was treasonous and devised plans for the destruction of his chief antagonists. In late August 1387, he convened his own council at Nottingham, securing the attendance of the royal justices, sheriffs from across the kingdom and delegates from London. Although the judges set their seals to an indictment of Gloucester and the earl of Arundel, the sheriffs stated that they were unable to oblige the king’s request for political and military support as the commons sided with the magnates.27 At Windsor Castle, however, the mayor and sheriffs of London assured the king that the city would stand with him and instructed the citizenry to swear allegiance to the king ‘against all who are or shall be rebels or opposed to his person or royalty’.28 On 10 November 1387, Richard made a formal entry into the city of London and, along with his companions, walked barefoot to Westminster Abbey and then processed with the monks to the Confessor’s shrine. On the following day, he ordered Gloucester, Arundel and Warwick to appear before him.29 Aware of the danger, the magnates were already mobilizing their forces. Although his knights advised a pre-emptive military strike, Richard was beginning to realize that the Londoners would not provide sufficient assistance and accepted advice from unaligned lords to negotiate with his adversaries. Avoiding a hastily contrived ambush, Gloucester and his colleagues came to Westminster, knelt before the king and presented an appeal of treason against five ‘evil counsellors’, namely Archbishop Neville, de Vere, de la Pole, Chief Justice Tresilian and Brembre, for alienating the king from his people. Presenting himself as above the 25 C 270/25/17. 26 Saul, Richard II, p. 471.

Richard II and his sense of place  81 fray, the king accepted the appeal for adjudication in a parliament to be convened in the new year. In reality, he was effectively trapped in his own capital. Far from honouring his agreement with the magnates, Richard sent word to de Vere to raise an army under the royal standard in Cheshire and neighbouring districts and to advance on London. The Lords Appellant, now including Henry of Bolingbroke and Thomas Mowbray, routed de Vere’s army at Radcot Bridge on 20 December and, after Christmas, entered the capital to confront the king, now ensconced in the Tower of London. To pile on the pressure, they took the king to a high window to see the vast number of men assembled in their cause.30 Threatened with deposition and perhaps briefly dethroned, Richard had no option other than to accept the proceedings against his former counsellors, including the banishment of de Vere and Archbishop Neville who were already safely overseas, the execution of Burley, Brembre and others and the purging of the royal household. The conviction of Brembre on the testimony of prominent Londoners underlined the magnitude of the city’s betrayal of the king. The fate of Simon Burley, who had friends among the lords, was sealed by a popular tumult in Kent.31 If historians have rather overlooked the scale of the mobilization against the court party in 1387, it certainly made a deep impression on the king. A decade later, he evidently had little doubt as to the large number of his subjects who supported the Appellants and the regional complexion of the opposition. In 1398, he required London and sixteen counties, all the counties south and east of a line from the Wash to the Cotswolds and representing over half the population of the kingdom, to make their submission and to compound for their disloyalty.32 The crisis of 1387–1388 was formally resolved by the fiction that it was not the king, who was still technically a minor, but his counsellors who were responsible for the misrule. At the close of the parliament, the king and the political nation entered a solemn compact to uphold the decisions of parliament and draw a line under recent divisions. In a ceremony in Westminster Abbey on 4 June 1388, Richard, enthroned and crowned, repeated his coronation oath and received again the fealty of his subjects. Over the following years, he acted as if he had learned from the recent troubles. After declaring his majority in May 1389, he appointed a new broadly based council and made some play of governing on its advice. He doubtless recognized of course that appointing his uncles and other grandees to his council meant that routine business would devolve to a smaller group of men who would be more dependent on him. He could also hold meetings in locations more convenient to him than the magnates. In summer 1389, for example, he called

30 Knighton’s Chronicle, ed. Martin, pp. 426–7. 31 ‘Historia… per Thomam Favent’, ed. McKisack, p. 21. 32 Clarke, Fourteenth Century Studies, p. 105; Barron, ‘Tyranny of Richard II’, pp. 11–3.

82  Michael Bennett councils at Windsor, Clarendon, Salisbury and wherever he happened to stop.33 Still, Richard and the great men of the realm were seemingly ‘still engaged in a negotiation about the extent of [his] ability to rule freely’.34 His itinerary between late 1387 and early 1391, which was largely confined to the counties around London, perhaps reflects some inhibition. The only exception was an excursion to the north midlands in July 1390, whose main purpose was to join his uncles and other magnates at a hunting party at Leicester Castle.35 In spring 1391, a long sojourn around Bristol in spring appears to mark a significant break in the pattern. It is instructive that during this time, the settlement between the king and the magnates appeared to be under increasing strain.36 In a new accord in February 1392, Richard shelved his ambition to recall de Vere and others from exile in return for new commitments from the magnates that served to consolidate recent gains in re-establishing his prerogatives.37 In spring 1392, Richard headed northwards. In an alarming initiative, he ordered the removal of the central law courts and government offices from Westminster to York.38 At a council at Stamford in May, he dispatched a writ, couched in menacing terms, to the mayor, sheriffs and leading citizens of London to appear before him at Nottingham on 25 June to answer unspecified charges against them. After spending a week in York, overseeing the work of the makeshift capital, he took up residence in Nottingham and continued his campaign of intimidation against the Londoners. After removing the mayor and sheriffs from their positions, he suspended the liberties of the city and appointed one of his knights to take over its government. In July, he summoned a larger group of Londoners to Windsor to submit ‘their persons and their property to the king’, and appointed a new warden Sir Baldwin Raddington to negotiate the terms of a pardon.39 In August, the king and queen entered London to receive its submission and to participate in carefully scripted displays of sycophancy. Although he professed himself appeased after levying a heavy fine, Richard did not restore all the old liberties or consider himself fully appeased.40 Most signally, he spent little time in the newly restored capital in the following years. Early in 1393, he convened a parliament at Winchester and then spent several months based at Salisbury and around the New Forest, during which time he visited Titchfield. He kept Christmas at Westminster in 1393–1394, but the queen’s death

36 Westminster Chronicle, ed. Hector and Harvey, pp. 454–5.

38 Barron, ‘Quarrel with London’, pp. 181–2. 39 Westminster Chronicle, ed. Hector and Harvey, pp. 502–3. 40 Barron, ‘Quarrel with London’, pp. 183–200.

Richard II and his sense of place  83 in June 1394 and his expedition to Ireland in autumn took him away from the Thames valley. He spent September travelling though south Wales, and he was in Ireland from October 1394 until May 1395.41 In the mid-1390s Richard bonded with a new circle of advisers. In the diocese of Salisbury in the summer in 1393, he spent much time with a group of clerks who played major roles in supporting and giving expression to his royal ambitions. Promoted to the episcopate in 1388, John Waltham, bishop of Salisbury, served as his treasurer from 1390, encouraged his high view of his kingship and on his death in 1395 was accorded the honour of burial in Westminster Abbey.42 John Boor, dean of the king’s chapel from 1386 until 1399, was a native of the diocese of Salisbury and a member of the cathedral chapter. His reputation as ‘a great historiographer’ makes it likely that he informed the king’s interest in his royal heritage.43 Robert Tideman of Winchcombe was with the king at Salisbury in July 1393 and his host at Beaulieu abbey in September. A Cistercian monk, allegedly expelled from Hailes Abbey for sorcery, he became Richard’s physician and confidant and was granted the custody of Beaulieu in 1392 prior to his elevation to the episcopate.44 The expedition to Ireland in 1394–1395 seems to have helped to consolidate a broader political machine. Among the magnates, Sir William Scrope was the ablest and most ambitious. Appointed sub-chamberlain of the royal household from 1393, he was with the king at Salisbury and a close friend of Bishop Waltham. A successful soldier, who had purchased the kingdom of Man in 1392, he was appointed constable of several castles in Ireland and Wales, building up a commanding position around the Irish Sea. He was arguably the king’s chief strategist in the late 1390s.45 In reasserting traditions of sacral kingship, of course, Richard looked to Westminster. His crown-wearing in 1389 was the catalyst for further investment in his holy of holies. He presented a large ruby ring to the shrine for use in future coronations, and commissioned a new pair of velvet coronation slippers embroidered with pearls to replace the one lost in 1377, which he sent to be blessed by Pope Urban VI.46 He invested in the fabric of the abbey and participated in monastic observances. One of the stalls in the choir seems to have been reserved to him and one of a pair of coronation portraits appears to have been placed in the stall to signify his continuing presence at mass. Though still in his twenties, he started to mark out the site for his own burial in the abbey and arranged the burial of favoured servants, like Bishop Waltham, close to it. Soon after the death of Queen Anne in 1394, he commissioned a joint tomb and took a close interest in the design and execution.

4 4 Davies, ‘Winchcombe, Tideman (Robert Tydman)’. 45 Vale, ‘Scrope, William’; Bennett, ‘English Rule Confirmed’, pp. 170–84. 46 Westminster Chronicle, ed. Hector and Harvey, pp. 414–5.

84  Michael Bennett In 1393, he set in train a grandiose rebuilding of Westminster Hall, perhaps to efface the site of his humiliation as well as to create a larger and more imposing space in which he could, in Gwilym Dodd’s words, ‘propagate his royal image and enhance the prestige and authority of his office’.47 The second of a pair of larger-than-life portraits of himself enthroned like Christ in Majesty was doubtless destined for the building. His calling of councils and parliaments to places at some distance to London, including plans for a council and parliament at Nottingham in 1392 and 1395, also served to unsettle the political community. In autumn 1397, he brought a large force to Westminster to overawe parliament in the still incomplete new building, and underlined his dominance over the institution by proroguing it to Shrewsbury in February 1398 and securing a delegation of parliament’s powers to a committee that followed the court. Richard’s devotion to Westminster capped a wider support for Britain’s sacred places. He associated himself with the national cult of St Thomas Becket, and contributed munificently to the rebuilding of the nave of Canterbury Cathedral.48 After a visit to the city in 1393, he ordered a wider celebration of King Ethelbert of Kent, Saint and Confessor. Informed of a new miracle of St Thomas attested by a foreign pilgrim shortly afterwards, he expressed pleasure at the spread of his cult through Christendom, but expressed some regret that other English saints were not so widely honoured.49 As he travelled around his realm, Richard continued to visit cathedrals and major religious houses, relishing the opportunities they provided for staging his kingship with solemn processions and crown-wearings, and extending his patronage to local building projects and cults. He made several visits to York, briefly making it his capital during his quarrel with London in 1392, and his contribution to the building work at the Minster in 1396 was acknowledged in stone.50 In 1393, he wore his crown at a dinner he sponsored for the provincial chapter of the Franciscans at Salisbury on the feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.51 In the late 1390s, he was often based in the diocese of Coventry and Lichfield, celebrating the Christmas season at the bishop’s palace at Lichfield in both 1397–1398 and 1398–1399. His expeditions to Ireland in 1394–1395 and 1399 involved travel through Wales, including a visit to the minuscule cathedral city of St Davids, as well as more extensive travel and longer stays in Ireland.52 His commitment to regional cults is attested by the move in 1398 to have the feasts of St Chad, St Winifred and St David celebrated nationally.53 50 Saul, ‘Richard II, York, and Itinerary’, pp. 79–81, revising Harvey, ‘Richard II and York’, pp. 202–17.

Richard II and his sense of place  85 As well as burnishing Britain’s holy places, Richard made signal use of sites of royal power. His decision to rebuild Westminster Hall to provide a grander stage for regal assertion may also have been prompted by a desire to replace the building in which he had been forced to accept the assault on his kingship and the destruction of his friends. His memories of his time in the Tower of London in summer 1381 and over the winter of 1387–1388 must have been bitter, but prior to his final incarceration, he visited there at least once to rummage among the crown jewels, discover the ampulla containing the holy oil of Canterbury and take what he needed for use in Dublin.54 At times when he felt most embattled or combative, he looked to Windsor and other castles. Especially instructive is his use of Nottingham Castle, a veritable ‘symbol of royal might and oppression’ (Figure 4.2).55 In his early visits, he would have heard about the coup staged by his grandfather and his loyal companions in 1330 to end the tutelage in which he was held by his mother and to assume the reins of power.56 In Nottingham Castle in August 1387, he had the chief justices declare the Continual Council to be illegal and draw up an indictment of the magnates who supported it. The mayor, sheriffs and aldermen of

Figure 4.2 Nottingham Castle in the sixteenth century. Etching from T. C. Hine’s scrap book, courtesy of Nottingham city museums and galleries. 54 St Albans Chronicle, ed. Taylor, Childs and Watkiss, II, pp. 134–5, 238–41. 55 Thurley, Lost Buildings of Britain, p. 111. 56 Shenton, ‘Edward III and the Coup of 1330’, pp. 13–34.

86  Michael Bennett London in 1392 cannot have imagined that the king had forgiven and forgotten their betrayal of his cause in 1387–1388 and must have been very unnerved by the chilling summons to Nottingham to answer unspecified charges against them. The chroniclers rather flounder in seeking to explain the king’s anger against the city of London. There was a strongly sanctioned commitment to draw a line under the events of 1387–1388, however, and it was unsafe to speculate that the king was motivated by a desire to seek revenge. Still, it would not have escaped the attention of Londoners that Sir Baldwin Raddington, who was appointed to put a pressure on the city in summer 1392, was the nephew of Sir Simon Burley and was married to the widow of Nicholas Brembre.57 After announcing the arrest of Gloucester, Arundel and Warwick in July 1397, Richard issued a further proclamation to declare that the arrests were not for old but new treasons. It soon became clear however that Richard was entirely focused, as he privately assured foreign princes, on destroying the magnates who had fettered his rule and on reducing the kingdom to obedience.58 In seeking to reverse the outcomes of the past, Richard was aware of the sites of old struggles won and lost and their symbolic significance. The next stage of the royalist campaign was launched at Nottingham Castle in August. In an atmosphere of fear and intrigue, Richard sat at the high table in the great hall of the castle on the feast of St Oswald (5 August) and individually commanded several lords to go outside the castle gate. They found William Scrope waiting for them with a draft appeal of treason against the former Appellants which they were expected to sign prior to its presentation to the king.59 In parliament in September 1397, Richard avenged himself on his former opponents in a highly theatrical manner. In the proceedings against the earl of Arundel, there was some focus on his role in the condemnation of Burley, and it was observed that Arundel was afforded the same consideration and was executed on the same site.60 In addition to punishing his former antagonists, Richard rewarded his supporters, past as well as present. Shortly after the arrest of Gloucester, Arundel and Warwick, he had sent orders for the raising of 1,000 men in his palatinate of Chester. Assembled at Henley on Thames, they soon gained notoriety for their deployment around parliament and as the king’s bodyguard. In parliament itself, he raised the earldom of Chester to the status of a principality and awarded 4,000 marks to the men of Cheshire to compensate their losses at Radcot Bridge.61 Although he issued a general pardon, it became clear that

60 Chronicle of Adam Usk, ed. Given-Wilson, pp. 30–1; Eulogium, ed. Haydon, III, p. 375.

Richard II and his sense of place  87 the people who had supported the Appellants needed to seek additional pardons. At Nottingham in March 1398, claiming that he felt unsafe to travel in his own kingdom, Richard demanded that London and the sixteen counties that had supported the Appellants appoint proctors through whom they would collectively confess their guilt, plead for mercy and pay a large fine.62 In terms of political geography, Richard evidently saw England as divided by a line between the Wash and the Cotswolds, with the counties to the south and east as hostile territories. Accompanied by his inner circle and Cheshire guardsmen, Richard spent most of 1398 in the west midlands, in Bath and Bristol, Coventry and Lichfield, Shrewsbury and Chester, even visiting Macclesfield twice.63 In his second expedition to Ireland in 1399, Richard aimed to re-establish his authority after a rebellion that had led to the death of his deputy in summer 1398. His departure at the head of a large army raised the concern that he might intend to use Ireland and Wales as bases from which to oppress England.64 His building up a power base around Cheshire, incorporating several marcher lordships in the new principality and appointing Scrope to key positions around the coast of the Irish Sea, would indicate geographical awareness and strategic vision in Ricardian circles. At the height of his power, Richard reputedly had a sense of foreboding, and was attentive to prophecies of both high destiny and doom.65 His pilgrimage to Canterbury early in 1399, accompanied by his Cheshire guardsmen, was to seek St Thomas’s blessing for the Irish expedition and perhaps to appropriate to himself the providential role attributed to a king anointed with recently rediscovered holy oil of Canterbury.66 It is likely that he was drawn to the prophecies which spoke of success in Ireland as setting the scene for the restoration of order in England and a glorious career in Christendom.67 It was a matter of concern in England that Richard took to Ireland his crown and other regalia and royal treasure.68 His plan to hold a great feast in Dublin Castle on the feast of St Edward the Confessor (13 October), indicative of a lengthy sojourn, was widely known in Europe, with one source reporting his intention on that occasion to make his nephew, Thomas Holland, king of Ireland.69

66 Eulogium, ed. Haydon, III, pp. 379–80; St Albans Chronicle, ed. Taylor, Childs and Watkiss, II, pp. 238–41.

88  Michael Bennett The return of Henry of Lancaster and the large-scale mobilization against Richard meant that his fortunes followed a less auspicious script. The beginning of the end came when he was drawn out of Conwy Castle, which a contemporary knight identified as the triangular place where, according to a prophecy of Merlin, a king who ruled for twenty-two years would be undone.70 Richard could also see his predicament in more prosaic terms, grounded in political geography. He reportedly hatched plans of resistance, escape and revenge that counted on support in Wales and Cheshire.71 The French sources, reflecting the views of Richard’s own circle, stress the hostility of Londoners, and one even records that Richard finally recognized that the game was up when he was given over to the custody of men from Kent.72 Incarcerated in the Tower of London, under pressure to abdicate, he was observed rehearsing the sad fate of English kings and lamenting England’s history of disobedience, rebellion and regicide.73 Richard would have recognized the grim aptness of his final imprisonment in Pontefract Castle, the centre of the cult of Thomas of Lancaster, the arch-representative of the tradition of baronial opposition that he had set himself to destroy.

Bibliography Manuscript sources Cambridge University Library (CUL) Ely Diocesan Records, D5/7A London, British Library (BL) MS Add. 70,506 London, The National Archives C 1 Court of Chancery, Six Clerks Office, Early Pleadings and Proceedings C 270 Chancery, Ecclesiastical Miscellanea CHES 2 Palatinate of Chester, Exchequer of Chester, Enrolments E 403 Exchequer of Receipt, Issue Rolls and Registers

Printed primary sources ‘Translation of a French Metrical History of the Deposition of King Richard the Second’, trans. J. Webb Archæologia 20 (1824), 1–423. Calendar of Letter-Books of the City of London. Letter-Book H, Circa A.D. 1375– 1399, ed. R. R. Sharpe (London, 1907). Calendar of Patent Rolls (CPR).

Richard II and his sense of place  89 Chaucer, G., Legend of Good Women, in The Riverside Chaucer, ed. L. D. Benson, 3rd ed. (Oxford, 1987). Chronicque de la Traïson et Mort de Richart Deux Roy Dengleterre, ed. B. Williams (London, 1846). Devon, F., Issues of the Exchequer, from King Henry III to King Henry VI, Inclusive (London, 1837). Eulogium Historiarum sive Temporis, ed. F. S. Haydon, Rolls Series, 3 vols (London, 1858–63). Favent, T., ‘Historia sive narracio de modo et forma Mirabilis Parliamenti … per Thomam Favent clericum indicatum’, ed. May McKisack, in Camden Miscellany XV (1926). Foedera, VII. Harrod, H., Report on the Deeds and Records of the Borough of King’s Lynn (King’s Lynn, 1870). Historical Papers and Letters from the Northern Registers, ed. J. Raine, Rolls Series (London, 1873). Knighton’s Chronicle, 1337–1396, ed. G. H. Martin (Oxford, 1995). Livi, G., Dall’Archivio di Francesco Datini Mercante Pratese (Firenze, 1910). Maidstone, R., Concordia (The Reconciliation of Richard II with London), with a translation by A. G. Rigg, ed. D. R. Carlson (Kalamazoo, MI, 2003). The Chronicle of Adam Usk 1377–1421, ed. C. Given-Wilson (Oxford, 1997). The Parliament Rolls of Medieval England, ed. P. Brand, A. Curry, C. Given-Wilson, R. E. Horrox, G. Martin, W. M. Ormrod and J. R. S. Phillips, 16 vols (Woodbridge, 2005) (PROME) online edition. The Westminster Chronicle 1381–1394, ed. L. C. Hector and B. F. Harvey (Oxford, 1982). Walsingham, T., The St Albans Chronicle. The Chronica Maiora of Thomas Walsingham, ed. J. Taylor, W. R. Childs and L. Watkiss, 2 vols (Oxford, 2003, 2011).

Secondary sources Barron, C. M., ‘The Tyranny of Richard II’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research 41 (1968), 1–18. Barron, C. M., ‘The Quarrel of Richard II with London 1392–7’, in The Reign of Richard II. Essays in Honour of May McKisack, ed. F. R. H. Du Boulay and C. M. Barron (London, 1971), pp. 173–201. Barron, C. M., ‘Richard II and London’, in Richard II. The Art of Kingship, ed. A. Goodman and J. Gillespie (Oxford, 1999), pp. 129–54. Bennett, M., Richard II and the Revolution of 1399 (Stroud, 1999). Bennett, M., ‘Richard II and the Wider Realm’, in Richard II: The Art of Kingship, ed. A. Goodman and J. Gillespie (Oxford, 1999), pp. 187–204. Bennett, M., ‘Richard II, Henry Yeveley and a New Royal Mansion on the Thames’, Antiquaries Journal 82 (2002), 26–32. Bennett, M., ‘English Rule Confirmed: The Isle of Man 1389–1406’, in A New History of the Isle of Man. Vol. 3. The Medieval Period, ed. S. Duffy and H. Mytum (Liverpool, 2015), pp. 170–84. Brown, R. A., Colvin, H. M. and Taylor A. J., The History of the King’s Works: The Middle Ages (London, 1963).

90  Michael Bennett Clarke, M. V., Fourteenth Century Studies (Oxford, 1937). Davies, R. G., ‘Waltham, John (d. 1395)’, ODNB. Davies, R. G., ‘Winchcombe, Tideman (Robert Tydman) (d. 1401)’, ODNB. Davies, R. R., ‘Richard II and the Principality of Chester’, in The Reign of Richard II: Essays in Honour of May McKisack, ed. F. R. H. Du Boulay and C. M. Barron (London, 1971), pp. 256–79. Dickins, B., ‘Premonstratensian Itineraries from a Titchfield Abbey MS. at Welbeck (Classified I A 1)’, Proceedings of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society 4 (1938), 349–61. Dodd, G., ‘Richard II and the Transformation of Parliament’, in The Reign of Richard II, ed. G. Dodd (Stroud, 2000), pp. 71–84. Fletcher, C., Richard II: Manhood, Youth and Politics 1377–99 (Oxford, 2008). Given-Wilson, C., The Royal Household and the King’s Affinity: Service, Politics and Finance in England 1360–1415 (New Haven, CT, 1986). Harvey, J. H., ‘The Wilton Diptych – A Re-examination’, Archæologia 98 (1961), 1–28. Harvey, J. H., ‘Richard II and York’, in The Reign of Richard II: Essays in Honour of May McKisack, ed. F. R. H. Du Boulay and C. M. Barron (London, 1971), pp. 202–17. Hepburn, F., Portraits of the Later Plantagenets (Woodbridge, 1986). Lewis, N. B., ‘Simon Burley and Baldwin Raddington’, EHR 52 (1937), 662–9. Maxwell-Lyte, H. C., Historical Notes on the Use of the Great Seal (London, 1926). Mitchell, S., ‘Richard II: Kingship and the Cult of Saints’, in The Regal Image of Richard II and the Wilton Diptych, ed. D. Gordon, L. Monnas and C. Elam (Coventry, 1997), pp. 115–24. Ormrod, M., ‘Richard II’s Sense of English History’, in The Reign of Richard II, ed. G. Dodd (Stroud, 2000), pp. 97–110. Ormrod, M., Edward III (New Haven, CT and London, 2011). Proceedings and Ordinances of the Privy Council, ed. Nicholas Harris Nicolas, Vol. I (London, 1834). Richard II: The Art of Kingship, ed. A. Goodman and J. Gillespie (Oxford, 1999). Saul, N., ‘Richard II and the Vocabulary of Kingship’, EHR 110 (1995), 854–77. Saul, N., ‘Richard II and Westminster Abbey’, in The Cloister and the World. Essays in Medieval History in Honour of Barbara Harvey, ed. W. J. Blair and B. Golding (Oxford, 1996), pp. 196–218. Saul, N., Richard II (New Haven, CT and London, 1997). Saul, N., ‘Richard II, York, and the Evidence of the King’s Itinerary’, The Age of Richard II, ed. J. L. Gillespie (Stroud, 1997), pp. 71–92. Shenton, C., ‘Edward III and the Coup of 1330’, in The Age of Edward III, ed. J. S. Bothwell (Woodbridge, 2001), pp. 13–34. The Reign of Richard II, ed. G. Dodd (Stroud, 2000). The Reign of Richard II: Essays in Honour of May McKisack, ed. F. R. H. Du Boulay and C. M. Barron (London, 1971). The Reign of Richard II: From Minority to Tyranny 1377–97, ed. A. K. McHardy (Manchester, 2012). Thornton, T., ‘Cheshire: The Inner Citadel of Richard II’s Kingdom?’, in The Reign of Richard II, ed. G. Dodd (Stroud, 2000), pp. 85–96. Thurley, S., The Lost Buildings of Britain (London, 2004).

Richard II and his sense of place  91 Tout, T. F., Chapters in the Mediæval Administrative History of England, 6 vols (Manchester, 1920–33). Vale, B., ‘Scrope, William (1351?–1399)’, ODNB. Wilson, C., ‘Rulers, Artificers and Shoppers: Richard II’s Remodelling of Westminster Hall, 1393–99’, in The Regal Image of Richard II and the Wilton Diptych, ed. D. Gordon, L. Monnas and C. Elam (Coventry, 1997), pp. 33–59.


‘I, Edmund’ A microhistory of an immigrant churchwarden in fifteenth-century Colchester Bart Lambert

Introduction On the north side of Hythe Hill, in the area of Colchester known as Hythe, stands the church of St Leonard (Figure 5.1). The now-redundant place of worship is best known for its role in the English Civil War: during the Siege of Colchester (1648), Royalist soldiers took refuge in the building, making holes in the church door that are still visible today.1 The present study does not relate to this seventeenth-century past, but to an earlier and lesser known part of the church’s history. It draws on a series of accounts that are part of the Stonor and Cely Papers at The National Archives in Kew.2 The documents date from the second half of the fifteenth century and record the activities of St Leonard’s churchwarden, the layperson responsible for the maintenance of the church fabric and various other duties in the parish. More than seventy-five of such churchwarden accounts have been preserved in England for the period from 1449 to 1500.3 What makes St Leonard’s accounts more extraordinary is that they were produced by an immigrant or alien, that is, someone resident in England but born abroad. The man in question, Edmund Hermanson, came from Brabant in the Low Countries and moved to Colchester in the 1460s, earning his living as a beer brewer. Long considered a subject of only limited importance, the experiences of immigrants in later medieval England have received vast historical interest more recently, largely thanks to Mark Ormrod’s ‘England’s Immigrants’ research project. The project, which I was fortunate to be part of, showed that during the fifteenth century, aliens constituted up to 1.5 per cent of the total English population, with concentrations of over 10 per cent in specific cities and towns. They came from other parts of the British Isles and most regions of Europe and made essential contributions to the English economy as craftspeople, servants or agricultural labourers. Immigrants in fifteenth-century England were welcomed by most of the local population,

Microhistory of an immigrant churchwarden  93

Figure 5.1 Church of St Leonard-at-the-Hythe, Colchester. Photo supplied by the Friends of St Leonard-at-the-Hythe, photographer Alice Goss.

but could encounter hostility from particular groups at moments of political or economic tension. Ormrod and his team also demonstrated that this period was crucial for the regulation of alien presence, with the English crown developing policies based on the criterion of nationality, but at the same time introducing mechanisms to overcome these discriminations.4 Most of this work, however, was based on sources created by English royal or, to a lesser extent, civic authorities. Even if these have allowed us to study immigrants’ lives in remarkable detail, they mainly provide us with a topdown perspective. The exceptions are immigrant wills, petitions and court depositions, which have been the subject of particular scrutiny, but, being formulaic and produced by legal professionals, have their own limitations when it comes to reflecting aliens’ personal experiences.5 Edmund Hermanson’s churchwarden accounts are different in that respect, as they show us an immigrant individual, reporting on his own day-to-day business. This is not to say that these documents are without problems: Clive Burgess in particular has highlighted the challenges of analysing churchwarden accounts in isolation and taking their information at face value.6 Yet, by a fortunate coincidence, Hermanson’s activities were recorded in many other sources as well. These complimentary documents allow us to overcome some of the churchwarden accounts’ shortcomings and add further detail to

94  Bart Lambert Hermanson’s life story. Inspired by the genre of microhistory, the aim of this study is to mine this unusually rich body of evidence and to see what the singular story of an alien beer brewer can tell us about immigrant experiences in later medieval England that government records, wills and petitions alone cannot.7

A Brabantine beer brewer in fifteenth-century Colchester The earliest known reference to Edmund Hermanson in Colchester dates from 1466. According to the town’s borough court roll of that year, the civic authorities fined him for grazing his pigs on the borough common.8 Further in the same roll, Hermanson was listed together with others who were amerced for brewing and selling ale or beer against the assize.9 In effect, these payments constituted a tax on brewing. The desire to use the borough’s common resources and to engage in brewing activities without inhibitions may have inspired Hermanson to acquire the freedom of the town; also in 1466, he paid a fee to become a burgess of Colchester, which entitled him to purchase and sell both wholesale and retail without paying tolls and to freely graze his animals on the commons.10 There are reasons to believe, however, that Hermanson already roamed the town’s streets before 1466. In 1460, a certain Edmund Beerbrewer was assessed to pay the alien subsidy in the county of Essex.11 Introduced in 1440 and collected until 1487, this royal tax was imposed on all residents older than twelve and born outside the kingdom. Ideally, the returns of the alien subsidies provide information about immigrants’ place of residence, place of origin and occupation; but in Edmund Beerbrewer’s case, there are no details allowing further identification.12 Also in 1460, a man of the same name was fined for obstructing the main road in Hythe, the port settlement outside Colchester’s walls.13 Two years later, the same person was reprimanded for using the common meadows and assaulting a certain John Bardfeld with a stick.14 In 1465, the year when we first encountered Edmund Hermanson, the name Edmund Beerbrewer disappears from the records. It is therefore likely that both names refer to the same man. There are many other examples in fifteenth-century England of immigrants recorded under

Microhistory of an immigrant churchwarden  95 their original surname in one case and under a generic surname derived from their occupation or nationality in another.15 The place where Hermanson tried to make a name for himself was one which, in the 1460s, had passed its peak in many respects. During the fourteenth century and early decades of the fifteenth century, Colchester was known as a major cloth production centre, exporting textiles to markets across Europe. The success of its cloth industry allowed it to thrive in a period when other towns in England decayed. After the 1440s, however, the activities of Colchester merchants in Gascony and Prussia severely declined following political and military setbacks. These losses were temporarily compensated by an increased presence of Hanseatic traders in the town. Yet when Anglo-Hanseatic relations broke down in 1468, international trade through Hythe completely collapsed. To make matters worse, Colchester was struck by a brutal outbreak of the plague in the early 1460s. Economic contraction and disease took their toll; while the evidence suggests that Colchester had about 8,000 inhabitants at the end of the fourteenth century, this fell to just over 5,000 at the beginning of the sixteenth century.16 In the second half of the fourteenth century, Colchester’s expansion as a textile centre was boosted by the immigration of highly skilled cloth workers from Flanders and Brabant. Many of these people were exiled from their home regions because of their participation in urban revolts.17 In the fifteenth century, however, this influx ran dry: only one immigrant weaver was recorded in Colchester’s alien subsidy returns between 1440 and 1487.18 This was not just caused by the decline of the town’s own cloth production, but also by developments in these immigrants’ homelands. In the course of the later Middle Ages, the large-scale urban textile industries in the Low Countries suffered from increasing competition from the countryside and from other parts of Europe. As a result, workers in many cities switched from the manufacture of cloth to the production of high-value consumer goods.19 The alien subsidy returns demonstrate that these people, too, came to Colchester during the second half of the fifteenth century. Occupations were listed only haphazardly in these documents, but immigrants in the town were recorded as tailors, skinners and woaders. If occupational surnames can be considered indicative of people’s professions, Colchester’s aliens also worked as shoemakers, chair makers and patten or wooden clog manufacturers. While some of these immigrants came from Ireland, Scotland, Brittany and Normandy, most were said to be ‘Dutch’, the designation given

96  Bart Lambert in England to aliens from the Low Countries.20 The highest number of aliens recorded in Colchester in the alien subsidies is fifty-seven in 1484.21 These were nearly all male and included no immigrant wives. If we assume that one in four of these alien men were married to immigrant women and that each of these alien couples had, on average, one child before migrating to England, then Colchester could have had about eighty-five permanent immigrant residents in 1484.22 The town would also have attracted more transient aliens, including, until 1468, some Hanseatic merchants, who were not recorded in the alien subsidies and whose number is impossible to determine.23 It is difficult to say how these figures compare to those of Colchester’s alien cloth workers in the fourteenth century, when we lack similar sources. The numbers of newly enrolled burgesses went down spectacularly in the course of the fifteenth century, but they are only an indirect indicator in this respect; they mostly refer to English newcomers and do not include the immigrants who lived in the town without obtaining the freedom.24 Why would Edmund Hermanson have migrated to Colchester in the early 1460s? On the surface, the contracting, plague-hit town offered few opportunities for ‘Dutch’ craftsmen like him. Could he have been driven to Essex by specific push factors in his homeland? Edmund’s enrollment as a burgess in 1466 states that he came from Brabant, a principality which had been part of the territories of the Burgundian dukes since 1430.25 The Low Countries were constantly struck by political unrest which, as explained above, had driven craftspeople to Colchester before. Yet both in Brabant and the wider Burgundian territories, the early 1460s were a relatively uneventful time, with few civic rebellions or other causes of instability.26 An advantage of having a well-documented case like Hermanson’s is that we can move beyond the common factors driving large numbers of people abroad and reconstruct individual reasons for migration. Relevant in this respect is Edmund’s line of work. From the earliest references in the English sources, Hermanson was identified as a beer brewer. He also continued to be recorded in Colchester’s borough court as brewing beer against the assize from 1465 to 1485, the last year during his lifetime for which court rolls are available.27 Originally imported from the Low Countries and then brewed

Microhistory of an immigrant churchwarden  97 by ‘Dutch’ immigrants in England for their own consumption, hop-based beer also became popular with English consumers during this period, starting to compete with wheat-based ale.28 Conditions for ‘Dutch’ beer brewers may have been particularly favourable in early 1460s Colchester. The plague of those years appears to have killed off or driven away many brewers of both ale and beer, possibly one third of the number engaged in these activities in the late 1450s.29 In 1466–1467, Hermanson only had one competitor in the beer brewing business in town, in subsequent years never more than six.30 For the purposes of comparison, Great Yarmouth, a town with an estimated population of about 3,000 people in the late fourteenth century and 3,700 people in the early sixteenth century had at least eight alien master beer brewers around the middle of the fifteenth century.31 While English ale brewing typically involved many women, beer brewing, which was more capital-intensive, was a male-dominated business.32 Yet in Colchester, the beer brewers recorded in the borough court rolls were mostly female too. It seems that they provided their households with a supplementary income while their husbands were engaged in other occupations, as many English alewives did. The ‘Dutchman’ William Vangilesburgh, for example, had his main business in patten making, while his wife brewed and sold beer.33 Hermanson, by contrast, was consistently fined for brewing himself and was never recorded as having any other occupation, which suggests that brewing was his main business and his household’s most important source of income.34 It is likely that Hermanson had the means to operate on a larger scale than Colchester’s female beer brewers. Unfortunately, he no longer appears in the alien subsidy returns in the 1480s, when immigrant keepers of brewhouses were assessed in a separate tax category and had the organization of their businesses described very precisely. It is not clear why this was the case: he may have purchased letters of denization, documents that entitled the immigrant recipients to privileges usually reserved for English-born people, including the right to pay taxes as natives. Hermanson does not appear among the recipients of denization in the chancery’s patent rolls, where these letters were usually recorded. This is no guarantee that he did not receive such documents though; some immigrants are known to have obtained denization

98  Bart Lambert but never had their grant enrolled.35 It is also possible that Edmund evaded payment of the tax. The three immigrants who were assessed as brewhouse keepers in the alien subsidy returns for Colchester in the 1480s included two men who, like Hermanson, were fined in the borough court for brewing beer themselves and none of the town’s female brewers. The alien subsidy records suggest that all three ran considerable enterprises. Edmund Rumbold, for example, employed no fewer than five alien servants, possibly apprentices training on the job.36 In Colchester, Edmund Hermanson thus found a place with a permanent ‘Dutch’ community and a number of transient aliens in need of hopped beer, a native population with a growing taste for the drink and few large-scale competitors. The proximity of large international ports like London and Ipswich would also have allowed for an easy import of hops and other commodities needed for beer brewing. Hermanson was never recorded in the surviving customs accounts for London and Ipswich, but may have bought raw materials directly from Colcestrians who do figure in these accounts, like his fellow-immigrant Ambrosius Mynster.37

Churchwarden of St Leonard-at-the-Hythe The churchwarden accounts of St Leonard’s leave little doubt as to who was responsible for the creation of these documents; the first sentence in nine of the thirteen membranes contains the first-person form ‘I Edmund Hermanson’ or ‘I Edmund’ (Figure 5.2).38 When the accounts were produced is less clear, as none of the documents is dated. The first membrane, however, refers to a dispute with a William Andrewe that is also recorded in the Colchester borough court rolls of 1481–1482.39 It is therefore likely that the accounts were created in the same year or shortly afterwards. Churchwardens were laypeople elected by the parish community to manage part of the parish’s revenues and expenses. They kept accounts, which were audited at least once a year. Hermanson was not the only alien in England during this period to be elected churchwarden: Judy Ann Ford identified two alien churchwardens in early Tudor Sandwich, none of whom, unfortunately, left any accounts.40

Microhistory of an immigrant churchwarden  99

Figure 5.2 Detail of the membrane in the churchwarden accounts that deals with disputes over the church’s real property (C 47/37/18/35). Photo supplied by The National Archives.

According to Ford, two factors were essential for immigrants to be eligible as churchwardens. The first was economic status: the aliens elected in Sandwich were both among the most affluent members of their parish community.41 This criterion certainly applied to Hermanson. The fact that he had no fewer than three cows and seventeen pigs grazing on the town’s commons in 1463–1464, when he was still recorded as Edmund Beerbrewer, suggests that he may already have been quite well-to-do when he arrived in England.42 His brewing activities must have benefited him greatly in subsequent years; Colchester’s records show him and his first wife regularly acquiring real property in the town.43 By the time he made his will in 1502, he was able to leave no fewer than five tenements, a brewhouse, a limekiln and land and make considerable cash bequests.44 Ford’s second criterion is political status: in Sandwich, both aliens had held civic office before being elected as churchwardens.45 The only sign of Hermanson being involved in civic matters was his testimony – as one of the long-term burgesses in the town – that a recently slandered man was a good yeoman in 1493.46 As far as is known, he never held civic office. It is not that immigrants in fifteenth-century English towns were excluded from political activities; aliens are known to have held civic office and to have engaged with civic governance in quite a few urban centres in the country during this period.47 It appears that Hermanson was interested in the public recognition of being elected churchwarden, but not in the commotion that often came with political involvement. 41 Ibid., pp. 207–10. 43 Oath Book, ed. Benham, pp. 134, 136, 142.

100  Bart Lambert The nature of Hermanson’s churchwarden accounts is pretty heterogeneous and the relationship between the membranes is difficult to establish. It is clear that the documentation contains both drafts and tidied copies of the same accounts.48 Marginal notes in one membrane suggest that it could have been used for auditing.49 On the dorse of another membrane, someone wrote ‘this is of the cherche to’.50 Did Hermanson need to make notes to keep these documents separate from his private bookkeeping? Without assuming that they cover all his responsibilities, the accounts give some idea of Edmund’s activities as churchwarden. Most of his revenue came from collections held among the parishioners on holy days and from particular donations by the more generous members of the parish community.51 He also collected the annual payments of quitrent owed by parishioners for use of church-owned gardens, stalls and other real property.52 Conflicting claims on this property sometimes resulted in disputes, described in a separate membrane. One of these disputes, with the aforementioned William Andrewe, led to a lawsuit in Colchester’s borough court.53 For the collection of rents, dues and donations, Hermanson could rely on two assistants. Remarkably they included John Bardfeld, the man he had attacked with a stick some twenty years earlier. Another membrane specifies the money Hermanson lent to others, an activity also recorded in other churchwarden accounts. Unlike the churchwardens studied by Burgess, Hermanson claimed to make these loans himself.54 The debtors included prominent parishioners and the town clerk, but also Elizabeth, ‘daughter of our lord of Norfolk’. It is not clear whether interest was charged and the loans were supposed to make a profit. In between these debts, Hermanson also recorded arrears for deliveries of beer.55 Many parishes in later medieval England organized church ales, events where ale was sold in order to raise funds.56 Did the immigrant churchwarden appropriate this venerable English tradition and turn these occasions into ‘church beers’ to serve his private business interests? Hermanson also recorded expenses made for the church’s maintenance. He paid people for deliveries of candle wax, frankincense and the materials to produce a mass book as well as for ringing the church bells and cleaning the church.57 Most of Hermanson’s costs, however, were made for repairs and alterations to both the church and, in one membrane, a parish-owned

Microhistory of an immigrant churchwarden  101 58

house. The churchwarden was responsible for the supplies of building materials needed for these works. The accounts list endless payments for timber, laths nails, lime and sand as well as for carrying these materials. Hermanson’s orders of brick deserve special attention. The large-scale use of this material had been introduced from continental Europe, in particular from the Low Countries, at the start of the fifteenth century. Until the 1480s, both the production of and construction with brick in England remained dominated by ‘Dutch’ immigrants.59 Hermanson’s use of brick for St Leonard’s church seems to have been rather limited and may have involved only small-scale repairs.60 Yet he also paid 18s. 8d., one of the highest sums in the accounts, for 7,000 bricks for the parish-owned house. This amount can only have served for a substantial alteration or extension of the building. References to the use of brick on such a scale are fairly exceptional in churchwarden accounts before the sixteenth century.61 It seems then that beer was not the only distinctively ‘Dutch’ product promoted by the churchwarden from the Low Countries. Hermanson’s accounts also record payments for work on the church and parish property carried out by tilers, glaziers and other craftspeople. Because of the brevity of the entries, it is difficult to establish the exact purpose of these activities, let alone to connect them to the church’s material remains. Yet it may be no coincidence that on the one hand, Hermanson made numerous payments for alterations to the roof, and on the other hand that the ceiling of the church’s south porch has been dated art-historically to the late fifteenth century.62 Some of the people Edmund relied on when buying supplies and hiring craftsmen return frequently throughout the accounts. Carpentry, for example, was usually carried out by the aptly named Edmund Carpenter or by Robert Freeman.63 Several of these men belonged to known Colchester families, such as the Snellings and the Lallefords.64 What is remarkable is that of the many suppliers and craftspeople mentioned by name in the accounts, none could be positively identified as a fellow-immigrant. While Hermanson may have spent money on building materials still considered as typically ‘Dutch’ at this time, none of the masons he worked with can be linked to immigrants in the alien subsidy returns or has a distinctively ‘Dutch’

102  Bart Lambert name.65 The same applies to the other suppliers and craftsmen he hired. Unfortunately, the occupational information in the alien subsidy returns of the 1480s is too fragmentary to determine whether the town’s aliens actually were engaged in the specialized trades that Hermanson would have needed.66 Lambert Polwycke, a Gelderlander assessed as a merchant in 1484, was recorded as trading stones in the London customs accounts of 1480–1483, but perhaps not the kind the churchwarden could have used.67 It is doubtful however that none of the forty-one immigrants described as ‘servants’ in the alien subsidy returns during these years would have been capable of carrying out the many unskilled tasks recorded in the churchwarden accounts.68 Of the people said to have borrowed money, paid rent and made a donation to the parish, only one can be identified as an alien: Thomas Brown, who had received a loan from the churchwarden, and may have been the Scotsman of the same name who lived in Colchester and received royal letters of protection in 1480.69 It is not that St Leonard’s parish did not have immigrant residents: it was part of the Hythe, the town’s harbour settlement and a hotspot of alien presence.70 It may be that Edmund chose to use his office to actively promote his relations with St Leonard’s native parishioners rather than with his fellow-immigrants. Yet it is also possible that the other aliens of the parish were unwilling or unable to become more fully involved in its parish life, and that it was beyond Hermanson’s capacities to change this situation.71 An important advantage of having documents produced by immigrants as opposed to public authorities is that they can give us a glimpse into aliens’ use of language.72 The accounts of St Leonard’s were written in supralocal southern English, that is, the kind of English found all over the southern half of the country at this date, before Standard English had developed.73 As such, it is absolutely competent. Forms like ‘these be’, ‘dwellyth’, ‘hath geven’ and ‘bare’ (past tense of bear), used throughout the accounts, are

Microhistory of an immigrant churchwarden  103 unremarkable examples of southern English during this period. The , and digraphs in words like ‘teyllynge’ (for ‘tiling’) or ‘boysschell’ (for ‘bushel’) were not particularly common, but spelling variation was still usual at this date. There is very little that allows to localize the language in Colchester. One of the few examples of regional vocabulary used is ‘Iopy pece’, a word recorded only in Cambridge and East Anglia meaning ‘jaw-piece’.74 Significantly, there is hardly any evidence of interference from Middle Dutch either. ‘Firkin’ (a small cask) and ‘bondell’ (bundle) probably come from Middle Dutch, but were also used frequently elsewhere in England during this period.75 They are, therefore, more indicative of the general impact of Middle Dutch on the English language than of the interference of an individual immigrant’s mother tongue when writing English. In only one instance could a case be made for the direct introduction of a Middle Dutch word in Hermanson’s English. ‘Knepyll’ comes from Middle Dutch, meaning the clapper of a bell. It also appears in the churchwarden accounts of Boxford, north of Colchester, of 1535 and 1559, but is not known in writings elsewhere.76 In terms of spelling, the English in Hermanson’s accounts is far more competent than that of Theodoric Werken, a ‘Dutch’ scribe active in England in the second half of the fifteenth century, whose English contains oddities that can only be explained by the influence of Middle Dutch.77 An analysis of the handwriting in the churchwarden accounts supports the idea of Hermanson having adapted to English conventions. The accounts are all written in the English cursive style or Anglicana, used only in England and not on the Continent. Especially the ‘r’, ‘s’ and ‘e’ are very different from those of a continental hand (Figure 5.2). We should, of course, consider that a document in perfectly idiomatic supralocal southern English and displaying English handwriting could have been produced by a native scribe. Concluding that a churchwarden would have written his accounts based solely on the use of the first-person form, as Julia Carnwath did for the 1440s accounts of John Manyturn in Thame (Oxfordshire), would be to underestimate the complexity of the accounting process.78 The fifteenth-century churchwarden accounts of All Saints’ in Bristol, for example, have entries in the first person plural, but also record payments to clerks for keeping the books.79 Katherine French has shown that rendering churchwarden accounts often involved both written and oral practices.80 Within this context, churchwardens could have dictated their accounts to professional scribes. This is also possible for the accounts of

104  Bart Lambert St Leonard’s, though the form of the draft membranes, which look very much like working documents and were frequently corrected and updated in the same hand as the main text, suggests otherwise.81 It is also unlikely that a scribe produced the tidied copies based on Hermanson’s drafts, as both the language and handwriting in all these documents are consistent. While many other churchwarden accounts record salaries paid to professional writers, Hermanson’s accounts, or at least what has been preserved of them, do not.82 Edmund did make two payments to Colchester’s town clerk, but these were for producing an official letter and an obligation, documents that required additional authentication and not for the churchwarden accounts.83 The most important reason why churchwardens would have relied on others to keep their accounts was that they were illiterate.84 This seems not to have applied to Hermanson. Between 1460 and 1502, he was involved in many real property transactions, which would have required at least a basic understanding of written deeds.85 In 1484, Hermanson was sued before the court of common pleas by a yeoman called Simon Gerard. In one of the hearings, Gerard presented a written bond (scriptum suum obligatorium) in which Edmund would have admitted that he owed his opponent money.86 It was a fairly common practice before this court to deny responsibility for a bond by claiming that one was illiterate and, therefore, not aware of its clauses.87 Hermanson did not do so and simply stated that he had not produced the document. We should also bear in mind that Hermanson originated from a region where, by the fifteenth century, it was considered normal for a master artisan to be able to read, write and count.88 While literacy was also widespread among craftspeople in fifteenth-century London, the situation in a provincial town like Colchester may have been different; even at the end of the fifteenth century, apprentices from the provinces were sent home by their London masters because they were illiterate.89 In this respect, it is possible that Edmund’s background as an immigrant from a

Microhistory of an immigrant churchwarden  105 region where literacy was more developed was an additional reason for his fellow-parishioners to elect him as churchwarden. If we accept that Hermanson wrote the churchwarden accounts of St Leonard’s, then his case provides us with very valuable information. Our knowledge about immigrants’ language acquisition in later medieval England is troubled by a lack of conclusive evidence. Many of the sources that do tell us about this issue suggest that aliens’ use of English was very pragmatic, characterized by a strong hybridity and an extensive use of loan words, and that it was easily distinguishable from natives’ English.90 Yet, most of these examples focus on short-term residents in the country or come from authors who had an interest in highlighting the differences between aliens and natives. It is doubtful that this would have applied to the many immigrants who settled in England for longer periods of time. The Hermanson case gives us a rare insight into these more established aliens’ command of English, suggesting that it was perfectly possible for them to master the language and, if they were literate, to write it competently.91

Well-integrated parishioner or ‘Flemish’ bandleader? Burgess has argued that churchwarden accounts, in particular their formal copies, could have been intended as documents for commemoration, celebrating the churchwarden’s contributions to the parish.92 The constant use of the ‘I Edmund’ form throughout the accounts of St Leonard’s certainly suggests that Edmund Hermanson was preoccupied with the way in which his work was perceived. The document would have been very effective in conveying an image of him as a successful, perfectly integrated parishioner, who enjoyed enough confidence among his fellow-parishioners to be entrusted with a key position in parish life, entertained relationships with everyone who mattered in St Leonard’s and worked for the benefit of the parish in a way that seemed indistinguishable from the way in which English churchwardens did their job. A similar impression emerges from Hermanson’s will, a source type which has also been associated with commemorative purposes and has even been considered by some as a form of biographical writing. Wills, the argument goes, allowed testators to create an image of themselves that reflected how they wanted to be perceived by later generations, albeit that this self-fashioning potential was subject to

106  Bart Lambert particular constraints due to the formulaic nature of these documents and their role as legal instruments.93 One element reflecting on Hermanson’s position in Colchester that is documented by his will, proved in 1502, is his marriage connections. From 1482, at the latest, Edmund had been married to Mathilda or Maud Berwick, a member of a local office-holding family.94 Either she must have died or their marriage was disbanded, because the will mentions a certain Elizabeth as his wife.95 It is not known what family Elizabeth belonged to, but the fact that she had Henry Marney, a knight and privy councillor of Henry VII, and John Marney, probably Henry’s son and esquire of the body to the king, among her executors and that she founded a fellowship at Cambridge University in her own will, proved in 1506, suggests that beer brewer Hermanson had married up.96 Edmund appears to have had no children, at least no legitimate ones. In his will, he left real property to four unmarried women, each of whom bore a different surname. One was the daughter of Henry Barker, an executor of Hermanson’s will and possibly also his friend. She received a significantly larger bequest than the others.97 Nothing in the will allows the identification of the other three women. They may have been daughters of other friends, poor girls of the parish, former employees or Hermanson’s godchildren. Another option, though one which fits in slightly less with the idea of commemoration, is that they were the former churchwarden’s daughters from extramarital affairs adopted by other men. The other bequests in the 1502 will confirm the impression of Hermanson having particular concerns about being remembered in a positive light. Edmund left nothing to civic causes in Colchester.98 This ties in with the earlier view of him steering clear of civic matters, but was by no means uncommon: only 7 per cent of testators in the town made civic bequests between 1500 and 1509.99 Most of Hermanson’s property, in fact, was reserved for Colchester’s religious institutions. This, too, was not unusual: between 1500 and 1509, 48 per cent of testators in the town left something to a parish church or religious house. More extraordinary is the number of Hermanson’s religious bequests. He left money to nine of Colchester’s parish churches, including

Microhistory of an immigrant churchwarden  107

Figure 5.3 Map of Colchester c. 1500, indicating the locations mentioned in Hermanson’s will. Own illustration of the author.

the often neglected one of St Mary Magdalen, to St Botolph’s Priory and to the mendicant houses of the Grey and Crutched Friars (Figure 5.3).100 Hermanson also wanted to leave a legacy beyond Colchester: he bequeathed money to three parish churches in the nearby villages of Mile End, Wivenhoe and Greenstead, to the priory of St Osyth near the Essex coast and to St Paul’s Cathedral in London. His connections with religious institutions in Essex were probably a consequence of his work as churchwarden. The link with London is more remarkable and may have resulted from his marriage to Elizabeth, who made several bequests in the capital in her own will.101 Most of Hermanson’s donations to religious institutions in and outside Colchester had to be spent on repairs, perpetuating the work he had done as a churchwarden, and on remembrance services for himself, his wife and his friends.102 In addition to their other bequests, Edmund and Elizabeth Hermanson each founded a perpetual chantry at St Leonard’s where they chose to be

108  Bart Lambert buried. This was quite an exceptional move: only ten of these permanent foundations are known to have existed in pre-Reformation Colchester.103 Edmund’s chantry was endowed with a tenement close to the parish church, his townhouse, his brewhouse, his limekiln and two plots of land. In return for the revenues from these properties, a priest had to sing remembrance services for Hermanson and pray for his soul in perpetuity.104 Unfortunately, Edmund’s investment provided only limited return. Hermanson probably died shortly before 1 June 1502, when his will was proved. Thirty-two years later, parliament passed the First Act of Supremacy, making Henry VIII head of the English Church. In tandem with the dissolution of religious institutions that followed, chantries and other religious foundations were abolished. Hermanson’s chantry was dissolved and its endowment given to Thomas Audley, lord chancellor of England, sometime before 1544.105 It was last mentioned in 1550, when part of the former chantry properties was passed on to two Essex landowners.106 If Hermanson’s churchwarden accounts and his will portray him as a beneficent and accomplished parishioner, then to what extent was his immigrant background part of this image? We have already seen that there are hardly any interferences from Middle Dutch in the language of the churchwarden accounts. The accounts also indicated that Hermanson may have promoted the use of typically ‘Dutch’ products such as beer and brick, but they did not show that he employed fellow-alien workers. Elements that could be associated with Edmund’s alien background are also few and far between in his will. Adrian Johnson, another of Hermanson’s executors, may have been the immigrant of the same name who paid the Tudor subsidy in St Leonard’s, Colchester, in 1523.107 The document records no bequests to institutions in Edmund’s homeland, something that does appear in some other alien wills in later medieval and early Tudor England.108 Hermanson did leave money to mendicant friaries, institutions which sometimes had large numbers of alien friars and were popular with immigrants. The Crutched Friars are even said to have had particular links with the Low Countries.109 No such connections are known in Colchester, where both the Grey and Crutched Friars also received many bequests from natives.110 The only individual member of a religious institution that Hermanson left money to was a canon at St Osyth’s called Cornelyis. This name was particularly common in the Low Countries around this time, which may indicate that

Microhistory of an immigrant churchwarden  109 Edmund and the man knew each other as a result of their shared ‘Dutch’ origins.111 Other than that, there are no references to the Low Countries in the will. It seems safe to say then that if Hermanson’s will and churchwarden accounts were meant to serve self-fashioning purposes, they did everything but define him by his immigrant background. How much do sources produced by others confirm the image of Hermanson shaped by the will and the churchwarden accounts? At least one document paints a very different picture of him. In a petition to the king, a William Smyth of Colchester claimed that Edmund Hermanson had carried off timber and stone from his property. When Smyth attempted to obtain recovery of the materials, Hermanson gathered a band of ‘as well Flemyngs as other indisposed [hostile] persons’ and threatened to murder him. As a result of the intimidation, the petitioner no longer dared to remain in the country and asked royal protection against his adversary.112 The petition is undated, but the incident may be connected to Hermanson’s time as a churchwarden: according to his churchwarden accounts, he regularly bought timber from a shoemaker named William Smyth.113 Rather than as a perfectly integrated parishioner who entertained better relationships with his English neighbours than with his fellow-alien residents, the petition thus frames him as someone who engaged in criminal activities against native Colcestrians and actively drew on his ‘Dutch’ networks to serve these questionable interests. Yet here, too, it is important to factor in the quirks of the document. We should be aware that petitions were written to convince authorities and that elements in Smyth’s narrative may have been exaggerated or added for dramatic effect.114 The term ‘Fleming’, for example, carried more negative connotations during this period than its more neutral alternative ‘Dutchman’.115 Placing Flemings on an equal footing with ‘other indisposed persons’, Smyth or the professional who drew up his petition was well aware of these preconceptions and deliberately exploited them in order to persuade the reader of his opponent’s malicious intentions. Petitioners also crafted narratives that were purposely designed to counteract their adversary’s strengths. In this respect, Smyth may have stressed Edmund’s otherness and his use of outsiders so emphatically in his petition exactly because Hermanson was well established and connected in his community in real life. Would the petitioner genuinely have been forced to leave the town,

110  Bart Lambert let alone the country, if his opponent only had the support of some Flemings and ‘indisposed people’? Arguably the most unbiased source allowing us a view on Hermanson’s position and connections, in the sense that it had no direct interest in portraying him in a particularly positive or negative light, is Colchester’s borough court rolls. They show Edmund regularly acting as a pledge for his English co-residents, but also for fellow-immigrants from the Low Countries.116 In 1481–1482, twelve men, consisting of English as well as ‘Dutch’ inhabitants of the town, swore that Hermanson was innocent in a dispute with another Colcestrian.117 Apparently Edmund maintained privileged relationships with both natives and other aliens. Yet even the image provided by the borough court rolls, preserved only until 1485 and not available for the last seventeen years of Hermanson’s life, could be skewed. If there is one lesson to be learned from the exceptionally well-documented case of Edmund Hermanson about the integration of immigrant residents in late medieval English communities, then it should probably be that our views are very much dependent on the source material we use. The negotiation of inclusion and exclusion between newcomers and social groups in pre-modern societies was highly complex and hardly ever linear or comprehensive.118 If even a combination of very different sources reflecting both the perspective of authorities and the agency of the immigrant may not provide us with a fully representative picture, we should ask ourselves to what extent one set of documents in isolation can.

Conclusion A distinguishing feature of microhistory is its ambition to reflect on ‘the general’ by unravelling ‘the particular’. Edmund Hermanson’s microhistory could be said to add to the general narratives of immigration in later medieval England in several ways. His case provides us with new insights into the possibilities and limitations of alien-born residents in English localities. It shows that it was possible for a beer brewer from the Low Countries to acquire substantial wealth and become part of the economic elite in an English provincial town. It also demonstrates that economically successful immigrants could be accepted into the highest echelons of an English parish community, running its day-to-day business and entertaining close relationships with its most prominent members. One may argue that Hermanson was a particularly privileged immigrant and that his story was not representative of the agency of England’s other aliens. But was his privilege not, at least in part, of his own making? Admittedly, it looks like he already had some means when he came to Colchester. Yet while many more

Microhistory of an immigrant churchwarden  111 will have had enough resources to keep livestock upon their arrival in the country, far fewer will have owned eight properties and acres of land forty years later. Hermanson’s microhistory also sheds new light on the acquisition of the English language by later medieval immigrants, an otherwise elusive aspect of the alien experience. The accounts documenting his activities as churchwarden of St Leonard’s were written in competent supralocal southern English, with very few interferences from Middle Dutch. Even though the option of a native scribe cannot be excluded completely, there are strong arguments to believe that the Brabantine immigrant, who had been living in Colchester for over twenty years, produced the churchwarden accounts himself. Hermanson’s case may thus indicate that the English language skills of at least some of the long-term alien inhabitants in the country were very different from the pragmatic and deficient English attributed to immigrants in other, predominantly narrative, sources during this period. While the latter accounts present language almost exclusively as a marker of distinction between native and alien residents, Edmund’s case suggests that successful language acquisition may also have functioned as a powerful facilitator of immigrants’ integration and assimilation. Whereas most sources show how immigrants in later medieval England were perceived by others, Hermanson’s documents allow us a glimpse into his own thoughts and ideas. Most notably, they reveal how Edmund wanted to be seen and remembered by others. His churchwarden accounts and will suggest that Hermanson was preoccupied with being remembered as an accomplished, well-connected and well-integrated Colcestrian who cared deeply about his parish. It is remarkable that these sources did very little to fashion him explicitly as an immigrant, though they may have been meant to deliberately counter others’ attempts to define him by his alien origins. Edmund’s many efforts to be remembered almost came to nothing when the Reformation reached England, abolishing his chantry and devaluating the concept of good works he had invested in so lavishly. Ironically, it was his typically ‘Dutch’ surname – one remnant of his immigrant background that could not be erased – that made the present author look more closely into his case, saving him from oblivion after all.

Acknowledgements I am grateful to Clive Burgess, Gwilym Dodd, Jonathan Mackman, Ad Putter, Joshua Ravenhill and Laura Wright for their help and advice.

Bibliography Manuscript sources Chelmsford, Essex Record Office (ERO), D/B 5 London, The National Archives

112  Bart Lambert C 47: Chancery Miscellanea CP 40: Court of Common Pleas – Plea Rolls E 179: Exchequer, King’s Remembrancer PROB 11: Prerogative Court of Canterbury – Will Registers SC 8: Special Collections – Ancient Petitions

Printed primary sources Boxford Churchwardens’ Accounts 1530–1561, ed. P. Northeast (Woodbridge, 1982). Calendar of the Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, 1476–85 (London, 1901). Calendar of the Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office, 1549–51 (London, 1925). The Church Records of St Andrew Hubbard, Eastcheap, c. 1450–c. 1570, ed. C. Burgess, London Record Society 34 (London, 1999). Church-Wardens’ Accounts of Croscombe, Pilton, Yatton, Tintinhull, Morebath and St Michael’s Bath Ranging from A.D. 1349 to 1560, ed. B. Hobhouse, Somerset Record Society 4 (London, 1890). Halesowen Churchwardens’ Accounts (1487–1582), ed. F. Somers, Worcestershire Historical Society (London, 1957). ‘London Lickpenny’, in Medieval English Political Writings, ed. J. M. Dean (Kalamazoo, MI, 1996), pp. 222–5. The Oath Book or Red Parchment Book of Colchester, ed. W. G. Benham (Colchester, 1907). Peterborough Local Administration: Parochial Government before the Reformation. Churchwardens’ Accounts 1467–1573 with Supplementary Documents 1107–1488, ed. W. T. Mellows, Northamptonshire Record Society (Kettering, 1939). The Pre-Reformation Records of All Saints’ Church, Bristol: Part 2, ed. C. Burgess, Bristol Record Society’s Publications 53 (Bristol, 2000). The Red Paper Book of Colchester, ed. W. G. Benham (Colchester, 1902).

Secondary sources Amor, N. R., Late Medieval Ipswich: Trade and Industry (Woodbridge, 2011). An Inventory of the Historical Monuments in Essex, Volume 3: North East (London, 1922). Baggs, A. P., Board, B., Crummy, P., Dove, C., Durgan, S., Goose, N. R., Pugh, R. B., Studd, P. and Thornton, C. C., ‘Churches’, in A History of the County of Essex: Volume 9, the Borough of Colchester, ed. J. Cooper and C. R. Elrington (London, 1994), pp. 309–36. Barron, C. M., ‘The Expansion of Education in Fifteenth-Century London’, in Medieval London: Collected Papers of Caroline M. Barron, ed. M. Carlin and J. T. Rosenthal (Kalamazoo, MI, 2017), pp. 449–79. Bennett, J. M., Ale, Beer and Brewsters in England: Women’s Work in a Changing World, 1300–1600 (Oxford, 1996). Britnell, R., Growth and Decline in Colchester, 1300–1525 (Cambridge, 1986). Brockmeyer, B. and Harders, L., ‘Questions of Belonging: Some Introductory Remarks’, InterDisciplines: Journal of History and Sociology 7:1 (2016), 1–7.

Microhistory of an immigrant churchwarden  113 ‘bundle, n.’, Oxford English Dictionary Online ( Entry/24748?rskey=NFcjQ2&result=1&isAdvanced=false#eid, accessed 30 January 2020). Burgess, C., ‘Pre-Reformation Churchwardens’ Accounts and Parish Government: Lessons from London and Bristol’, EHR 117:471 (2002), 306–32. Carley, J. P., ‘Marney, Henry, First Baron Marney’, ODNB (, accessed 1 July 2020). Carnwath, J., ‘The Churchwardens’ Accounts of Thame, Oxfordshire, c. 1443–1524’, in Trade, Devotion and Governance: Papers in Later Medieval History, ed. D. J. Clayton, R. G. Davies and P. McNiven (Stroud, 1994), pp. 177–97. ‘Cornelius’, in A Dictionary of First Names, ed. P. Hanks, P. Hardcastle and F. Hodges (Oxford, 2006) – online edition (https://www-oxfordreference-com.libproxy.york. rskey=io5VNB&result=1574, accessed 30 June 2020). Crossan, C., ‘Excavations at St Mary Magdalen’s Hospital, Brook Street, Colchester’, Essex Archaeology and History 34 (2004), 91–154. Dale, M. K., ‘Marney, Sir John (by 1485–1525), of Layer Marney, Essex and London’, in The History of Parliament: The House of Commons 1509–1558. II: Members D-M, ed. S. T. Bindoff (London, 1982), p. 573. De Munck, B. and De Ridder-Symoens, H., ‘Education and Knowledge: Theory and Practice in an Urban Context’, in City and Society in the Low Countries, 1100–1600, ed. B. Blondé, M. Boone and A.-L. Van Bruaene (Cambridge, 2018), pp. 220–54. Dodd, G., Justice and Grace: Private Petitioning and the English Parliament in the Late Middle Ages (Oxford, 2007). ‘firkin, n.’, Oxford English Dictionary Online ( 79?rskey=gQbFnQ&result=1&isAdvanced=false#eid, accessed 30 January 2020). Ford, J. A., ‘Marginality and the Assimilation of Foreigners in the Lay Parish Community: The Case of Sandwich’, in The Parish in English Life 1400–1600, ed. K. L. French, G. G. Gibbs and B. Kümin (Manchester, 1997), pp. 203–16. French, K. L., ‘Parochial Fund-Raising in Late Medieval Somerset’, in The Parish in English Life 1400–1600, ed. K. L. French, G. G. Gibbs and B. Kümin (Manchester, 1997), pp. 115–32. French, K. L., The People of the Parish: Community Life in a Late Medieval English Diocese (Philadelphia, PA, 2000). Higgs, L. M., Godliness and Governance in Tudor Colchester (Ann Arbor, MI, 1998). ‘jowpy/jopy, n.’, Oxford English Dictionary Online ( Entry/101792?redirectedFrom=jowpy#eid, accessed 30 January 2020). ‘kneppel, n.’, Oxford English Dictionary Online ( Entry/103985?redirectedFrom=kneppel#eid, accessed 30 January 2020). Lambert, B., ‘Citizenry and Nationality: The Participation of Immigrants in Urban Politics in Later Medieval England’, History Workshop Journal 90 (2020), 52–73. Lambert, B. and Ormrod, W. M., ‘Friendly Foreigners: International Warfare, Resident Aliens and the Early History of Denization in England, c. 1250–c. 1400’, EHR 130 (2015), 1–24. Lambert, B. and Pajic, M., ‘Drapery in Exile: Edward III, Colchester and the Flemings, 1351–1367’, History 99 (2014), 733–53. Levi, G., ‘On Microhistory’, in New Perspectives on Historical Writing, ed. P. Burke (Cambridge, 1991), pp. 93–113.

114  Bart Lambert Liddy, C. D. and Lambert, B., ‘The Civic Franchise and the Regulation of Aliens in Great Yarmouth, c. 1430–c.1490’, in Resident Aliens in Later Medieval England, ed. W. M. Ormrod, N. McDonald and C. Taylor (Turnhout, 2017), pp. 125–43. Moore, N. J., ‘Brick’, in Medieval English Industries: Craftsmen, Techniques, Products, ed. J. Blair and N. Ramsay (London, 1991), pp. 211–36. Morant, P., The History and Antiquities of the Borough of Colchester in the County of Essex (Colchester, 1810). Ormrod, W. M., ‘French Residents in England at the Start of the Hundred Years War: Learning English, Speaking English and Becoming English in 1346’, in The French of Medieval England: Essays in Honour of Jocelyn Wogan-Browne, ed. T. Fenster and C. P. Collette (Woodbridge, 2017), pp. 190–205. Ormrod, W. M., Lambert, B. and Mackman, J., Immigrant England, 1300–1550 (Manchester, 2019). Ormrod, W. M. and Mackman, J., ‘Resident Aliens in Later Medieval England: Sources, Contexts and Debates’, in Resident Aliens in Later Medieval England, ed. W. M. Ormrod, N. McDonald and C. Taylor (Turnhout, 2017), pp. 1–46. Pajic, M., ‘“Ale for an Englishman is a Natural Drink”: The Dutch and the Origins of Beer Brewing in Late Medieval England’, JMH 45:3 (2019), 285–300. Putter, A., van Houts, E., Arbabzadah, M. and Kennedy, K. E., ‘Manuscripts’, in North Sea Crossings: The Literary Heritage of Anglo-Dutch Relations, 1066–1688, ed. S. Levelt and A. Putter (Oxford, 2021), forthcoming. Ravenhill, J., ‘The Experiences of Aliens in Later Medieval London and the Negotiation of Belonging, 1400–1540’ (unpublished PhD dissertation, University of York, 2019). Röhrkasten, J., ‘Local Ties and International Connections of the London Mendicants’, in Mendicants, Military Orders and Regionalism in Medieval Europe, ed. J. Sarnowsky (Aldershot, 1999), pp. 145–83. Salter, E., Cultural Creativity in the Early English Renaissance: Popular Culture in Town and Country (Basingstoke, 2006). Spindler, E., ‘Flemings in the Peasants’ Revolt, 1381’, in Contact and Exchange in Later Medieval Europe: Essays in Honour of Malcolm Vale, ed. H. Skoda, P. Lantschner and R. L. J. Shaw (Woodbridge, 2012), pp. 59–78. Stenroos, M., ‘Regional Variation and Supralocalization in Late Medieval English: Comparing Administrative and Literary Texts’, in Records of Real People: Linguistic Variation in Middle English Local Documents, ed. M. Stenroos and K. V. Thengs (Amsterdam, 2020), pp. 95–128. Thrupp, S. L., The Merchant Class of Medieval London, 1300–1500 (Ann Arbor, MI, 1989). Van der Wee, H., ‘Structural Changes and Specialization in the Industry of the Southern Netherlands, 1100–1600’, Economic History Review 28 (1975), 203–21. Vaughan, R., Philip the Good: The Apogee of Burgundy (Woodbridge, 2002). Watney, J., Some Account of St Osyth’s Priory, Essex, and Its Inhabitants (London, 1871).


Breton immigration in late medieval England Maryanne Kowaleski

Considerable scholarly attention has been drawn to the fourth-century and fifth-century migration of Britons to Brittany and, to a lesser extent, to the post-Conquest settlement of Bretons in England.1 Far less consideration, however, has been given to the movement of people between Brittany and England in the later Middle Ages, with the exception of some political, mercantile and military elites, few of whom settled permanently.2 This essay aims to provide a fuller picture of the Bretons who migrated to England in the fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries by drawing on data in the groundbreaking England’s Immigrants project initiated and overseen by W. Mark Ormrod. After offering an overview of Breton immigration to England from the fourteenth century onwards in the England’s Immigrants database (EIDB), this study concentrates on Devon and especially Cornwall, where the majority of Bretons migrated. In so doing, it relies on additional data from the military survey of 1522 and the Tudor subsidies of 1523–1525 in order to provide a more nuanced prosopographical profile of Breton migrants in terms of their geographical distribution, age, status, occupation and possible motivations for migration. This migrant profile is also compared to what we know of English immigrants from other regions. Bretons were a small but distinctive ethnic group in late medieval England. In the entire EIDB of aliens in England, Bretons represented just under 3 per cent of all aliens identified by national origin, ranking them tenth out of forty-one specific ethnic immigrant groups.3 Relying on figures from

116  Maryanne Kowaleski the whole EIDB is, however, problematic since it contains duplicate records and relies on data drawn from sources, such as the Tudor subsidies, which were added for only ten counties. We can avoid some of these limitations by focusing solely on those counted in the first collection of the 1440 alien subsidy, which represents the best England-wide alien assessment since exemptions proliferated in later taxes. In 1440, Bretons comprised a very small 1.7 per cent of the total alien taxpayers with stated national origins, although it is likely that the ‘French’ might include some Bretons.4 It should also be kept in mind that 70 per cent of the aliens in 1440 were never identified by national origin, a problem that was much worse in some counties, such as Gloucestershire and Hampshire where fewer than 10 per cent of the aliens were listed by origin than in others, such as Devon and Wiltshire, where the origins of aliens were identified over 90 per cent of the time.5 Methodological problems also arise when looking at Bretons who took out letters of denization, which required a fee and an oath of allegiance to the English crown in exchange for which the foreigner received the same rights as those born in England. Because aliens had to apply and pay for the letters, those who shouldered this expense were of middling to high status, unlike the alien subsidies, which listed those much further down the social ladder. Over 60 per cent of the extant letters of denization, moreover, date to 1542–1544, when tensions with France prompted the crown to require aliens, particularly the French who lived in the southern counties, to become denizens

com/ (hereafter EIDB) using the search terms noted in the text and footnotes. There are 64,782 total references in the database dating to 1331–1585 (there are only eleven references after 1552); 82 per cent of the references come from the alien subsidies (1440–1487), almost 10 per cent from letters of denization (71 per cent of these are for the period 1540–1544) and 3 per cent from the Tudor subsidies. The remaining 5 per cent of references are from oaths of fealty, licenses to remain, letters of protection and naturalization and other types of petitions and licenses. Only 35 per cent (22,985) of the references identify the aliens’ English residence. In the case of Bretons, ethnic identification was made either by an explicit reference to an origin in Brittany, or by some variant of the surname ‘Breton’ for aliens whose national origin was not recorded. Note that there are duplicate references in the database, mostly in the various collections of the alien subsidies and in the later letters of denization, which probably amount to less than 5 per cent of the total; these duplicates have been removed from datasets used in this essay, along with EIDB references to two Bretons in Wales and one in Calais.

Breton immigration  117 6

if they wished to stay in the country. The advantage of these early 1540s letters of denization is that a larger proportion (a little over half) states an origin; Bretons constituted 9 per cent of those purchasing these letters. The geographical distribution of Breton immigrants was heavily concentrated in the southwestern peninsula, especially Cornwall. Almost half of the 664 references in EIDB to Breton aliens in England in 1337–1544 were from Cornwall, followed by Devon with 12 per cent and Wiltshire at just under 4 per cent.7 If we focus on those taxed in the first collection of the 1440 alien subsidy, 70 per cent of the Bretons taxed resided in the Southwest.8 But missing data and the varying methods used by the tax assessors to identify places of origin makes even the 1440 figures only a rough estimate, especially since the Devon returns offer much more complete data on alien origins than Cornwall and most other counties.9 A third sample can be gathered from the 201 aliens with letters of denization in 1542–1544, 9 per cent of whom had been born in Brittany, the largest percentage of Bretons in all the sources used in the EIDB. We know the English residences of almost 34 per cent of these Bretons: 27 per cent resided in Cornwall, 18 per cent in Devon, 12 per cent in Hampshire, 10 per cent in Somerset and 6 per cent each in Dorset, Kent and Norfolk.10 While it is important to remember that we do not know the national origin of almost half of the aliens who took out letters of denization in the 1540s and that those who did were wealthier than most other migrants, it is nonetheless significant that all three methods of assessing the geographical distribution of Bretons in late medieval England points to their concentration in Cornwall and Devon. Given the preference that Breton immigrants showed for settling in these two counties, it is worth taking a closer look at the region by augmenting the England’s Immigrants data on Bretons with information for Devon and Cornwall from the 1522–1523 military survey and other Tudor subsidies. The military survey is especially valuable for the details it adds on the occupations, relative wealth and English location of Bretons. Ostensibly a muster

118  Maryanne Kowaleski of all laymen over the age of sixteen, the survey was later used as the basis of a forced loan from the better-off. It records the owners and values of all lands in each parish, followed by those who were taxed on the value of their goods. Because the original purpose was to secure an idea of military readiness, male aliens, servants and others too poor to pay any tax were included, with the result that the survey tended to capture an even larger percentage of the male population than the Tudor subsidies.11 The amount of detail offered by the returns varied by county. The only military survey to survive for Devon covers its administrative and commercial centre, the city of Exeter, and lists people by military categories within each parish, including aliens.12 In contrast, the survey for Cornwall records sparser details on military preparedness but survives for four of its nine hundreds although only three of the hundreds identified aliens.13 In addition to references from England’s Immigrants and the military survey for Cornwall and Exeter, the Breton dataset constructed for this analysis adds references to Bretons in the 1523–1525 Tudor subsidies for Devon and Cornwall. This new form of taxation encompassed all those over the age of sixteen who possessed more than £1 annual income from land, or £2 worth of goods or £1 in wages, thus extending further down the social ladder than the medieval subsidies. Aliens paid a double rate, and if they had neither goods nor wages, they still had to pay a poll tax of 8d.14 Some of the Tudor subsidies for Devon and Cornwall were already in the EIDB, but additional returns were entered from published transcriptions.15 The new dataset of Bretons in England contains 1,108 records, which after excluding duplicates, comprises 848 references to individual Breton immigrants to England, 1337–1544; 84 per cent of those with identifiable English locations resided in Cornwall and Devon.16

Breton immigration  119 The predilection of Bretons for these two English counties is not surprising given the direct sea route and active trade between Brittany and the southwestern peninsula of England. Brittany’s most important overseas market was England, and the quickest sailing route between the two ran between the northern coast of Brittany and the southern coasts of Devon and Cornwall. English ships, mariners and merchants were by far the largest group of foreigners visiting late medieval Brittany, while Breton ships were frequent visitors at southwestern ports, importing wine, linen cloth and canvas, and exporting primarily fish.17 They were crucial carriers at the region’s customs head port of Exeter, where they handled almost all salt imports, 40 per cent of the linen cloth and about 15 per cent of wine imports arriving by coast or from overseas in 1381–1433.18 This maritime trade continued to flourish even during the troublesome years of the Hundred Years War, as evident in the increasing Breton share of the carriage of linen cloth and canvas to Exeter, which rose from about 8 per cent in the 1390s to over 42 per cent in the 1420s, while the percentage of Breton ships visiting the southwestern ports also expanded over the course of the late fourteenth to fifteenth centuries. Maritime trade between the two regions grew even stronger after the war. In 1497–1499, for example, ships from twenty different Breton ports comprised almost half of all overseas ship traffic in Cornwall and in 1497–1498 were responsible for about three-quarters of all ships exporting fish from Cornish ports.19 Strategic and political factors reinforced the strong commercial links between Brittany and England. Good relations were encouraged by the geographical location of peninsular Brittany astride England’s most important Atlantic sea lanes to its holdings in Gascony. As a semi-independent province of the kingdom of France, the duchy of Brittany generally maintained a neutral position in the long-running disputes between England and France, often signing separate treaties and agreements with the English crown. For many decades, England was actively involved in the Breton civil war, occupying Brest almost continuously in the period 1342–1397 and backing the Montfort dynasty of dukes who ruled Brittany until 1514, when the duchy finally became part of the kingdom of France. Brittany was also drawn into the Wars of the Roses when large numbers of Lancastrians in exile sought were duplicated in a Tudor subsidy, the military survey record was kept in the dataset since it usually contained more information; in the end, there were about 147 references from the military surveys, 292 from the Tudor subsidies in EIDB and sixty from Devon Lay Subsidies, ed. Stoate and Cornwall Subsidies, ed. Stoate. Note that the records from the Devon subsidies undercount Bretons because most aliens were identified without any ethnic designation.

120  Maryanne Kowaleski refuge and support there, including the future Henry VII who spent over a decade in Brittany.20 Among his retinue in Brittany were many gentry and noblemen from Cornwall and Devon.21 The frequent contacts between the southwestern peninsula of England and Brittany were by no means always friendly, especially during periods when the dukes or their rivals were more aligned with France. Hostilities mainly manifested at sea, where both sides engaged in privateering and piratical attacks on each other’s ships, plundering cargoes and killing or holding crews for ransom.22 These problems flared up at the beginning of the fifteenth century, when the English crown sanctioned privateering attacks on Breton ships. In response, the Bretons and their French allies conducted a night-time raid on Plymouth in 1403, burning and looting houses and large parts of the harbour.23 Devon men retaliated with their own raids on Brittany in the following months, and in 1404, the French, accompanied by Bretons, attacked the Devon port of Dartmouth, although they were repulsed with the help of people from the surrounding countryside. Several Breton nobles were captured or died, and years later a nobleman was still seeking his brother’s remains from the burgesses of Dartmouth.24 A Breton/French raid on Fowey in Cornwall in 1457 was also viewed as retaliation for Cornish piracy, while the English encouraged privateering against the Bretons again in the early 1480s.25 England sent more troops over to Brittany in 1489–1491 to help the Bretons in their last, unsuccessful effort to ward off absorption into France, using Dartmouth as one of the main embarkation points for ships and troops sent to Brittany.26 Late medieval Breton mariners and their counterparts from Devon and Cornwall were equally opportunistic in skirting the law and ignoring truces in the name of profit. Both sides may have also considered such actions part of life at sea, given the advance arrangements made between several Devon port towns and St Malo in Brittany for ransoming captured crews; English merchants also did not hesitate to hire

20 For Anglo-Breton relations in the fourteenth century, see Jones, Ducal Brittany; for the fifteenth century, see Pocquet du Haut-Jussé, François II. For Henry VII’s time in Brittany, see also Chrimes, Henry VII, pp. 14–40, 52–4. 21 Rowse, Tudor Cornwall, pp. 110–3. 22 Early Chancery Proceedings, ed. Gardiner; Ford, ‘Piracy or Policy’; Kingsford, Prejudice and Promise, pp. 78–106, 177–203; Moal, L’étranger en Bretagne, pp. 52–3, 255–6, 259–61, 269, 273–4. 2 3 For this and the following, see Walsingham, St Albans Chronicle, ed. Taylor, Childs and Watkiss, pp. 384–7, 398–405 and n. 577; Russell, Dartmouth, pp. 43–7. 24 Jackson, ‘Letter from a Breton Knight’; Jones, ‘Les Trémazan’. 25 The Itinerary of John Leland, ed. Toulmin Smith, I, pp. 203–4; Pocquet du Haut-Jussé, François II, pp. 37–8; Sutton, ‘England and Brittany 1482–86’. 26 Currin, ‘“The King’s Army”’.

Breton immigration  121 Breton ships, and mariners from both regions were known to crew on each other’s ships, suggesting a common understanding of life at sea.27 Brittany and Cornwall also enjoyed a shared language and to some extent a shared culture. In this period, Cornish and Breton speakers could understand each other, a factor that may have contributed to the large number of Bretons who settled in Cornwall west of the Camel and Fowey rivers where Cornish speakers dominated in 1500 (Figure 6.1).28 Breton immigration was strongest in the Cornish-speaking hundreds of Penwith, Kerrier and Powder, which must have eased assimilation for the Bretons who settled there (Table 6.1). No less than 87 per cent of Bretons migrating to Cornwall chose to reside in its Cornish-speaking region. Far less is known about the immigrants’ origins in Brittany, since the little data we have (49 cases) come solely from the denization letters of 1544, which were taken out by wellsettled Bretons who had the wherewithal to pay for the letters. Just over 40 per cent of these Bretons came from Breton-speaking areas in western Brittany (Figure 6.2), but we know the English homes of less than one-third of these immigrants and the three Bretons with known origins who settled in Cornwall all came from the French-speaking areas of Brittany.29 Given the paucity of these data, not much can be made of these findings on Breton origins, but the evidence about the choices that Breton immigrants made in coming to Cornwall is more convincing. These settlement patterns, moreover, make Breton migrants unique among medieval England’s immigrants, in that no other foreign migrants were able to find new English homes where they could understand the local tongue without being bilingual. The vast majority of the Bretons came from coastal settlements, which is hardly surprising given the peninsular nature of Brittany and the need to travel to England by sea. But this coastal orientation also shows up in the occupations practiced by Breton immigrants, a significant number of which were maritime oriented (Table 6.2), including fishers and mariners who represented 11 per cent of the known occupations of Bretons compared to 1 per cent of all known occupations in the EIDB. They included sailors, fishers and one lighterman, and their work could entail other types of maritime tasks, like sewing canvas sails, as one unnamed Breton was hired to do in Plymouth in 1486.30 All the fishers in the Breton dataset lived in Cornwall, and all were poor. Nine resided in St Ives, in the far west Cornish-speaking 28 Padel, ‘Where Was Middle Cornish Spoken?’; Figure 6.1 is based on Padel’s evidence. On a shared Celtic culture, see Payton, Cornwall, pp. 25, 34, 58–9, 65–7, 71, 78; Jones, ‘Brittany and Wales’. I thank Dr Padel for his advice about Breton names. 29 The EIDB sample comprises forty-nine Bretons whose place of origin in Brittany can be identified, but the English homes of only fourteen of these immigrants are known, including four in Cornwall (none from the Breton-speaking region), three from Devon and two from Hampshire. 30 Plymouth Municipal Records, ed. Worth, p. 90.

122  Maryanne Kowaleski portion of the county, six of whom were listed as ‘pauper’; the other three only possessed goods worth between 3s. and 10s.31 Those who were mariners were more well off since over half were able to purchase denization letters (Table 6.2). We know the English residences of only nine of the mariners: six lived in Cornwall and three in Norfolk (two in Great Yarmouth, a major herring port). One of the Cornish mariners claimed in 1544 that he had come to England aged ten but had been in the country for thirty years, and another fisher had married an English woman and had children. Four of the mariners were aged twenty or less; the average age was twenty-eight and the age range ran from a young boy of fourteen to a middle-aged man of forty-six.32 The only age given for a fisher was sixteen, but it is likely that the other fishers were also young since the majority simply had the surname ‘Breton,’ an indication that they had probably not been in the country long enough to acquire a unique identity. As poor migrants from coastal Brittany, it is likely that the fishing or maritime skills they had learned in their home communities helped them find work as crew members in Cornwall’s fishing industry, which was expanding in the fifteenth and sixteenth century.33 Indeed, Cornwall would have been attractive to Bretons not only for the common language and ease of travelling there on the many ships that plied the route, but also because the two peninsular regions had very similar maritime economies, which would have allowed young men from coastal Brittany to quickly find work. The other distinctive occupation practiced by Breton immigrants was tinning, although this focus stemmed in large part from their immigration to Cornwall, England’s chief tin-mining region. The medieval high point of Cornish tin production was the early sixteenth century, exactly in the period of the military survey, Tudor subsidies and the majority of the denization letters.34 There were fourteen Breton tinners in the Breton dataset constructed for this analysis, clearly a minimum estimate since aliens were recorded for only three of the county’s nine hundreds in the military survey, which listed ten tinners; four were also recorded in 1544 as receiving letters of denization, which implies some measure of stability and income. The ten Bretons in the survey were noted as paupers or with very low values of goods.35 Eleven of the fourteen (including all four with denization letters) had some variant of the surname ‘Breton’, which tends to be an indication of youth and relative poverty. Because the Breton tinners were poor and primarily resided in rural stannary districts, it is likely that they, like many English tinners, had by-occupations, especially in farming.36

34 Hatcher, English Tin, pp. 162–3. 35 EIDB; Cornwall Military Survey, ed. Stoate, pp. 4, 11, 56; the tinner’s muster roll of 1535 printed in this volume does not distinguish aliens. 36 Hatcher, English Tin, pp. 47, 51–3; Hatcher, Rural Economy, pp. 36, 93–4, 168–9, 234, 241–3.

Breton immigration  123 Only a small number of the Breton immigrants were titled or in highstatus professional occupations. They included Joan Perient, the chief lady-in-waiting to Joan of Navarre – the widow of John de Montfort, duke of Brittany, who then married Henry IV and became queen of England – and her husband John Perient, a highly placed esquire who served three English kings and was the Queen’s Master of the horse. They were among the few Bretons in Joan of Navarre’s household who took out letters of denization.37 England’s long involvement in Breton affairs brought others to England, including several prominent clergy, such as John Coupegorge, a Breton chaplain who was the attorney of John III, duke of Brittany, in England from 1334 until the duke’s death in 1341. Coupegorge also served Edward III in a diplomatic capacity and as receiver-general in Brittany for the Montfortists, the party supported by Edward III during the Breton civil war. He was well rewarded for his efforts with benefices in England, but seems to have ended his career in Brittany not England.38 Perhaps the most intriguing Breton immigrant was Sir Roland Veleville, who was reportedly the bastard son of Henry VII; although he had been in England since at least the early 1490s, he waited until 1512, well after he had been appointed constable of Beaumaris Castle in north Wales, to take out letters of denization.39 Another highly placed Breton cleric was Peter le Penec, a doctor of civil and canon laws, who played a crucial role in the 1492 failed plot by Henry VII to establish a Breton regime more friendly to England. Penec had to leave Brittany, but remained a close councilor to Henry, who rewarded him with several profitable benefices.40 Other well-educated Breton clergy in England included two Franciscan friars who were pursuing scholastic studies at Oxford.41 Thirteen of the thirty-nine Breton secular clergy were given the title of ‘Sir’, which implies a secure living, although all but two of the Breton clergy surface because they were willing to pay for letters of protection and denization.42 Many of the more humble Breton priests probably escaped the notice of tax collectors since the alien subsidies were not systematic in taxing foreign clerics. Some of the clergy taking out denization in 1544 were household chaplains, such as Philip Breton who resided with Sir William Godolphin, one of the richest men in Cornwall, and Henry Halle, chaplain to the widowed Lady Strong, probably in Somerset.43 Members of the professional classes included three

124  Maryanne Kowaleski Breton surgeons who took out letters of denization in 1544, two of whom had been in England for decades, while the third, Gilles Collyns, was called ‘a very good surgeon’ who had resided in Totnes for six or seven years.44 Another skilled professional, perhaps a cleric, was a Breton scribe who ended up working in the far north, at Durham Priory.45 Skilled artisans were also amongst the Bretons who settled in England. Some, such as the five current and former apprentices, must have arrived in England as children.46 One of them, Philip Morys, was apprenticed to another Breton immigrant in Exeter, which might suggest chain migration, or at the very least, social networks among those in the Breton community.47 Others probably arrived with enough training to allow them to take up work upon arrival. Tailoring was the most common craft practiced by Breton immigrants (Table 6.2), though it was also the top artisanal occupation in the EIDB. Like many other immigrants, Bretons also worked in the leather and fur trades as cordwainers, furriers, shoemakers, skinners, and tanners, and as smiths, millers and a wide variety of other skilled crafts. But the evidence on occupational choices cannot be pushed too far, since we know only 40 per cent of the occupations practiced by the Bretons, a problem that is especially marked for alien taxpayers (Table 6.2), who account for 73 per cent of the records in the Breton dataset compared to the letters of protection and denization, which capture many more occupations but primarily those at the upper end of the social scale. Nonetheless, it can be said that the Breton immigrants were as a rule less likely to pursue the high-end artisanal work often practiced by the Flemish and ‘Dutch’ (a term which includes Hollanders and Germans).48 One craft group that stands out is the Breton woodworkers, particularly the carvers (artists who carved wood), and joiners, who crafted furniture and other ornamental wood fittings. The EIDB records fifty-one individual carpenters, only one of whom was Breton, but there were seven Breton joiners and three Breton carvers. Few of their English residences are known, but one of the carvers lived in Exeter and three of the joiners in Devon.49 Alan Plymner was a joiner from Morlaix whose father was Breton but mother was English. He had been apprenticed to an English joiner when a child and in 1544 was residing in Ipplepen village in south Devon. Two of the other Another example in 1544 is Sir John de Larbar, Breton chaplain to Sir Humphrey Forster, likely of Berkshire; see 4 4 EIDB: Tristram Bysset from St Brieuc and William Gooderus from Lannion. 45 Deuffic, ‘Guillaume du Stiphel’. He is not in the database. 46 EIDB; Tudor Exeter, ed. Rowe, pp. 26, 43.

Breton immigration  125 Breton joiners were also married to Englishwomen.50 Despite being the home of most Breton immigrants, Cornwall had no Breton carvers or joiners according to EIDB, although documentary references elsewhere indicate that they were indeed active throughout Cornwall and Devon making rood screens, rood lofts and seats for parish churches.51 Also significant is the architectural evidence of Breton woodworkers found in the surviving fabric of houses and churches in southwestern England, apparent in such Breton stylistic features as spiky leaf carvings, linenfold wooden panels, delicate lacework carving, stubby finials and flat door heads with small ogee arches. Certain construction techniques found in this region were also typical of Breton woodwork, including the dominance of horizontal timbers in church screens, the use of laminated construction, elaborately carved prie-dieu and the wooden galleries connected by a spiral staircase typical of the maison à pondalez. This persuasive material evidence for the presence and cultural influence of Breton woodworkers also underlines the problem of relying too heavily on the chronologically scattered and often socially biased evidence from the alien subsidies, Tudor tax rolls and the letters of denization. Servants ranked first among known occupations taken up by Breton immigrants, accounting for about one-third of occupations (Table 6.2), which was the case for most immigrant groups, especially those from France.52 The low status, youth and poverty of servants were evident in how they were named; almost half of the Breton servants in England were known only by their first name and the name of their employer and another one-third had some variant of the surname ‘Breton’, pointing to their lack of an individualized identity. Only three of the forty Breton servants in the 1440 alien subsidy claimed householder status. No Breton servant in the military survey or Tudor subsidies was taxed on land, most were taxed on wages rather than goods in the subsidies and almost all paid the absolute minimum tax, with a fair number excused from paying at all with such comments as ‘pauper’ or ‘nil’ written next to their names. There were five servants established enough to purchase letters of denization in 1544, but two of them were longterm servants of gentry and two were called ‘servingman’, perhaps a sign of elevated status in the world of service.53 Ages were recorded for only two servants – sixteen and eighteen – probably typical ages for immigrant servants. Three of the six female Bretons were servants, all resident in rural areas; two lived in Devon and the third, Joan Breton, in Worcestershire as the

50 EIDB: Peter Harris and Francis Gillet.

126  Maryanne Kowaleski employee of Nicholas Breton, who though not an alien, may have had ties to Brittany that helped attract Joan to faraway Worcestershire.54 Only a few Breton servants worked for fellow countryman, including Philip Morys apprentice to Guy Blunworth of Exeter, also a Breton.55 There are, however, examples of Bretons working for other aliens, especially French speakers. In Devon, Ivon Tracey of Brittany worked in Exeter for John Poke, a Norman, while John Durant, a Breton skinner in Exeter, employed a Norman servant named John, a situation perhaps facilitated by Durant’s wife, who was also Norman.56 Over 90 per cent of the Breton servants worked for English employers, but some of the employers had mercantile connections to Brittany. Robert May of Exeter, for instance, had two male Breton servants named Oliver and Thomas, whom he may have hired by virtue of contacts made in trading overseas in Brittany since he is recorded as importing a wide variety of goods, including the typical linen crées cloth of Brittany, on ships out of three different Breton ports.57 It is also possible that some Breton servants accompanied English soldiers or naval crew stationed or fighting in Brittany when they returned to England, though no definitive examples can be identified.58 It is likely that many of the newly arrived servants resided with their employers, which was common practice in town and country for young, unmarried servants of all backgrounds.59 This practice is suggested too by the placement of many servants in tax lists immediately after their employer’s entry.60 When named, the employers almost always resided in the same parish as the servant and were, not surprisingly, usually among the middling and even upper strata of village society in terms of wealth. Unfortunately, except for gentry or clerical employers, the tax and denization records that comprise the Breton dataset rarely specify the employer’s occupation. Further prosopographical work might reveal more information, which could also shed light on the motivations for and early experience of the many Breton immigrants who took up service positions on arrival in England.61 Even

54 EIDB; Joan was the only Breton in Worcestershire, so it is also possible that she was not Breton but simply adopted the surname of her employer 55 Tudor Exeter, ed. Rowe, p. 26. 56 EIDB; Tudor Exeter, ed. Rowe, pp. 23, 44–5; Kowaleski, ‘French Immigrants’, pp. 220–1.

Breton immigration  127 less information is forthcoming about the large group of Bretons called labourers (Table 6.2). Their profile closely matches that of servants; half had some variation of ‘Breton’ as their surname, and they were taxed at the minimum rate on goods and wages, but never on land. They differed from servants, however, in that their ranks included no women and they more often hired themselves out for occasional labour since their employers were never mentioned. Although the two who gave their ages were only sixteen, it is likely that many were older, given the decades that those who sought letters of denization said they had already spent in England. These types of workers were often highly mobile and thus escape the eye of many administrative records; it is no coincidence that the bulk of the labourers in the dataset are known from the military survey (Table 6.2), which was unusual in how far down the social ladder its scope went.62 *** Most immigrant groups showed a marked preference for settling in specific English regions, usually those geographically closest and economically connected to their homeland. This situation was even more striking in the case of Bretons, who overwhelmingly favoured settling in Cornwall and, to some extent, the neighbouring county of Devon. In Cornwall, there were large communities of fellow countrymen and women in the four western hundreds and along the county’s south coast that would have smoothed a Breton immigrant’s path in the new country. Assimilation in Cornwall would also have been facilitated by the ease with which Breton and Cornish speakers could understand each other. The continual influx of Bretons to western Cornwall might also have helped keep Cornish alive longer as a spoken language. Bretons were such a dominant group in Penwith hundred that its military survey simply titled each parish’s list of aliens as ‘born in Brittany’.63 The distribution of ‘Breton’ surnames also shows their concentration in western Cornwall and the southern coasts of Devon and Cornwall.64 Although Breton immigrants could be found in all walks of life, a significant number were likely young, poor and unskilled, and almost all were male. With the exception of woodworkers, few of the Bretons appear to have matched the craft skills and accomplishments of, for example, the Flemish and ‘Dutch’ immigrants. The Bretons were closer to the profile of Norman immigrants, among whom there were also many servants and similar artisanal skills. They differed from the Normans and other immigrant groups, however, in their greater participation in maritime occupations and tinning. Many Bretons likely arrived with seagoing experience, since their known

128  Maryanne Kowaleski Breton residences were overwhelmingly coastal, so the expanding maritime economy of Devon and Cornwall in the later Middle Ages would have provided them with plentiful employment opportunities. Tinning, however, was unique to Cornwall (and to a lesser extent, Devon), so Bretons who acquired work in that industry were taking advantage of openings that were becoming available in the late fifteenth and early sixteenth centuries when the Cornish industry was at its medieval height. Overall, the relatively buoyant economy of late medieval Cornwall and Devon and their demand for labour would have provided attractive work options for newcomers. Indeed, Breton immigration to Cornwall actually appears to have expanded, as suggested by a comparison between the numbers of Bretons in the 1440 alien subsidy and those taxed in the Tudor tax rolls of the 1520.65 But open to debate is the extent to which hard times in Brittany helped to push migration to England or, the more likely scenario, whether the intensification of commercial maritime contacts between Brittany and southwestern England was a bigger factor. To resolve this issue, more work needs to be done to match migration patterns to the ups and downs in Cornish and Breton politics and economy.66 Finally, given the endemic piracy and wartime tensions between England and Brittany in much of the fifteenth and early sixteenth century, it is striking how little anti-Breton feeling can be discerned,67 even in Devon and Cornwall where many had suffered in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries from Breton raids on their coasts and attacks and plunder at sea. In 1513, fears of coastal attacks by Bretons even stimulated the construction of port defences in many southwestern harbours.68 In the 1520s, at the same time as the Tudor subsidies list numerous Bretons in coastal communities up and down the southwestern coast, they also record sixteen Cornish men in St Sampson, Fowey, Luxulyan, St Ewe and Gorran who were granted tax relief because they were ‘captured at sea by the Bretons’, including one who died.69 The strife that occurred sprang primarily from opportunistic

68 Oppenheim, ‘Maritime History’, p. 485.

Breton immigration  129 sea rovers on both sides who were, on the one hand, duly (and often unsuccessfully) pursued in the courts, and on the other, made private agreements regarding how to deal with ransoms if and when they were caught, a pragmatic approach that was shared by maritime communities regardless of which side of the Channel they were on.70 The absence of anti-alien feeling in Devon and Cornwall can be attributed in large part to the prosperity the two counties were experiencing in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, when many other regions and towns were struggling to cope with economic depression and thus keen anti-alien sentiment in the face of competition for jobs and markets.71 Breton neighbours were also nothing new in Devon and especially in Cornwall, where a common language and culture may have smoothed over some of the more difficult situations.

Figure 6.1 The Cornish hundreds and language boundary between western (Cornish-speaking) and eastern (English-speaking) regions in c. 1500.

130  Maryanne Kowaleski Table 6.1 Distribution of Breton immigrants in Cornwall by hundred and record source Hundred

Penwith Kerrier Powder Pydar West East Trigg Lesnewth Stratton

Settlements No. of Bretons with Total 1440 alien 1522– Bretons subsidy 1523 military survey 26 23 22 6 12 3 4 1 1 98

207 118 58 19 22 16 18 1 1 460

3 4 3 16 1 27

116 – – – 16 – 8 – – 140

1523– 1525 subsidies

1544 denization letters

85 111 51 19 3 – 9 0 0 278

3 7 3 0 0 0 1 0 1 15

Sources: England’s Immigrants, (includes data from the 1440–1441 alien subsidy, the 1523–1525 subsidies and the 1544 denization letters) supplemented with data from Military Survey, ed. Stoate (1522–1523); Cornwall Subsidies, ed. Stoate (1524–1525). Notes: A dash (–) means no data survives. Based on the number of Bretons in the 1523–1525 subsidies, this table significantly undercounts Bretons in Kerrier and Powder, neither of which have an extant military survey that distinguishes aliens. Undercounting in Pydar and East is also a factor because of missing tax returns. For other comments on illegibility or missing parts in the returns, see Cornwall subsidies, ed. Stoate, p. v.

Figure 6.2 Administrative divisions and the language boundary between Upper Brittany to the east (French-Gallo speaking) and Lower Brittany in the west (Breton-speaking) in the late Middle Ages.

Breton immigration  131 Table 6.2 Occupations of Breton immigrants in England Occupations

Total 1337–1496 No. Denization and protection letters

Maritime Fishers Mariners Lighterman Merchants Tinners Titled and professions Clergy Artisans Tailors Leather and fur Smiths Apprentices Barbers Woodworkers Millers Others Servants Labourers Known totals Unknown



1440– 1488


5 3

40 87

5 0

105 45 343 505

0 0 14 14


Alien Military survey Denization subsidies and subsidies letters

1 14 8


4 3 1 1

1 40 1 48 67

20 17 3



4 5

4 28 12 2

27 56 10 13

7 2

1 3 5 9 3 12 5 7 123 79

1 2 2 60 37 159 344

18 1

Sources: England’s Immigrants,, supplemented with data from Tudor Exeter, ed. Rowe; Military Survey, ed. Stoate; Cornwall Subsidies, ed. Stoate.

Bibliography Manuscript sources Exeter, Devon Heritage Centre, Exeter Local Port Customs Accounts, 1441/2, 1445/6 1448/9.

Printed and online primary sources Calendar of Early Chancery Proceedings relating to West Country Shipping, 1388– 1493, ed. D. A. Gardiner, Devon and Cornwall Record Society n.s. 21 (Torquay, 1976). Calendar of the Plymouth Municipal Records, ed. R. N. Worth (Plymouth, 1893). The Cornwall Military Survey, 1522, with the Loan Book and a Tinners’ Muster Roll c.1535, ed. T. L. Stoate (Bristol, 1987).

132  Maryanne Kowaleski Cornwall Subsidies in the Reign of Henry VIII, 1524 and 1543, and the Benevolence of 1545, ed. T. L. Stoate (Bristol, 1985). Dartmouth. Vol. I-Pre-Reformation, ed. H. R. Watkin, Parochial Histories of Devonshire, 5 (1935). Devon Lay Subsidies 1524–7, ed. T. L. Stoate (Bristol, 1979). England’s Immigrants 1330–1550, at, accessed 1 July 2020. The Itinerary of John Leland in or about the Years 1535–1543, ed. L. Toulmin Smith, 5 vols (London, 1906–10). The Soldier in Later Medieval England at, accessed 1 August 2020. Tudor Exeter. Tax Assessments 1489–1595 including the Military Survey 1522, ed. M. M. Rowe, Devon and Cornwall record society n.s. 22 (1977). Walsingham, T., St Albans Chronicle: The Chronica Maiora of Thomas Walsingham, II, 1394–1422, ed. J. Taylor, W. R. Childs and L. Watkiss, 2 vols (Oxford, 2003–11). Whitley, H. M., ‘A Valuation of the Lands and Goods of the Inhabitants of Penwith, temp. Henry VIII’, Journal of the Royal Institution of Cornwall 9 (1887), 222–70.

Secondary sources Allan, J., ‘Breton Woodworkers in the Immigrant Communities of South-West England 1500–1550’, Post-Medieval Archaeology 48 (2014), 320–56. Brett, C., ‘Soldiers, Saints, and States? The Breton Migrations Revisited’, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 61 (2011), 1–56. Childs, W., ‘Overseas Trade and Shipping in Cornwall in the Later Middle Ages’, in The Maritime History of Cornwall, ed. P. Payton, A. Kennerley, and H. Doe (Exeter, 2014), pp. 60–71. Chrimes, S. B., Henry VII (New Haven, CT, 1972). Cornwall, J., ‘A Tudor Domesday. The Musters of 1522’, Journal of the Society of Archivists 3 (1965–9), 19–24. Currin, J. M., ‘Pierre Le Pennec, Henry VII of England, and the Breton Plot of 1492: A Case Study in Diplomatric Pathology’, Albion 23 (1991), 1–22. Currin, J. M., ‘“The King’s Army into the Partes of Bretaigne”: Henry VII and the Breton Wars, 1489–1491’, War in History 7 (2000), 379–412. Déprez, E., ‘Une lettre missive du prétendant Jean de Bretagne, comte de Montfort’, Annales de Bretagne 34 (1919), 56–67. Deuffic, J.-L., ‘Guillaume du Stiphel: un copiste Breton ‘in England’ au xive siècle’, Pecia. Le livre et l’écrit 7 (2009), 217–20. Ditmas, E. M. R., ‘Geoffrey of Monmouth and the Breton Families of Cornwall’, Welsh History Review 6 (1973), 451–61. Ditmas, E. M. R., ‘Breton Settlers in Cornwall after the Norman Conquest’, Transactions of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion (1977), 11–39. Ford, C. J., ‘Piracy or Policy: The Crisis in the Channel, 1400–1403’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 29 (1979), 63–78., at, accessed 1 July 2020. Goldberg, P. J. P., ‘What Was a Servant?’, in Concepts and Patterns of Service in the Later Middle Ages, ed. A. Curry and E. Matthew (Woodbridge, 2000), pp. 1–20.

Breton immigration  133 Goldberg, P. J. P., ‘Migration, Youth and Gender in Later Medieval England’, in Youth in the Middle Ages, ed. P. J. P. Goldberg and F. Riddy (York, 2004), pp. 85–99. Goring, J. J., ‘The General Proscription of 1522’, EHR 86 (1971), 681–705. Guy, B., ‘The Breton Migration: A New Synthesis’, Zeitschrift für Celtische Philologie 6 (2014), 101–56. Hatcher, J., Rural Economy and Society in the Duchy of Cornwall 1300–1500 (Cambridge, 1970). Hatcher, J., English Tin Production and Trade before 1550 (Oxford, 1973). The History of Parliament Online, 1509–1558, ed. P. Seaward (1982), at http://www., accessed 1 July 2020. Hoyle, R. W., Tudor Taxation Records: A Guide for Users (London, 1994). Jackson, A. M., ‘Letter from a Breton Knight’, Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries 31 (1970), 216–8. Jones, M., Ducal Brittany 1364–1399: Relations with England and France during the reign of Duke John IV (Oxford, 1970). Jones, M., ‘Notes sur quelques familles bretonnes en Angleterre après la conquête normade’, in The Creation of Brittany: A Late Medieval State (London, 1988), pp. 69–93 (first published in 1981). Jones, M., ‘Between France and England: Jeanne de Navarre, Duchess of Brittany and Queen of England (1368–1437)’, in Between France and England: Power, Politics and Society in Late Medieval Brittany, ed. M. Jones (Aldershot, 2003), pp. 1–23 (first published in 1999 in French). Jones, M., ‘Edward III’s Captains in Brittany’, in Between France and England: Power, Politics and Society in Late Medieval Brittany, ed. M. Jones (Aldershot, 2003), pp. 99–118. Jones, M., ‘Le Trémazan des Du Chastel: du château fort à la ruine’, in Actes du colloque de Brest, 10, 11 et 12 juin 2004, ed. Y. Coativy (Brest, 2006), pp. 105–23. Jones, M., ‘Bretons in Medieval Lincolnshire: The Honour of Richmond and Other Connections, 10166-1399,’ unpublished presidential lecture for the Cambrian Archaeological Association for 2020–1. Jurkowski, M., Smith, C. L. and Crook, D., Lay Taxes in England and Wales 1188– 1688 (Kew, 1998). Keats-Rohan, K. S. B., ‘The Bretons and Normans of England 1066–1154: The Family, the Fief and the Feudal Monarchy’, Nottingham Medieval Studies 36 (1992), 42–78. Keats-Rohan, K. S. B., ‘Les Bretons dans l’Angleterre au XIIe siècle’, in Bretons et Normands au Moyen Âge. Rivalries, malentendus, convergences, ed. J. Quaghebeur and B. Merdrignac (Rennes, 2008), pp. 263–80. Kerhervé, J., L’état breton au 14e et 15e siècles: les ducs, l’argent et les hommes, 2 vols (Paris, 1987). Kingsford, C. L., Prejudice and Promise in Fifteenth-Century England (London, 1962, first printed 1925). Kowaleski, M., Local Markets and Regional Trade in Medieval Exeter (Cambridge, 1995). Kowaleski, M., ‘The Expansion of the South-Western Fisheries in Late Medieval England’, Economic History Review, second series 53 (2000), 429–54.

134  Maryanne Kowaleski Kowaleski, M., ‘“Alien” Encounters in the Maritime World of Medieval England’, Medieval Encounters 13 (2007), 96–121. Kowaleski, M., ‘Peasants and the Sea’, in Peasants and Lords in the Medieval English Economy: Essays in Honour of Bruce M. S. Campbell, ed. M. Kowaleski, J. Langdon and P. Schofield (Turnhout, 2015), pp. 353–76. Kowaleski, M., ‘The Assimilation of Foreigners in Late Medieval Exeter: A Prosopographical Analysis’, in Resident Aliens in Medieval England, ed. N. McDonald, W. M. Ormrod and C. Taylor (Turnhout, 2017), pp. 163–79. Kowaleski, M., ‘French Immigrants and the French Language in Late-medieval England’, in The French of England: Essays in Honour of Jocelyn Wogan Browne, ed. T. Fenster and C. Collette (Woodbridge, 2017), pp. 207–24. Linsley, C., ‘The French in Fifteenth-Century England’, in Resident Aliens in Medieval England, ed. N. McDonald, W. M. Ormrod and C. Taylor (Turnhout, 2017), pp. 147–62. Moal, L., L’Étranger en Bretagne au Moyen Âge: présence, attitudes, perceptions (Rennes, 2008). Oppenheim, M., ‘Maritime History’, in The Victoria History of the County of Cornwall, vol. I, ed. W. Page (London, 1906), pp. 475–511. Ormrod, W. M., Lambert, B. and Mackman, J., Immigrant England, 1300–1550 (Manchester, 2019). Padel, O. J., ‘Where Was Middle Cornish Spoken?’, Cambrian Medieval Celtic Studies 74 (2017), 1–31. Payton, P., Cornwall: A History, 3rd ed. (Exeter, 2017). Piette, G., A Concise History of Brittany (Cardiff, 2008). Pocquet du Haut- Jussé, B.-A., François II, duc de Bretagne et l’Angleterre (1458– 1488) (Paris, 1929). Robinson, W. R. B., ‘Sir Roland Veleville and the Tudor Dynasty: A Reassessment’, Welsh Historical Review 15 (1991), 351–67. Rowse, A. L., Tudor Cornwall (Redruth, 1969; first published 1941). Russell, P., Dartmouth: A History of the Port and Town (London, 1950). Sutton, A. F., ‘England and Brittany 1482–86: Politics, Trade, and War’, Nottingham Medieval Studies 62 (2018), 137–82. Touchard, H., Le commerce maritime Breton à la fin du moyen âge (Paris, 1967). Whetter, J., The History of Gorran Haven (St Austell, 1990).



The bishop of Winchester, the abbey of Titchfield and the ‘Pretended Chapel’ of Hook, 1375–1405 Chris Given-Wilson

Nearly forty years ago D. G. Watts, the historian of Titchfield (Hampshire) and its Premonstratensian abbey of St Mary, drew attention to the ‘extraordinary affair’ of the abbey’s dispute between circa 1375 and 1405 with its dependent villagers at Hook.1 At the heart of this remarkable story was what the abbot habitually referred to as Hook’s ‘pretended chapel’ (capella pretensa). Yet although primarily a local dispute, its ripples spread far wider: William of Wykeham, bishop of Winchester, became deeply involved in the controversy, as did his enemies in London, several lords of the king’s council, the archbishop of Canterbury and the pope. Hook was so-called because it was on the ‘hook’ of land where the River Hamble enters Southampton Water, creating a tidal inlet known as the Fleet. Although it had close links with Southampton and Hamble, it was a significant port in its own right in the fourteenth century, and ships ‘of Hook’ were distinguished with care from those of its neighbours. For the Crécy-Calais expedition of 1346, it provided over 200 mariners and eleven ships, roughly half the number supplied by Southampton.2 Listed as royal demesne in Domesday Book, by circa 1300 Hook was divided between the manors of Hook Valence (held by the earl of Pembroke) and Hook Mortimer (held by Roger Mortimer). It is the latter with which we are concerned here.3 The dispute over Hook’s capella pretensa had two distinct phases, 1375– 1379 and 1400–1405. The first known reference to it is dated 15 March 1364,

138  Chris Given-Wilson when Pope Urban V ordered Bishop Edington of Winchester to inquire into a petition from the inhabitants of Hook proposing the foundation of a chapel there. According to the villagers, Hook was two miles from the parish church of Titchfield and the road between the village and the church often flooded, meaning that they could not go to church and infants and the sick and elderly were denied the sacraments. Although Edington passed this mandate to his official, nothing was done before the bishop’s death a year later.4 Edington was succeeded by William of Wykeham, who was born within the parish of Titchfield and had a strong affection for the abbey – a not insignificant factor in the dispute that followed. This really began in July 1374, when Pope Gregory XI, picking up what his predecessor had dropped, instructed Wykeham to inquire into the construction and endowment of a chapel at Hook and to institute a curate there. Gregory was responding to a petition from the king’s son, John of Gaunt, the earls of Suffolk, Stafford and Warwick and Edward Lord Despenser. These five, with the duke of Brittany, were the leaders of Gaunt’s ‘Great March’ of 1373–1374 from Calais to Bordeaux, towards the end of which they were in regular contact with the Avignon papacy and presumably presented their petition.5 Yet although the support of these great lords surely helped to secure Gregory’s compliance, it was local commitment that drove the project, the purpose of which was to provide a chapel-of-ease for Titchfield parish church. It was thus three of Hook’s tenants, William Osbern, Richard Clok and William Farthing, whom Edmund Mortimer, earl of March and lord of Hook, licenced on 28 February 1375 to alienate a plot of land eighty feet long and sixty feet wide upon which to construct it. The bishop of Winchester was to induct the chaplain.6 The problem was that neither Bishop Wykeham nor the abbot of Titchfield – to whom the parish church had been appropriated since the abbey’s foundation in 1232 – supported the construction of a chapel at Hook; and therein lay the origins of the dispute. Despite this, within the next eighteen months the villagers had built the chapel and installed a chaplain, Robert Wheeler. It was apparently constructed on a plot of land adjacent to the house of one William Maple, who was the prime mover in the affair. Maple was a man of some substance: not just a landholder in Hook, he was also a burgess of Southampton, where he held several tenements and served twice as mayor

The ‘Pretended Chapel’ of Hook  139 (1387–1389). He stood surety for knights and aliens, collected parliamentary taxes and did not stand in fear of ecclesiastical authority.7 The timing of the chapel’s construction was fortuitous for the villagers because Wykeham, once Edward III’s chancellor and a great power in the realm, fell into disgrace in October 1376; convicted of malpractice and dismissed from the royal council, he was forbidden to approach the king’s presence.8 The chief agent of his downfall was John of Gaunt, one of the original advocates of Hook chapel, and although this was probably no more than a coincidence, now was clearly not the moment for Wykeham to embark on any action that might be construed as a challenge to Gaunt. However, by September 1377, once Edward III died and a spirit of conciliation prevailed, Wykeham had obtained a pardon and resumed his political career. He also now redirected his mind to Hook chapel. The contention of the abbot of Titchfield, John de Thorney (1370–1390), supported by Wykeham, was that the chapel at Hook prejudiced the rights of both the abbey and the parish church. Their principal grounds for complaint, repeated many times over subsequent years, were that (i) Wykeham had never licensed the chapel; (ii) on Sundays and feast days the inhabitants of Hook attended their own chapel rather than the parish church, thereby depriving the latter of alms and tithes and endangering their souls; (iii) they rang bells encouraging other parishioners to attend the chapel; (iv) they had erected a font and baptized infants; and (v) Robert Wheeler also dispensed other sacraments such as confession and extreme unction. On 23 December 1377, reciting these complaints, Wykeham ordered his sequestrator John Langrish to go to Titchfield on a Sunday and, after mass, publish a monition that the chapel must be closed within twelve days under threat of interdict. Langrish duly went to Titchfield, but when he read out the monition, the villagers of Hook, assembled en masse in the parish church, shouted out ‘with loud and arrogant voices’ (alta voce et pomposa) that they had no intention of closing their chapel. Wykeham responded by putting the matter in the hands of his official John Lydford, who on 22 January 1378, in the church of St Mary Overy in Southwark, placed an interdict on the chapel.9 William Maple’s reaction was swift and provocative. Appearing before a notary public in London on 29 January, he appealed to Pope Gregory against Wykeham’s sentence. Pointing out that the chapel had been constructed with the consent of the lord of the village and that the villagers had agreed to respect the rights of the parish church, he accused Wykeham of refusing to hear their appeals (which the bishop had already dismissed as frivolam, frustratoriam, minus veris fictam et fabricatam), or to give them a

140  Chris Given-Wilson copy of the monition, which they needed in order to take legal advice, ‘since I [Maple] and the parishioners of the said village are laymen and not literate’ (litteras non novimus). They had also been summoned at short notice to Winchester Cathedral, where they would be in danger from the ‘snares of their enemies’. Five weeks later, Maple drew up a second appeal (technically, an interposition) for protection against any action which Wykeham might take against him, a copy of which he pinned to the doors of Winchester Cathedral.10 Months of stalemate followed, probably occasioned by the death of Gregory XI on 27 March 1378 and the confusion that attended the outbreak of the Great Schism, for not until the October parliament did the English recognize Urban VI as pope.11 By the spring of 1379, however, Wykeham was ready to renew his campaign against the chapel, initially summoning the villagers, through the dean of neighbouring Droxford, to appear in Winchester Cathedral on Maundy Thursday (7 April); meanwhile, on 31 March, he renewed the interdict on the chapel and excommunicated Maple, Wheeler and twenty-four other named offenders.12 Most of them were villagers of Hook, but at least one, William Waryn, was, like Maple, a man with wider connections. As the master of the ship Rodecog of Hook, he regularly transported English armies to the continent during the 1370s and 1380s, serving under commanders such as Sir Hugh Calveley (in 1378–1379), Sir Thomas Percy (in 1385) and even John of Gaunt, whose army he had helped to transport back to England in 1374.13 Eventually, in late 1379, a compromise was agreed. Wykeham consented to a chapel at Hook in which masses and other divine offices could be said by a secular chaplain licenced by himself and removable at the discretion of the abbot, but only as long as he was not instituted perpetually and used a portable altar ‘such as might be found in an un-consecrated private chapel’. The villagers were to build a house for him at their own expense and provide the necessary books, chalices, vestments, ornaments, bread and candles for the chapel. They must also continue to pay their share of the maintenance of Titchfield parish church and cemetery as well as the customary tithes, alms and other dues which they rendered there. They were obliged to attend

The ‘Pretended Chapel’ of Hook  141 services at Titchfield at Christmas, Easter, the feasts of SS Peter and Paul and the anniversary of the church’s dedication, although those who were infirmos, debiles et impotentes might be excused from this; women about to give birth might also be excused, provided they subsequently went to Titchfield for purification. All the villagers were to hear confession at the parish church at least once a year and receive penances and the viaticum there, unless they were too sick to travel or were about to go abroad in the king’s service. Burials at Hook were strictly forbidden, since the ground was not hallowed, and other sacraments permitted only in dire necessity. As the price of these concessions, the villagers at Hook agreed to pay eighty marks to Wykeham and ten marks a year to the abbey, to renounce their appeals to the papacy and to submit to the bishop’s arbitration. For their part, the abbot and convent had to appoint a chaplain at Hook within thirty days of the death or removal of the previous incumbent. Once this agreement was ratified, Wykeham would pardon the villagers and lift the sentences of excommunication and interdict, but if they reneged on it these would automatically be reimposed. The subsequent ratification of the agreement, described by Lydford as bona et formalis submissio facta domino episcopo, also stipulated a penalty of 1,000 marks by the villagers for its infraction.14 This compact was witnessed by two men of considerable standing: Hugh Calveley, the great war-captain under whom William Waryn served that year, and Sir John Montague, nephew and heir of the earl of Salisbury. Maple knew them both: he had stood as a mainpernor for Calveley in 1378, while the tenement in English Street, Southampton, in which Maple lived, was leased by Montague from the earl of Arundel.15 The likelihood is that Calveley and Montague had not just witnessed the agreement with Wykeham, but in effect brokered it, for while Lydford might have chosen to represent it as a submission to episcopal authority, it was by no means an unconditional surrender, and up to a point Maple and the villagers had got what they wanted. What really mattered, however, was whether the agreement would stick. For the next twenty-one years, it evidently did; what ruptured it was the death of William Maple – or, more precisely, his will. Maple must have died in 1399 or early 1400.16 The text of his will has not survived, but it is clear that he left funds for the establishment of a chantry in Hook chapel, with a chaplain to sing masses for the souls of himself, his relatives and his friends. This required an additional licence, which the new abbot of Titchfield, John de Romsey, opposed. Against him stood the

142  Chris Given-Wilson new chaplain at Hook, William Cake,17 and Maple’s leading executor, John Michol, a vintner and future sheriff of London who had presumably been a business associate of Maple and who enjoyed both the wealth and the inclination to stand up for what he believed to be his obligations.18 The subsequent litigation took over four years to resolve and was carefully copied into one of the voluminous registers compiled at Titchfield Abbey shortly after 1405, where it fills forty folios under the title Acta de Houke.19 Michol apart, Maple’s executors were Master John Batour, rector of the parish church of Sherborne St John, William Tabellere of Clopham and Hugh Champion of Southampton. On 5 May 1400, these four loaned 160 marks to the abbot of St Mary Graces (London) in return for an annuity of eight marks (two marks each) for twenty years, presumably to pay William Cake.20 Three weeks later, the dispute reignited: Abbot Romsey forbade any chaplain to hold services at Hook or appeal to the pope, while Bishop Wykeham sent a mandate to the dean of Droxford telling him to cite Cake, ‘who calls himself a priest’ (presbiterum se pretendens), to appear before him at Southwark on 19 June to explain why he had endangered souls by ringing bells and celebrating masses in ‘a certain house’ in the ‘village or hamlet of Hook’, despite it being under interdict. The villagers were warned that if they attended any such services, they would be excommunicated.21 The dean duly went to Hook on 10 June, but found himself confronted by several of Cake’s accomplices, who, ‘armed with hand weapons and drawn bows with arrows at the ready’, threatened to resist him if he proceeded. One of them seized the mandate from him and made off with it while two others held him back. Fearing for his life, the dean retreated and reported back that, although he had announced it in several local churches, he had not been able to deliver Wykeham’s citation to Cake.22 Meanwhile, the abbot had also sent a tutelary (tuitorie) appeal to the Court of Arches, the appeal court of Canterbury diocese, seeking protection against his enemies, and on 4 June the archbishop’s official empowered four clerics of Worcester diocese,

20 CCR 1399–1402, pp. 130, 133–4, 181. Chapel or chantry chaplains generally received between four and ten marks (Wood-Legh, Perpetual Chantries, pp. 41–2; Duffy, Stripping of the Altars, p. 369). 21 BL, Add MS 70507, fos. 48v–50r; cf. Wykeham’s Register, ed. Kirby, II, p. 500. 22 BL, Add MS 70507, fos. 50r–v.

The ‘Pretended Chapel’ of Hook  143 led by Hugo Saunder, to try their hand at summoning Cake.23 Saunder fared no better than the dean. Unable to find Cake, who was protected by a large number of armed villagers, and claiming to be ‘in danger of death or serious bodily injury’, he withdrew to confer with the dean of Droxford, who, doubtless sympathetically, substantiated his account.24 By this time, news of the dispute at Hook had come to the notice of the king’s council. Included in the Acta de Houke are four letters in French, one from a ‘friend’ of the abbot, two from an ‘adversary’ and one from Romsey himself, dating from June and July 1400 (see Appendix).25 The friend, evidently a man with political connections, said that he had been informed by ‘my friends on the king’s council’ that the abbot would shortly be made to suffer because of Hook chapel, since ‘the earl of March and other lords’ were briefing the king and council against him, saying it would be profitable to the whole community for foreigners as well as for locals to have a chapel there; the upshot of which, he went on, was that the chapel was likely to be approved, not just for foreigners but for all those who lived in the vicinity, ‘who suffer greatly from the lack of a chapel there, such as John Michol and others’. If he wanted to avoid the anger of the king and council, therefore, he advised the abbot either to reach an agreement with the people of Hook or to hurry to London to counter the malice of his enemies. That support for the chapel should come from the grandson of the man who had founded it is not surprising, but it would be remarkable if it was the current earl of March (another Edmund Mortimer) who intervened to such effect in council, for he was barely nine years old at this time.26 The likelihood is that it was the earl of Northumberland, Henry Percy, or his son ‘Hotspur’, who did so, for they held the wardship of the Mortimer estates and were at the height of their power at this time.27 John Michol had clearly been garnering support in London, and the first letter from the abbot’s ‘adversary’ (probably Michol himself) left Romsey in no doubt that powerful forces were now ranged against him. Referring back to a conversation they had had at Southampton, he warned the abbot of the inconvenience to visitors of not having a chapel there and advised him to find a remedy ‘so that souls might be saved, and so that no other great lords should meddle with such matters’, since ‘the chancellor and many other great lords are saying that you are doing a great wrong to the village of Hook’. The village, he pointed out, belonged to the king, and the villagers were royal tenants28; he firmly intended, he declared, ‘with all my power’, to perform the will of

23 24 25 26 27 28

Titchfield’s mother’s house was Halesowen (Worcestershire). BL, Add MS 70507, fos. 51r–52v. Ibid., fos 54v–56v; these letters must have preceded the entries on fos. 52v–56v (see below). He was born in 1391. His grandfather Edmund died in 1381, his father Roger in 1398. Given-Wilson, Henry IV, pp. 190–201. Presumably because Hook was ancient crown demesne, a point often disputed by the abbots (Watts, ‘Peasant Discontent’, pp. 122–3).

144  Chris Given-Wilson William Maple, for God and the salvation of souls, so it would be advisable for the abbot to compromise. Although firm, the tone of this letter was not unfriendly; nor was Abbot Romsey’s response. Through his lawyer, he had been in touch with Maple’s executor Hugh Champion to reassure him of his intentions, but since then, despite Wykeham’s interdict, William Cake had continued to celebrate divine services in the chapel. It was not true, said Romsey, that several of the villagers had died without receiving the sacraments. Nor, despite what they had promised, were they paying their tithes, alms or profits of merchandise to the parish, apart from six pence per ship, or contributing to the maintenance of the parish church. They had also maliciously accused the abbot of assembling ‘a great multitude of men by collusion against the peace, and with force of arms launching an attack against them in the village of Hook’. These matters, he concluded, should be remedied at law. The adversary’s response to this began by advising the abbot to pursue his rights less vigorously, ‘because the whole of the king’s council is talking about the great wrong that [the villagers] have suffered’. Whoever had advised the abbot to act in such a way was not a true friend, ‘for wise people say that a man who is hated by his neighbours is not the lord of his land’. It would be better to show mercy, for otherwise Hook chapel would probably before long be ‘freer than before to receive the rights of holy mother church’. Had the abbot invited him, he concluded, he would have come to speak with him to arrange a compromise, ‘and no one else would have known apart from you and me’. ‘And having considered these letters’, the Titchfield register continues, ‘the abbot and convent agreed to treat with the executors of the will of William Maple’. Negotiations took several months, during which time further citations were issued, further unsuccessful attempts were made to enter the village and further evidence was sent to the Court of Arches, although the abbot’s case there was suspended pending the outcome of the negotiations.29 Eventually, on 16 November 1400, an indenture was drawn up and sealed at the abbey. Its most significant point was that in return for the payment by the executors of £160, the abbot agreed that Maple’s perpetual chantry could be established in Hook chapel. In return, the abbey undertook to appoint and maintain a secular chaplain to reside in the village of Nether Bliss, ‘adjacent to the said chapel’, who would celebrate mass each day for the souls of Maple and his friends and relatives. The abbot and convent would meet the expenses of this chaplain and would have the sole right to appoint, remove or replace him. He was not to dispense any sacraments of the church without express permission, and those who attended the chapel were not to contribute any of their tithes or alms to him. The abbot also undertook to

29 BL, Add MS 70507, fos. 52v–56v. John Eastfield, vicar of Titchfield, cited Cake again on 19 September, but dared not go to his house.

The ‘Pretended Chapel’ of Hook  145 pay for the house to be built in Nether Bliss. Crucially, however, the final clause of the document stated that if Bishop Wykeham refused to sanction this compact, it would be ‘as nothing’ – and refuse he did: ‘The foregoing agreement’, the scribe concluded, ‘turned out to be null and void (vacue et inanes) because the reverend Lord William bishop of Winchester did not wish to give his assent’.30 Despairing of a resolution, the executors now followed Maple’s lead and appealed to Rome. Their timing was fortuitous. The provision of pastoral and sacramental care in appropriated parishes was a sensitive issue at this time, with the parliamentary Commons putting pressure on Pope Boniface IX to introduce reform, and although the villagers of Hook never directly challenged the abbey’s appropriation of their parish, appropriators were on the defensive.31 At any rate, Boniface’s response – when his bull of 31 December 1401 eventually arrived – gave the executors and the villagers what they wanted. Agreeing that the two-mile trek from Hook was ‘tedious’ and made it difficult for children and the infirm to receive the sacraments, he licenced both the chapel and Maple’s chantry, with permission for a priest to celebrate divine offices, hear confessions, baptize infants and give extreme unction. Anyone who impeded this was threatened with anathemas. After receiving the instruction to execute this decision, Archbishop Arundel invited the abbot to come before him to argue his case.32 This prompted Abbot Romsey to draw up his hitherto most comprehensive schedule of grievances against the chapel.33 In addition to his wellrehearsed concerns about the dispensing of sacraments at Hook, the use of force against the abbot’s commissaries and the withholding of tithes and contributions to the parish church, he also pointed out that the villagers were now claiming the same immunity from contributions to the parish as other (licenced) chapels elsewhere in Winchester diocese; that the dying were bequeathing twenty pence to the priest at Hook but nothing, or only four or six pence to the vicar of Titchfield; that residents of nearby villages, even Titchfield itself, were now going to Hook instead of to the parish church; that Cake was celebrating private masses (missas peculiares) for anniversaries and claiming to have the relics of saints which, he said, would secure indulgences for those who contributed to his chapel. The villagers’ profits from maritime traffic were also still an issue: payments made by ‘foreigners about to go overseas’ were no longer benefiting the parish and the villagers were handing over no more than six pence per ship per year. Moreover, they had suborned great men of the realm to support them by falsely asserting ancient privileges. Yet in reality, the abbot concluded, ‘the entire tenure of 30 Ibid., fo. 58r.

146  Chris Given-Wilson that village of Hook is held in villeinage and bondage’ (native et in bondagio), so that ‘should the aforesaid inhabitants refuse to make satisfaction for all the aforesaid to the abbot and convent, or to be bound in future to do so, they cannot’.34 Bishop Wykeham, now approaching his eightieth year, lent what support he could, sending his chancellor to try to persuade Arundel to give the abbot a sympathetic hearing, and as a result a mediation process was arranged in London between the proctors of the abbot and the executors.35 However, when Michol heard the terms on which the abbot proposed to negotiate – increased payments, restrictions on sacraments and the dispensing of holy water, and the insistence that the ‘villeins’ (nativi) of Hook would never use this agreement to ‘proclaim themselves to be free’ – he rejected them forthwith.36 And for Abbot Romsey, things soon got worse. When his appeal against the pope’s bull was heard by Arundel’s chancellor Robert Hallum in the Court of Arches in late July 1402, it was dismissed. Infuriated, the abbot claimed that Hallum had simply ‘received some witnesses and claimed to have examined them as to the truth of the said bull, but God knows how’ (sed qualiter Deus novit), then ‘instantaneously, almost in the blink of an eye’ (incontinenti, quasi in ictu oculi) decreed that the bull should be executed. He would oppose this decision by any available means. Clearly irked at the abbot’s tone, Arundel responded on 7 August by ordering him and Wykeham to enforce Boniface’s bull and stop harassing the villagers and executors forthwith, under penalty of major excommunication. Wykeham was also told to pardon those whom he had excommunicated, grant the licence for the chapel and – humiliatingly – to have Boniface’s bull read out in Winchester Cathedral as well as Titchfield parish church. When the Titchfield scribe copied this into his register, he omitted some of its more uncomfortable clauses, claiming that it had been issued ‘at the prompting of certain enemies of the abbot and in order to harass and enfeeble them’ (ad vexandum et fatigandum eosdem).37 Yet Abbot Romsey was far from ready to give up. The only way that a papal bull with archiepiscopal backing could be overturned was with a countermanding papal bull, and despite the time and expense involved that was the task he now set himself. His appeal to Boniface claimed that the villagers’ bull had been obtained surreptitiously, and that Hook was not a

34 BL, Add MS 70507, fos. 58r–59v.

The ‘Pretended Chapel’ of Hook  147 town (oppidum) but a rural settlement of no importance (ruralis sine aliqua eminencia) held in bondage; it was not two miles from the parish church but a mile and a half at most, with a good connecting road; the villagers had failed to mention that their ‘pretended chapel’ had been interdicted; there were two other licenced chapels-of-ease in the parish, and a third was unnecessary; the villagers’ behaviour had caused immense damage (laeduntur in immensum) to the rights of both abbey and church, was contrary to the laws of the realm and the crown and was imperilling their souls. Moreover, William Cake had, on 19 February 1403, with ‘diabolical presumption’ (presumpcione diabolica), conducted a burial service outside the chapel for a certain Nicholas Lodere, a parishioner of Titchfield, which was ‘absolutely scandalous’ (nimis scandalosum) and a manifest profanity.38 By the spring of 1403, money had been borrowed, credit for the journey arranged with Florentine bankers and letters of procuration drawn up for the lawyers who, accompanied by some of the monks, would carry the appeal to Rome. And although the journey to Rome and the inevitable delays there took over a year, when Boniface eventually responded on 7 June 1404 he gave the abbot everything he had asked for.39 Repeating Romsey’s grievances almost verbatim, the pope annulled the bull he had granted the villagers and declared their argument in favour of a chapel to be ‘completely absurd’ (nimis absurdum). Archbishop Arundel and other prelates were enjoined to enforce this volte-face with a diligence equal to that which they had formerly shown in enforcing his earlier, diametrically opposed, bull and to inform Bishop Wykeham of the vindication of his thirty-year campaign against the chapel. But whether Wykeham heard the news is uncertain, for he died on 27 September 1404. Four days later, Boniface unexpectedly followed him to the grave after flying into a rage with the ambassadors of his rival Avignonese pope.40 Yet the sudden death of two of the chief protagonists appears to have had no effect on the outcome. After enormous trouble and expense, Abbot Romsey had finally won – or so the Titchfield register suggests, for at this point the scribe brought his Acta de Houke to a close, and for the next thirty years nothing more is heard of the chapel. However, on 5 November 1437 (at whose prompting is not stated), an indult from Pope Eugenius IV to the inhabitants of Hook gave them licence, on the well-honed grounds that the two miles separating them from Titchfield made it inconvenient for them to go there ‘to have mass and other divine offices celebrated by fit priests, even on a portable altar, in the chapel which exists in the said hamlet, saving

38 BL, Add MS 70507, fos. 67v–71r; cf. HALSW, MS 5M53/1294 (later transcript). 39 The itinerary, financial arrangements, travel expenses and letters of procuration are all set out in detail (BL, Add MS 70507, fos. 71v–79r). 40 Chronicle of Adam Usk, ed. Given-Wilson, p. 180.

148  Chris Given-Wilson the right of the said church’.41 So had the abbey really won? As far as can be gathered, Eugenius IV’s indult – which sounds like a reversion to the 1379 compromise – did not provoke any response from either the new abbot of Titchfield, Richard Aubrey, or Henry Beaufort, bishop of Winchester. As long as the villagers and their chaplain exercised circumspection, perhaps neither Aubrey nor Beaufort felt inclined to revisit the affair. At the very least, the indult tells us that there were still in 1437, sixty years after its construction, a functioning chapel at Hook and villagers eager to stand up for it. *** Much of the story of Hook chapel has a familiar ring. There were thousands of chapels in medieval England, many of them private (in the castles and manor-houses of lords and gentry), many others chapels-of-ease.42 Bishops, monasteries and parish rectors habitually imposed close restrictions on the range of activities permitted to chaplains, especially concerning the administration of sacraments, the number and type of masses that could be said and their parishioners’ continuing financial obligations to the mother church. Cemeteries, mortuary payments and baptismal fonts were particularly sensitive issues.43 That disputes should arise was inevitable, and sometimes they persisted for decades: the status of the sumptuous urban chapel of St Nicholas at King’s Lynn, with its large and well-connected mercantile congregation, caused ‘gret ple and gret hevynes’ (‘much litigation and much unpleasantness’) in the town, according to Margery Kempe, and was in dispute (including appeals to Rome) for almost exactly the same period of time as that of Hook, from the 1370s to the 1430s.44 This does not mean that bishops or abbots were fundamentally hostile to chapels or chantries, the foundational raison d’être of which (the ‘increase of divine worship’) was an ideal to which they could but subscribe, and there were obvious spiritual benefits to be gained from making it easier for parishioners to attend mass or receive the sacraments promptly. However, they had to balance these needs against the unity and financial viability of that most fundamental community of lay religious life, the parish; petitions to erect chapels or chantries were thus carefully scrutinized and licences granted only on condition that they should not prejudice the rights of the rector or cause dissension among his parishioners. Sometimes they were refused.45 Yet no case – or at least none that has yet come to light – appears to

The ‘Pretended Chapel’ of Hook  149 have excited as much comment at Westminster as that of Hook, and it is not easy to explain why, in the summer of 1400, with so much else to concern them, the lords of the royal council, the chancellor and apparently even the king took such an interest in it.46 The most plausible explanation is that the mighty Percys were determined to protect the interests of their ward Edmund Mortimer, a boy now but potentially a future king.47 Yet they can hardly have gone unopposed: Wykeham still frequently attended council meetings, where he presumably put his side of the story, but his (and the abbot’s) opinions seem to have been either disregarded or discredited.48 For Archbishop Arundel and Pope Boniface, the problem was whom to believe. Arundel evidently did not send his own investigators to Hook; that was what diocesans and their officials were for. Siding initially with his suffragan, he hastily ate his words on receipt of Boniface’s first bull, only to be forced to disgorge them again two years later. His failure to give a clear lead either to the pope or to Wykeham probably made him look a little foolish; unlike Boniface IX, he can hardly have been unaware of what the king’s councillors were saying about Hook. Boniface, however, thousands of miles away in Rome, could only act on such information as was brought to him, although he too might have felt a little uncomfortable at having to perform such pontifical acrobatics, however gamely he tried to justify his decisions in spiritual terms. Yet this was manifestly not just a matter of souls and salvation. The fact that Hook was a thriving port, not the ‘rural settlement of no importance’ depicted by the abbot, must also have rallied support in high places for its claim to a chapel. Ports were popular locations for chapels-of-ease, where seafarers could pray for a safe crossing or give thanks (and offerings) for a journey completed without mishap; the original 1374 petition from Gaunt and his fellow commanders suggests that it was, from the beginning, not just as a chapel-of-ease for villagers that Hook chapel was seen as desirable.49 Many of those who passed through Hook were knights and merchants, people of substance who had both the financial means and the influence to support its case – men such as Hugh Calveley, John Montague, William Maple and John Michol. Maple’s legacy establishing a chantry at Hook was intended to secure the financial viability of the chapel, a method often chosen by testators not only because it offered long-term security but also because of the moral obligations of testamentary executors. He also evidently had both the connections and the sense to appoint executors with the determination to see the business through. However, the same factors that attracted influential support for Hook’s chapel also made it imperative for the abbey not to allow it to slip beyond 46 Given-Wilson, Henry IV, pp. 167–9, 206–7.

150  Chris Given-Wilson their control. Profits from merchandise, payments by ships’ captains and offerings from travellers must have raised Hook’s income well above the average for a village of its size, and the abbots clearly resented the fact that these were (apparently) being siphoned off at source. This is no doubt one explanation for what was widely seen as intransigence on their part, although in Wykeham’s case natal sentiment also played its part. Yet neither he nor the abbots were entirely inflexible: after all, the 1379 compromise lasted for twenty years. Moreover, fault undoubtedly lay on both sides. By building their chapel without episcopal licence, appealing to the pope, pinning their defiance to the cathedral door, shouting down the bishop’s official and threatening his commissaries with violence, the villagers significantly raised the temperature of the dispute. Nor did they adhere to the terms of the 1379 compromise. The chantry which John Michol resolved to establish was perpetual, whereas Wykeham had only agreed in 1379 to a temporary chaplain with a portable altar; burials at Hook were prohibited, yet William Cake ignored this. Was this why Wykeham refused to compromise for a second time in 1400, because he did not believe that the villagers would keep their word? Abbot Romsey, meanwhile, may well have felt by this time that the chapel was becoming such a threat to the integrity of his parish that some form of damage limitation was essential. Romsey’s insistence in 1401–1402 that the villagers of Hook held their land ‘in villeinage and bondage’, and that nothing he agreed should be used ‘to proclaim themselves free’, indicates deeper concerns. The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries witnessed numerous disputes between the abbots of Titchfield and their tenants, many of which centred on the allegedly unfree status of the tenants on their fifteen Hampshire manors. Concerted resistance became a habit. Men such as William Waryn, residents of a flourishing mercantile community divided between the abbot and great absentee landlords, where seafaring and merchandising opened windows on an unbound world, drew strength from this history of self-assertiveness. And in an age of rising expectations, declining serfdom, passive resistance and active revolt, it may well be true that ‘crossing the tiny stream into the relatively cosmopolitan world of Hook was one of the ways in which Titchfield people were slipping away from customary status’.50 Disappointingly – though perhaps fortunately – this story ends not with a bang but with a whimper. If Eugenius IV’s bull indicates that the chapel was still in use in 1437, the port of Hook was in decline. Patterns of trade were changing, ships getting bigger and the shifting sands of Southampton Water causing the port to silt up. At some point during the later fifteenth century, the chapel for which William Maple, John Michol and the villagers had fought so doggedly seems simply to have become surplus to requirements, and by the time Titchfield Abbey was suppressed in 1537 it was barely even a memory.51 50 Watts, ‘Peasant Discontent’, pp. 131–2.

The ‘Pretended Chapel’ of Hook  151

Appendix: Letters to the abbot of Titchfield, June-July 1400 (BL, Add MS 70507, fos. 54v-56v) 1

(‘quidam familiaris amicus predicti abbatis et conventus’): Treshonore seigneur, vous pleise entendre que ieo suis certefye depar ascuns de mes amys del consail nostre seigneur le roy que vous serres deyns bryef moult grevez par cause de la chapelle de Houke, qar le roy et son consail sont enformez par le counte del March et aultres seignours encountre vous qil serroit necessarie et lour profitable pour tote la commune illoeqes auxi bien pur estraungez come pur prevez davoir la chapele illoeqes avauntdit. Sur quey le roy et son consail sont outrement acordez de ordeigner la dite capelle avauntdit a la requeste des dit counte de March et plusures grauntz seignours, et pur grantt almoygne de tote le pays, et pur toutz estraungez queux sont moult pur defaute dune chapelle illoeques grevez, come Johan Michol et autres. Les seignours avauntditz ont enfourmez, sur quey me semble, que si la dite chapelle avauntdit serroit continue encountre votre bon gree qadonq il serroit grauntement encountre vous et votre meyson pur temps avenir, pur quey, treshonore, vous consayl, come vous voillez eschuer la greve indignation de notre dit le roy et malice dez aultres seignours avauntditz, acorder ovesque lez ditz gentz de Houke en cas que vous voiez qil soit affaire, oud autrement que vous soiez pour votre profit et honur a Loundres a plustot que vous purres pur countresse la malice dez voz enemys avauntdiz. A dieu treshonure sire vous comaund et vous doigne bon esploit encountre voz enemys et bone vie et longe. (Translation: From a certain familiar friend of the said abbot and convent: Honourable lord, may it please you to understand that I have been informed by certain of my friends of the council of our lord the king that you will shortly be made to suffer greatly on account of the chapel of Hook, because the king and his council are informed by the earl of March and other lords opposed to you that it will be necessary and profitable for all the community there, for strangers as well as for residents, to have the aforesaid chapel there. Following which the king and his council are in complete agreement to ordain the aforesaid chapel, at the request of the said earl of March and several other great lords, and for the great relief of all the region, and for all the strangers who suffer greatly from the lack of a chapel there, such as John Michol and others. These lords have reported, according to my information, that if the said chapel should be continued contrary to your agreement, that this would then count greatly against you and your house in the future, and so,

The rectory at ‘Worthy Mortymer’, mentioned in Valor Ecclesiasticus, ed. Caley, II, p. 6, refers to Headbourne Worthy near Winchester. The statement (in VCH Hampshire, 3, p. 228) that there was still a chapel there in 1570 seems to refer to Hook in Yorkshire (CPR 1569–72, no. 1941). The disused chapel of Our Lady of Grace which John Leland saw at Hamble around 1540 was on the other side of the river (Orme, ‘Church and Chapel’, p. 101).

152  Chris Given-Wilson


honourable sir, I advise you, if you wish to avoid the grievous indignation of our said king and the ill-will of the other said lords, to come to an agreement with the said people of Hook in a way that you can see that it is done, or else that, for your own profit and honour, you come as soon as possible to London to counteract the malice of your said enemies. Honourable lord, I commend you to God and may he grant you a good outcome against your enemies, and a good and long life.) (‘alia littera adversarii abbatis eidem directa’): Reverent et honure sire, pleyse vous entendre tochaunt la matiere del chapelle de Houke, que ieo vous parla en Hampton sur le meer a notre departir, ieo vous supplie que vous plese de moy mander votre gracieux voluntee et votre conseill, et a regardant le mal et la peyne que se puet venir en temps avenir par beaucope de maneres, et la destruction de les arives pur ceo quils naient le droit de saunte eglyse, et regardant que les gens de Hoke vous veuillent pair dismes custumes et toutz autres droitz que a vous appurtenant, pur dieux vous plese de remedier et ordeigner en teill manere que votre treshonure honour et les almes soient sauvies, et que null autres grantz seignours ne se aient a meller de tieux choses, qar par ma foy le chaunceller et plusurs autres graundes seignours ount dit que vous feites a la ville de Hoke grant tort, et auxi la ville est du roy et eux sount tenantz au roy; et si ne fuist pur doulte de vous faire displesir, saches que votres briefs eussent estez annullez, qar tous les seignours disent que vous faites grant tort. Et pur ceo vous prie pur dieux de moy escrire responce de ceste lettre par voz tresgraciouses lettres dedeyns viii iours ou xv apres Saynt John, qar par ma foy et mon gree ieo ne vouldroie offendre votre seignourie; et si cessy vous plese de moy escrire ieo vous supplie, et si noun plese vous de moy avoir excusee, qar a tute mon poer par ma foy ieo ferra la volunte de William Mapull que dieux assoill. Et sachez que si vous plest ieo vorroye pluis que vous eusses le gree et les costages que nulle autre; et pour dieux vous plese de regarder et doulter la desclaundre et malediction de poeple, qar cessy que ieo face et pense a pursuir, ieo ne le face sinoun pur honour de dieux, si maide dieux, et sauvation des almez et de complir la volunte du morte. Et cessi vous plese mettre a fin, qar par ma foy vous le troverez tout pur le meillour. Autre chose ieo ne vous say escrire, mes le saint espirit soit gard de vous et vous doit bone vie et longe. (Translation: Also, another letter sent to the same abbot by an adversary: Reverend and honoured lord, may it please you to understand, concerning the matter of the chapel of Hook, that I spoke to you at Southampton on the sea at our leave-taking, where I begged you that it might please you to inform me of your gracious will and your counsel; and with regard to the evil and the inconvenience which might arise in the future for various reasons and the damage to visitors because they do not have the right of holy church, and seeing as the people of Hook are

The ‘Pretended Chapel’ of Hook  153



willing to pay you the accustomed tithes and all the other rights that pertain to you, may it please you, for God, to remedy and ordain in such a manner that your honourable honour and souls be saved, and that no other great lords be obliged to meddle with these affairs, for by my faith the chancellor and several other great lords have said that you are doing a great wrong to the village of Hook, and also that the village belongs to the king and they are tenants of the king, and if it were not for fear of displeasing you, be aware that your writs would have been annulled, for all the lords are saying that you are committing a great wrong. And for this reason I pray you for God’s sake to send me your reply to this letter by your most gracious letters within eight days or the quinzaine of St John, for by my faith and my desire I do not wish to offend your lordship; and so I beg you to write to me, if it please you, and if not, I beg you to excuse me, for with all my power, by my faith, I will perform the will of William Maple, whom God absolve. And may it please you to know I would rather you than any other person should have the satisfaction and the expenses; and may it please you for God’s sake to be aware and take heed of the slander and ill-will of the people, for that which I am doing and intend to pursue, I do only for the honour of God, so help me God, and the salvation of souls, and to accomplish the will of the deceased. And may you make an end of this, for by my faith you will find that it is very much for the better. I know not what else to write to you, but may the Holy Spirit keep you and give you a good and long life.) The abbot replied at length that his lawyer had spoken with Hugh Champion, one of Maple’s executors, on 31 May, to tell him that he was willing to discuss matters, but that William Cake had continued to say masses at Hook despite the interdict. It was not true that people at Hook had died without receiving the sacraments. However, the people of Hook were refusing to make payments to Titchfield as promised, and were claiming that the abbot had attacked them with force of arms and broken the peace, which was not true. These matters needed to be addressed at law without interference from the executors. (‘alia littera adversarii abbatis predicti eidem directa’): Tresreverant piere en dieu, plese vous assavoir que iay rescu votre honourable lettre que vous mavez envoie le votre meme, le quele lettre iay bien entendu, en la quele vous faites mencion que vous estes en bone volunte pur faire fyn et tretir de la matere, sauvant le droit de seint mere esglyse. Mon sire, dieu defende que nous desirrasoms autrement, qar le povres gentz de Hoke ne desirront autrement, mes y me semble si a vous pleust de tretir dicelle matere que vous neussez pursue si rigorousement, qar tout le consaylle du roy parlont et parleront de la grante tort qil preignont, comes beaucope de gentz disont, qar ieo ne pense pas que soit de notre bone volunte, mes qy vous conselle defare ensy, ieo me doulte qil nest pas votre amy, qar les sages disount que nest pas seignour de son pays que des vesines est haye. Pur quoy, mon honurable seignour, me

154  Chris Given-Wilson semble que valeusse plus davoir fait ascun misericord de pees et accord, qar par ma foy a un parole de les votres vous a eusses mis toute bone fin et tout bon accord. Et pur ceo ieo vous supplie que vous plese de moy avoir excuse, qar beaucope de gentz se mellent et se melleront dicest fait, et ieo pense que la chapelle de Hoke serra plus franc de resceyvre les droitz de saint mere esglyse que ne fuit par devaunt en brief de temps. Et si vous ma eusses envoie un lettre daccord de votre bone consaill, ieo fuisse venu devers vous pour avoir fait ascun bon fyn, et nulle autre ne eusse saveu fors que vous et moy. Autre chose mon treshonure sire ieo ne vous say escrire, mes ly seint espirit soit gard de vous et vous doigne bone vie et longe. (Translation: Another letter sent from the same adversary to the said abbot: Most reverend father in God, may it please you to know that I received your honourable letter which you yourself sent me, which letter I fully understand, in which letter you mention that it is your desire to treat and put an end to this matter, saving the right of holy mother church. My lord, God forbid that we should wish for anything else, because the poor people of Hook wish for nothing else, but it seems to me, if it please you, that in treating of this matter you should not pursue it so rigorously, because all the king’s council are and have been talking of the great wrong that they are suffering, as many people are saying, because I do not think that it is our wish, but whoever is counselling you to behave like this, I fear that he is not your friend, for wise people say that a man who is hated by his neighbours is not the lord of his land. Therefore, my honourable lord, it seems to me that it would be better to show a little mercy to achieve peace and agreement, for, by my faith, it would take but one word from your people to bring this whole business to a good conclusion and accord. I beg you therefore that it should please you to excuse me, for many people are meddling and will meddle in this affair, and I think that the chapel of Hook will soon be freer than it has been until now to receive the rights of holy mother church. And if you had sent me a letter of agreement from your good counsel, I would have come to see you to make some good conclusion, and no one else would have known apart from you and me. I know not what else to write to you, my honourable lord, but may the Holy Spirit keep you and give you a good and long life.)

Acknowledgements My thanks to Craig Lambert, Mary South, Tom James, Rob Bartlett, Angela Clark and Chris Woolgar, all of whom read a draft of this article and provided useful comments.

The ‘Pretended Chapel’ of Hook  155

Bibliography Manuscripts British Library, London (BL) Additional MS 70507, formerly MS Loan 29/56 (Titchfield Abbey Register) Harley MS 1240 (Liber Niger de Wigmore) Hampshire Archives and Local Studies, Winchester (HALSW) MSS DC/G2/1; 5M53/1294; 5M53/1422 Lambeth Palace Library, London Register of Archbishop Arundel, vol. 1

Printed sources The Book of Margery Kempe, ed. B. Windeatt (London, 2000) Calendar of Close Rolls (CCR) Calendar of Fine Rolls (CFR) Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous (CIM) Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem (CIPM) Calendar of Letter-Books of the City of London I, ed. R. R. Sharpe (London, 1912) Calendar of Papal Letters (CPL) Calendar of Patent Rolls (CPR) Cartulary of God’s House Southampton, ed. J. M. Kaye (2 vols, Southampton Record Series 19–20, Southampton, 1976) The Chronicle of Adam Usk, ed. C. Given-Wilson (Oxford, 1997) Feudal Aids: Inquisitions and Assessments Relating to Feudal Aids 1284–1431 (6 vols, London, 1899–1920) John Lydford’s Book, ed. D. M. Owen (London, 1974) Parliament Rolls of Medieval England 1275–1504, ed. P. Brand, A. Curry, C. Given-­ Wilson, R. Horrox, G. Martin, W. M. Ormrod and J. R. S. Phillips (16 vols, Woodbridge, 2005) (PROME) The Register of William Edington Bishop of Winchester, ed. D. S. F. Hockey (2 vols, Hampshire Record Series, Southampton, 1986–1987) The Soldier in Later Medieval England (online database), ed. A. Curry et al The Southampton Terrier of 1454, ed. L. A. Burgess (Southampton Record Series 15, 1976) Valor Ecclesiasticus Tempore Henrici VIII, ed. J. Caley (6 vols, 1810–34) Wykeham’s Register, ed. T. F. Kirby (2 vols, Winchester, 1896–9)

Secondary sources Armitage-Smith, S., John of Gaunt (London, 1904). Brown, A., Popular Piety in Late Medieval England (Oxford, 1995). Crawford, A., History of the Vintners’ Company, London (London, 1977). Davis, V., William Wykeham (London, 2007). Duffy, E., The Stripping of the Altars (New Haven, CT and London, 1992). Given-Wilson, C., Henry IV (New Haven, CT and London, 2016).

156  Chris Given-Wilson Goodman, A., Margery Kempe and her World (London, 2002). Harvey, M., Lay Religious Life in Late Medieval Durham (Woodbridge, 2006). Orme, N., ‘Church and Chapel in Medieval England’, TRHS 6 (1996), 75–102. Sumption, J., Divided Houses. The Hundred Years War III (London, 2009). Victoria County History of Hampshire 5, ed. W. Page (London, 1912). Watts, D. G., ‘Peasant Discontent on the Manors of Titchfield Abbey, 1245–1405’, Proceedings of the Hampshire Field Club and Archaeological Society 39 (1983), 121–35. Wood-Legh, K., Perpetual Chantries in Britain (Cambridge, 1965).


Monks on the move The businessmen-religious of late medieval England Alison K. McHardy

The popular picture of medieval monasteries – that they were full of men performing the opus dei to the almost total exclusion of worldly activities – is erroneous. When Bishop Salmon of Norwich conducted a visitation of his cathedral priory in 1308, he found that in a house with some sixty monks, only seven or eight were routinely present at services. His injunction commanded that forty should usually attend.1 Salmon, a former monk of Ely, was a realist who recognized that a two-thirds attendance was the most he could expect. This essay is an attempt to answer in part the question: What might the rest be legitimately doing? It will necessarily focus on the closed orders. These provided their members – mainly Benedictine and Cistercian monks, and Augustinian canons regular – with stable, permanent, secure residence. Their aims were to create streams of prayers of praise and intercession, grant burial sites to high-status individuals, provide places of hospitality and security, and create reservoirs of learning. The great age of monastic foundations, and the fashion for making generous grants of real property to them, had long abated by 1300, but once regulars had acquired endowments and rights there followed the need to administer and defend such assets; and with property and privilege went the benefits and obligations which ownership conferred on the religious as citizens and subjects of an evolving kingdom. These less glamourous and heroic aspects of monastic life have traditionally received comparatively little scholarly attention, though a hint of the possibility of this paper’s subject was provided in Jean Jules Jusserand’s English Wayfaring Life in the Middle Ages. This pioneering work on travel in medieval England was first published in French in 1884, and in English in 1889.2 Scholarly, delightful and frequently reprinted, it has never been completely superseded. Jusserand, an English language scholar and influential diplomat,3 assembled

158  Alison K. McHardy a colourful collection of travellers traversing the roads and bridges which he was among first to describe. Monks are mentioned only in passing for their unsuitable clothing and beards.4 An important stimulus to studying the business aspects of monastic life was made possible by the important The National Archives (TNA) series code (SC) 8 (‘Ancient Petitions’) project, the brainchild of Mark Ormrod. This revealed to researchers for the first time how members of religious orders used petitioning to their advantage, and Petitions to the Crown from English Religious Houses, c. 1272–c. 1485, brought this evidence to a wider public.5 More recently, publication of the entire TNA series SC 10 (‘Parliamentary Proctors’) has shown the importance of some religious in political life.6 These enterprises, coupled with earlier work on the religious as tax collectors prompted the present study.7 The religious under discussion here were not the heads of religious houses, significant travellers though some of those were, but their subjects, the ordinary choir monks, whose journeys were far more unobtrusive. The subject will be considered under four headings, two subjects arising from crown-church connections, one the relations of the religious with fellow-clergy and finally the truly business and administrative aspects of their lives.

Attorneys at the exchequer The great majority of collectors of clerical taxes, and of some lay taxes too,8 were the religious: either abbots or priors were commissioned alone or with their convents. There were usually between thirty and forty collecting areas in England and Wales, though the number might rise to sixty plus for the novel taxes of the decade 1371–1381.9 It seems likely that many heads of houses delegated the work of collection to their brethren. Evidence of this part of the process is meagre, but from monastic cathedral records we find Robert de Brok (Norwich) as a collector in 1311–1312, as was Nicholas de Hindolveston (Norwich) in 1314–1316. Robert de Aylesham (Ely) was a sub-collector in 1331/1332 and 1334/1335, as in the latter year was William de Reyersh (Rochester), while Thomas Crist (Bath) was charged with collecting clerical tenths in 1337.10 Examples of monks taking taxes to the exchequer

Monks on the Move  159 can also be found in such sources. In 1309, two Worcester monks, appointed as collectors by their prior the previous year, accounted for the money at the exchequer on 21 July for the fifteenth granted by the clergy, while in 1334 John de Mepeham II (Rochester) presented diocesan tax accounts in London.11 Worcester examples from 1351/1352, 1371 and 1379 show individual monks acting as the house’s proctor at the exchequer accounting for clerical tenths collected in Worcester archdeaconry.12 More substantial evidence is in TNA series E 359, Enrolled Accounts: digests of tax receipts which include not only each collector’s name but often the name of his attorney.13 Not all were regulars or even clerics, but during the fourteenth century many were. Thus, we must imagine these financial agents in religious orders converging on the exchequer, on or about the required days, from all over England and Wales. Despite the weaknesses and incompleteness of the sources, we can observe groups of attorney regulars from a surprising variety of houses travelling to Westminster. For example, following the grant of a triennial tenth by the clergy of Canterbury province in September 1337, these brothers accounted at the exchequer on their superiors’ behalf bearing the first instalment: Roger de Byrmyngham (Kenilworth, Warwicks.), Alan de Banham (Norwich), John de Thynford (Eynsham, Oxfordshire), John de Leverton (St Katherine’s, Lincoln), David de Wynscote (Hartland, Devon), William de Pyriton (Battle, Sussex), John Wys (St Dogmells, Pembroke) and Thomas de Owyng (St John the Evangelist, Brecon).14 The convocation of York had made a similar grant a month later, so the named monks journeyed south from Durham Priory (Richard de Wolneston), St Mary’s Abbey, York (John de Maghneby) and Thurgarton, Nottinghamshire (John de Marchynton).15 Altogether, ninety-eight houses are known to have used their brethren as attorneys during the fourteenth century (from 1314), nine from the northern province, eighty-nine from the south. Although some remote houses, like Carlisle and Anglesey, are never known to have employed colleagues, the variety of houses using fellow-monks or canons is remarkable. Geographically, they range from Durham in the north to Abbotsbury (Dorset) and Battle and Robertsbridge (Sussex) in the south and from Bodmin, St Germans and Launceston in Cornwall, Haverfordwest (Pembrokeshire) and Valle Crucis (Denbighshire) in the west to Butley (Suffolk), St Botolph Colchester (Essex) and Faversham (Kent) in the east. Some constant collectors, like the priors of monastic cathedrals and of St Katherine’s, Lincoln and Thurgarton as well as the abbots of Hyde

160  Alison K. McHardy (Hampshire) and St Mary’s, York, routinely sent colleagues as attorneys with accounts and cash to the exchequer. But for some monastic attorneys, these long journeys were unusual and surely exciting, if not daunting: for Brother Laurence de Abberford canon of the Augustinian priory of Warter in Yorkshire’s East Riding in 1334,16 for Brother Vincentius de Bodmyn fellow-canon of the prior of Bodmin in 134417 or Philip Haralt canon of St Thomas the Martyr, Haverford (west), an attorney in 1351.18 For others, though, this became a repetitive task as it was for Geoffrey de Wintrington canon of St Katherine’s, Lincoln in the middle years of Edward II,19 then John Leverton of the same house,20 Hugh Feribrigg (Jervaux, Yorkshire) in Edward III’s middle years21 and John de Halton (Norton, Cheshire) from 1377 to 1379.22 John Caunton (Thurgarton), who accounted at the exchequer for all three parts of the triennial grant made in early 1370 by the convocation of York, was another such example.23 The picture changed in the fifteenth century. No monastic attorney after 1400 from York province has been found. In Canterbury province, the practice continued on a lesser scale under the early Lancastrians, but by 1453, John Olney, fellow-canon and attorney of Newnham (Bedfordshire), was an isolated example.24 With so much money in their grasp, it was not surprising that at least one agent going to the exchequer found the temptation too much: Adam de Dalton junior, monk and refectorius of St Mary’s Abbey York and a collector of the king’s tenth in 1310, went on the run with the takings and headed for Wales.25

Parliamentary proctors Heads of some religious houses were called to parliament from the midthirteenth century until 1539. Numbers fluctuated, but from c. 1300 between thirty and forty per session were commonly summoned. A parliamentary abbot unwilling to attend in person (as most were) would often commission a monk of his house as a proctor to represent him. The priors and chapters of monastic cathedrals were also called, the priors sending deputies, while chapters chose delegates. They were often the same men. Between 1248 and

3 E 359/17, m. 1; Weske, Convocation, p. 2. 2 24 E 359/24, m. 35. 25 Logan, Runaway Religious, p. 76.

Monks on the Move  161 1447, more than 300 monks or canons (regular) chosen as parliamentary proxies have been identified in the TNA series SC 10. From monastic accounts, a further thirty-one names are found between 1281 and 1404.26 The reasons prompting an abbot to send a member of the house in his stead might be several; youth and fitness was one, since many abbots in their letters of regret for non-attendance stressed their own advanced age and infirmity. Economy was another consideration; abbots in transit tended to move in luxury and style, with a train of twenty plus horses not uncommon for the heads of larger houses,27 whereas choir monks usually travelled with one horse or two. In 1520, the abbot of Whalley’s (Lancashire) single journey to London cost £36 5s., but a year later the cost of three journeys to London by less exalted emissaries totalled £4 17s. 8d.28 The great majority of monastic parliamentary proctors, some 250, were appointed only once, the – admittedly incomplete – SC 10 series tells us, but this leaves about one in six with multiple commissions. Between 1372 and 1388, Thomas Bury, monk of Peterborough, was sent by Abbot Overton to parliament fourteen times. Richard Hethersett of St Albans was used eleven times as proctor of his abbot Richard of Wallingford (1328–1334), as, later that century, between 1373 and 1395, was Brother Robert Chestan for another St Albans abbot (Thomas de la Mare: 1349–1396). Others with commissions running into double figures were Brothers Geoffrey Gaddesby of Selby (Yorkshire) – a future abbot (1342–1368) – Alan Kirkton of Thorney (Cambridgeshire) and John Tintern of Malmesbury (Wiltshire).29 Many more received two, three or four such commissions. It seems likely that there were at least a handful of monks in every parliament, though it is only in 1307 that we have an apparently complete list. The Vetus Codex names nineteen religious from eighteen houses (two from Reading Abbey), and on this occasion the prize for long-distance travel goes to Brother Geoffrey Worth of Quarr Abbey on the Isle of Wight.30 Proctors’ precise duties remain unclear, nor do we know where they sat.

26 Mostly from BRECP, but also Denton and Dooley, Representatives of the Lower Clergy, pp. 103–11. 27 In 1252, the prior and convent of Westminster Abbey limited to twenty the number of horses for which the abbot could require fodder when visiting the five conventual manors which he had the right to inspect; Documents Illustrating Rule of Walter de Wenlock, ed. Harvey, p. 8. In 1405, the abbot of Peterborough took twenty-two horses when travelling to Lincoln for the installation of Bishop Repingdon; Account Rolls of the Obedientiaries of Peterborough, ed. Greatrex, pp. 129–30, 171. 28 Ashmore, ‘Walley Abbey Bursars’ Account’, p. 65. The economical travellers were laymen. 2 9 Series SC 10 printed in Proctors for Parliament, ed. Bradford and McHardy. All indices are in volume 2. 30 Ibid., I, Appendix 3, pp. 223–32.

162  Alison K. McHardy

Proctors at church gatherings Innocent III revived the practice of holding annual provincial councils, and by 1300 the pattern was well established in the two English provinces.31 These gatherings were both more numerous and important than might at first be thought, for the two convocations grew into the church’s taxgranting bodies. The Canterbury convocation, which controlled the much greater taxable value, was closely associated with parliament, often taking place immediately after or even concurrently with the lay national assembly; there was considerable osmosis between the two institutions. Churchmen, both religious and secular, were far more assiduous in recording the names of proctors to convocation than to parliament, so the discrepancy between proctors’ names for convocation and parliament in monastic accounts (and in bishops’ registers) is marked. Thus, Bath Abbey records contain nine examples of convocation expenses, one for parliament; Canterbury has eighteen for convocation, as against twelve for parliament; Ely has twenty-one for convocation, only five for parliament; Winchester has six convocation references, only two for parliament; and Worcester has fifteen convocation mentions, four for parliament. Provincial chapters arose from a ruling of the Fourth Lateran Council that all religious orders should hold provincial general chapters every three years, and these meetings, especially those of the Benedictines, have left considerable evidence. In contrast to the first two groups of agents, there is no class of record which lists these travellers exclusively; so information must be excavated from monastic archives, as has been done by Joan Greatrex, William Pantin and Alan Piper.32 We might suppose that heads of houses would make great efforts to attend their chapters in person. Not so. In 1253, for example, the Benedictine chapter of Canterbury province was attended by sixteen heads in person, but twenty-six were represented by proctors, while ten neither attended nor sent representatives.33 Information about proctors is sparse until 1336 when more papal legislation affected the religious orders, and from then onwards the records of some larger houses name the proctors attending these chapters. Pantin identified 111 names of Benedictines attending these gatherings in their abbots’ stead from 1336 to 1532. Less evidence has been gathered about the activities of the Austin canons, but in June 1395, the abbot of Oseney (outside Oxford) appointed canon

Monks on the Move  163 John Hasele as his proctor for the forthcoming chapter at Northampton, and in May 1416, the prior of Launceston, with more excuse, surely, chose his colleague Thomas Trethak for another chapter at Northampton.34 In 1375/1376, John de Malvern, a Worcester monk, even attended the Hospitallers’ general chapter.35 One function of these chapters was to arrange for the visitation of houses within the order, and we know that heads, who were supposed to conduct these, did not always do so. Thus, in 1368, the abbot of Oseney appointed his fellow canon William de Weston as visitor of Augustinian houses (unspecified), and in 1440 the prior of Taunton commissioned a canon of Plympton, Robert Dryer, to carry out a visitation of Augustinian houses (again unspecified) in Exeter diocese.36 Among Benedictines, Adam de Belagh, monk of Norwich, deputized for his prior as visitor of Ramsey Abbey in 1318/1319, two Rochester monks conducted a visitation of Battle Abbey in 1390 and three years later two of their colleagues were commissioned by their prior to visit the abbeys of Faversham and St Augustine’s Canterbury and St Martin’s Priory Dover. Early next century, the prior of Peterborough and Brother Richard Harleton were tasked with visiting every Benedictine house within the diocese of Lincoln.37 The heads of monasteries which held appropriated churches were also bound to attend diocesan synods. In theory, held twice a year, on the Mondays after Holy Trinity and St Luke, and lasting from one to three days, synods were attended by all secular clergy too. Diocesan synods are the most elusive of all church gatherings.38 Exceptional were those in the diocese of Ely, where both episcopal and monastic records show them occurring from the late thirteenth into the sixteenth centuries. Accounts of Ely Cathedral Priory contain sufficient examples of monks’ expenses travelling to diocesan synods for us to see an established pattern, and the most often-mentioned site for these meetings was Barnwell, an Augustinian priory just outside Cambridge.39 The house was apparently well used to hosting large gatherings, which perhaps explains why it was chosen in September 1388 as the venue for a meeting of parliament. Crucial, surely, to that decision was the influence of Thomas Arundel, a powerful Appellant ally and until recently the bishop of Ely. His record as bishop from 1374 to 1388 shows that during his episcopate, diocesan synods were held regularly and always at Barnwell.

34 Augustinian Chapters, ed. Salter, pp. 77–8, 168, 172–3. 35 BRECP, p. 843. 36 Augustinian Chapters, pp. 165, 178–9.

164  Alison K. McHardy Arundel’s enthusiasm for holding meetings there persisted into his time as archbishop of Canterbury, in another century and under another dynasty.40

Those engaged in the house’s domestic business Routine, though irregularly spaced, were journeys to announce the death of the abbot and request a licence to elect the successor. Monastic messengers had to deliver this information in person wherever the king was; so in 1292, Brother Walter Chillenden of Canterbury went to Newcastle-on-Tyne to gain permission to elect a successor to Archbishop Pecham.41 The king had then to be informed of the choice of successor, in order to give his confirmation, and so had the appropriate bishop; two more journeys were needed. The outline of monastic successions can usually be discerned in the Calendars of Patent Rolls, but the number and names of each house’s envoys can be found in the TNA series C 84: Ecclesiastical Petitions. Sampling of this abundant material indicates that such messengers rarely went singly,42 occasionally went in threes,43 but mostly in pairs. Not surprisingly, they were often identified as obedientiaries (the holders of an office below that of the head). More unusual was Durham’s employment of the heads of two ‘substations’, Nicholas de Lusceby prior of St Leonard’s, Stamford, and Robert de Haliden warden of Durham’s Oxford house, in 1345.44 By contrast to the irregular events of death or resignation, routine administration was a daily necessity and duty. In larger houses, an obedientiary might be excused attendance at weekday services to manage his manorial endowment, as was the case with Abingdon’s kitchener and St Albans’ cellarer, both of whom were excused from weekday church attendance. Such men were essentially the heads of small businesses or gentlemen-farmers.45 In other houses, the duties of managing the properties might be more widely shared. Various monks of Ely routinely went to some ten manors, including Kingston and Lakenheath (Suffolk), Swaffham (Norfolk) and Wisbech (Cambridgeshire), while Norwich’s seven most-visited manors were all in Norfolk. Worcester Priory’s most crucial manors, including Bromsgrove and King’s Norton, were all in Worcestershire, except Tibberton in Gloucestershire. Records rarely give details of the monks’ duties at these properties, though accounts of Durham Priory show individual monks taking beans, malt and 40 Aston, Thomas Arundel, pp. 68, 70–1. 41 BRECP, p. 121. The archbishop was technically the abbot of the house, as was each bishop of a cathedral priory. 42 Bro. Robert de Remmesbury from Sherbourne in 1316: C 84/19/1. 43 William de St Leonard, Henry de Stretford and William Geryn, canons of Leicester in 1318, C 84/19/31; Thomas de la Ny, John de Wemewelle, and Walter de Kynardesligh, monks of Glastonbury, in 1323, C 84/20/17. 44 C 84/24/38. 45 Accounts of the Obedientiaries of Abingdon Abbey, ed. Kirk, p. xx; Accounts of the Cellarers of Battle Abbey, ed. Searle and Ross, p. 11; Levett, Studies in Manorial History, p. 111.

Monks on the Move  165 geese from its manors, and Winchester Priory accounts record monks going to collect ‘wool money’ from two Hampshire manors in 1328 from Silkstead and in 1432 from ‘Hanyton’ (in Wootton St Laurence).46 Worcester’s Thomas de Rudyng, whose career shows a life of constant manorial oversight from 1391 to 1414, was an infrastructure specialist who ‘saw to’ the water pipe into the priory from a suburb and the construction of a new mill at Mildenham.47 Accounts also reveal that such journeys were not always austere. Winchester monks seem to have done themselves especially well, with notes of monastic visitors to the priory’s manors consuming fowls, capon, goose or both fowl and goose.48 Even their horses might eat lavishly, on oats rather than the usual hay and ‘horse-bread’ made of beans.49 It was perhaps not surprising that some monks who were despatched on business outside the house were reluctant to return promptly. Canterbury Cathedral Priory was surely not uniquely troubled by such behaviour, though its records contain most evidence. Gregory de Audinges was an early miscreant; carrying out manorial visitations in the mid-thirteenth century, he and some colleagues were admonished for absenting themselves too long from the house ‘and for their excessive hospitality on the manors’. Similar complaints were made about Richard Blundel and Hugh de Cretyng in about 1300.50 Impending visitations, as in 1360, might lead to urgent recalls to face scrutiny.51 But a period of respectable service in estate management did no harm to a man’s career in the cloister, as the life of Brother Peter de Rouclife at Selby Abbey illustrates. A monk by 1377 and an obedientiary by 1386, his offices included cellarer and bursar, posts which he sometimes held concurrently in the 1380s and 1390s. By 1407, he was prior of Selby.52 Likewise, the historian of the Crowland Abbey estates has noted that while abbots mostly remained in the house, the earlier lives of many, in the fifteenth century especially, had included experience of manorial administration as steward.53 Even when accounts cannot link journeys to monastic properties, they can still reveal much about monastic travellers. At Coldingham (Berwickshire), the prior and the sacrist apparently took turns, year about, to visit Edinburgh, Berwick and the mother house of Durham, but in 1332 the account of the sacrist Nicholas de Thokerington shows him going also to Selkirk, Melrose, Dryburgh and Roxburgh, while between 1369 and 1371 sacrist Simon de Levingthorp travelled to Roxburgh, Norham and Dunbar, in addition

46 Durham Liber Vitae, ed. Rollason and Rollason, III, pp. 223–4, 233; BRECP, pp. 718, 884. 47 Ibid., pp. 866–7 (1395–7). 48 Ibid., pp. 685, 691, 697, 703, 718, 736. 50 BRECP, pp. 80, 90.

166  Alison K. McHardy to Durham and Berwick.54 A century later, two monks of another northern house, Fountains Abbey, showed even greater energy. During the year 1456–1457, John Eseby, the cellarer and bursar, made twenty-five journeys, nearly all within Yorkshire, including many to York, once to meet the lord mayor and once to Hull to buy wine, and also further afield: to Carlisle to a diocesan synod, and once to London for unspecified purposes, a journey there and back which took thirty-one days. He was sometimes accompanied by Thomas Swynton, whose sole journeys were mostly within Yorkshire, though twice to Crosthwaite in Cumberland.55 Many of the journeys which monks made regularly were surely for a mixture of purposes: collecting rents, enforcing legal rights, investigating standards of ecclesiastical propriety. That was surely the case for Selby (Yorkshire), many of whose most valuable properties lay over the Humber in north Lincolnshire. Relations between abbey and tenants was not always harmonious, especially during Selby’s decades of misgovernment in the later thirteenth century, so it is no surprise that even in the mid-fourteenth century, the remit to Brother John de Dax as proctor general ‘for our churches in the diocese of Lincoln’ was ‘to pacify and compose’.56 Almost all accounts consulted contain examples of monks going to consult with or take messengers to individuals of consequence, though their purposes are usually frustratingly vague. We can observe, though, two Canterbury monks who went to the executors of Edmund, earl of Cornwall, in 1301 ‘to receive certain goods from them’.57 In 1317, Robert de Gelham of Rochester was despatched to Durham to consult with cardinals there.58 Nicholas de Copanford’s mission to Elizabeth de Burgh, Lady of Clare, in 1327 was to ‘discuss Lakenheath’, one of Ely’s own manors.59 Missions by Durham monks in the fifteenth century to aristocrats – to the earls of Northumberland and Westmorland in 1404 and to the earls of Northumberland and Warwick in 1465 – almost certainly had political, not economic, purposes.60 Many embassies to a house’s bishop or archbishop were consultations arising from long-running disputes or perpetual problems; so it is pleasing to record one such journey which achieved the desired and decisive result. The Premonstratensions of Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire, had long had their eyes on Flintham, a rich church in that county of which they

54 Account Rolls of the Priory of Coldingham, ed. Raine, pp. lix, lx. 55 Memorials of Fountains, ed. Fowler, III, pp. 26–8; the roll call of Fountains monks in 1449 is in Letters from the English Abbots, ed. Talbot, pp. 22–4. Thanks are due to Mike Spenc e for this reference. 56 DL 42/8, f. 3 (Register of Abbot Geoffrey de Gaddesby – 3 September 1434). For bad relations between the house and its tenants, see SC 8/48/2385, printed in Petitions from Lincolnshire, ed. Dodd and McHardy, pp. 18–20.

Monks on the Move  167 were patrons. On 15 June 1389, they commissioned the prior Walter Stavelay and the cellarer Simon Castelton as proctors to seek permission from the archbishop of York (Thomas Arundel) to appropriate this rectory, a request he granted at Bishopthorpe on 21 June.61 All the houses whose accounts have been consulted had members who went to London ‘on business’, something which applies to houses in both provinces and over several centuries, including the sixteenth century. Rarely is it possible to discern what heads of houses, let alone lesser brethren, were doing there, but just occasionally the veil is lifted. In March 1308, St Albans Abbey was in dispute with the local townsmen about the physical boundaries between their two authorities. The matter was referred to the king and council at Westminster, where the abbey’s legal team consisted of three monks, Nicholas de Flamstede, Richard de Hetirsete and John Pyke, along with Master Thomas Pyrot DCL.62 Some thirty years later, the survival of detailed accounts enables us to observe the activities of Brother John Gretford, a monk of Ramsey, in the capital. Ramsey’s abbot then was Simon of Eye, who was elected in 1316, and whose last visit to London was probably early in 1338 when he came to London to attend parliament and convocation. 63 By 1341, Abbot Simon was surely failing – he died in 1342 – and in 1341 Brother John was based in London for extended periods, from 2 January to 9 March, from 18 April until 26 May, from 24 August until 4 September and from Michaelmas for twelve weeks, leaving him just time (we hope) to return to Ramsey for Christmas. In the same year, he spent part of March in Huntingdon and also visited Cambridge. His London activities are noteworthy because the accounts detail not only routine items – kitchen expenses, fodder costs and buying hardware – but also secretarial services and amounts for ‘boys’ returning to Ramsey. Most interesting are the lists, with costs, of his presents and payments to a series of high-profile persons. In the first period, the list of those receiving gifts was headed by R(obert) Parving, who received fish, then came R(oger) Hillary and Thomas de Evesham – both given spices. Thomas Brayton’s gift was of oats. Thomas de Blaston and William de Stowe both got fish and (Robert) Sadington had spices. In the period starting 17 April, a shorter list was now headed by Roger Hillary (fish), with cash gifts to David de Wooler (Wollore) and the clerk of Thomas de Brayton. In the autumn period, there were cash gifts to Thomas Blaston, Robert Parving, William de Shareshull and Richard de Chester.64 Though a detailed investigation of these activities lies outside the scope of this essay, some reflections may be offered. The laymen were lawyers.

168  Alison K. McHardy Parving was a justice of Common Pleas (23 May 1340), then chief justice of King’s Bench (24 July 1340), before becoming treasurer (15 December 1340) and finally chancellor (28 October 1341).65 Roger Hillary was a justice of Common Pleas (appointed 13 March 1337), becoming chief justice of that court on 8 January 1341.66 From March 1337, Robert Sadington was chief baron of the exchequer, a post he was to hold until 1345, with a brief interlude as treasurer.67 William Shareshull was already a rising legal luminary and justice of Common Pleas.68 Thomas de Blaston was an exchequer baron (1332–1342),69 as was the cleric William Stowe.70 Evesham, Brayton and Wooler were all chancery highflyers, whether actual or future.71 Only Richard Chester, perhaps a canon of York and former clerk of Archbishop Greenfield, is uncertain in this group.72 Some of these had previous connections to the abbey. Roger Hillary was a parliamentary proctor for the abbot back in November 1322.73 William Shareshull, then a sergeant at law, had represented Ramsey Abbey in a case in 1330.74 Sadyngton was a parliamentary proctor for Abbot Eye in May 1335.75 Although monastic ‘friends’ were of several different kinds,76 the suspicion is that Ramsey Abbey was involved in litigation at this time.77 Perhaps the cash payments were simply fees for specific services, while the gifts (the text by each of those says pro exemio) were more subtle douceurs to receive favourable hearings. We can easily imagine that gifts of fish would be especially welcome in Lent, and perhaps shortly after – Easter was on 8 April 1341 – while spices, a feature of high-status cuisine, were surely always acceptable. Probably the fish did not come from Ramsey’s own extensive fenland resources; rather that Brother Robert, like the monks of Battle Abbey,

68 Sainty, Judges of England, pp. 63, 65. 69 Ibid., p. 111. 70 January 1341 to Easter 1346: ibid., p. 112. He was a prebendary of Wells and perhaps archdeacon of Colchester; Le Neve, Fasti, v. 3; viii. 42.

Monks on the Move  169 78

did his ‘posh shopping’ in London. By keeping in the good books of so many of the great and good Ramsey’s mobile monk may simply have been acting prudently at a time of dramatic and fast-moving political turmoil.79 This was not the only task which Brother John Gretford performed for Ramsey Abbey. From March 1330 to March 1340, he was a parliamentary proctor for his abbot eight times.80 Less remarkable examples can be found of men who represented their abbot both at the exchequer and in parliament, men like Richard Appleton of St Mary’s York,81 John Chaworth of Hyde,82 John Bedford, a Ramsey monk of a later generation83 and the especially conscientious John Hainton of Bardney, who became, prior, then abbot of his house.84 It is likely that such men also served in other capacities, though we lack the records to prove this. Among many monks whose careers took them out and about from their houses, the most notable example yet found is Thomas Rome of Durham. Although not an attorney at the exchequer, Rome, a monk from 1383 (d. 1425), had a remarkably active life. Not only did he hold a variety of jobs within the priory, but was constantly on the move: once to parliament, but frequently representing his house in convocations, chapter meetings and making representations to archbishops, bishops and even earls, conducting visitations, examining a Lollard, serving as bursar, then warden of Durham College, Oxford (serving two stints in each post) and journeying to Pisa and Rome. His only times for prayer and contemplation were surely when he was on the road.85 In the light of this investigation it is appropriate to consider monastic horses and monks’ riding skills. Monastic superiors, including the priors of Coldingham, likely rode palfreys, high-class riding horses, while those of lower status rode hackneys. The Coldingham records include a yearly inventory of its horses, from a single palfrey, through hackneys (one or two) to affers, that is, draught horses. Some are just called horses. The accounts also show that buying horses, either for the prior’s use or for the sacristan,

170  Alison K. McHardy was a regular expense.86 In contrast to warhorses and plough animals, ‘the ordinary riding horse and the urban workhorse … have received scant attention’.87 Even if the precise type of horse is not specified, but is simply called equus, most were probably ‘amblers’: horses who used ‘that easy pace so odd to modern eyes, in which the horse moves both legs on the left forward together, then both legs on the right’.88 The gait requires little skill from the rider and is much less energetic than rising to the trot.

Conclusion This essay has by no means exhausted the classes of extramural activities which the religious might legitimately pursue. Two other subjects may be briefly indicated. Least distant were the essentially local journeys which monks made on diocesan business. This was more prevalent in dioceses with monastic cathedrals, since the bishop lacked the pool of administrators provided by the chapter of a secular cathedral, so they sometimes called on the members of their cathedral priory for such tasks as hearing confessions or conducting visitations.89 More distant were the journeys, local, national or international, to pursue court cases or seek privileges. Though most of such travelling was undertaken by the head of house, there were occasions when he was unable to travel or might even be in dispute with his brethren.90 Most extreme journeys were to Italy made by monks either seeking papal favours for their house or in the course of disputes, either external or even internal.91 The other important and increasing generator of journeys was to obtain a university education. Monastic ‘outstations’ were founded at Oxford before Benedict XII enacted legislation in the 1330s commanding the claustral orders (Benedictines, Cistercians, Augustinian canons) to send members to university. Monastic colleges continued to be founded during 86 Account Rolls of the Priory of Coldingham, ed. Raine, pp. xviii–xxi, xxiv, xxviii, xxx–xliii. 87 Medieval Horse, ed. Clark, p. 5. 88 Ibid., p. 7. In England, this gait died out in the seventeenth century, but it survives abroad, both in the USA and in Iceland where the gait is called tölting. It is faster than a trot but slower than a canter. The author has happy memories of tölting on Icelandic ponies over the Braid Hills when a student in Edinburgh, long ago. 89 For example, at Worcester in 1337 (Simon Crompe: confessions); visitations of deaneries in 1349 (Nicholas Clanefeld), 1401 (John Dudley), 1433 (Thomas Ledbury, William Hertilbury): BRECP, pp. 786, 793, 798, 821, 834. An Ely monk was commissioned to receive criminous clerks in 1376; ibid., p. 407. Bath’s John Lacock was in 1457 licensed to preach in English or Latin throughout the diocese; ibid., p. 33. 90 Many internal disputes can be readily identified by the long entries in the volumes of Heads of Religious Houses, ed. Smith and London. 91 Journeys to the curia were made by Canterbury monks in 1298 (Richard Clyve), 1333 (Robert Hathbrande) and 1493 (Thomas Goldston IV); BRECP, pp. 126, 175, 192. Worcester monks did the same in 1296 (Thomas Segesbarowe) and 1350 (Walter Wynforton); ibid., pp. 871, 899. Thomas Rome (1408) and Richard Billingham (1465, 1472) made similar journeys for Durham; Durham Liber Vitae, ed. Rollason and Rollason, III, pp. 303, 367.

Monks on the Move  171 92

the fifteenth century at both universities, and the Benedictine evidence is substantial.93 University study did not always benefit the house back home as some young men, having arrived there, were reluctant to leave.94 For nearly eighty years, the study of English monastic life has been conducted under the shadow of the magisterial volumes written by the Benedictine monk David Knowles.95 Dom David did not ignore our subjects here, but treated them briefly, for they were peripheral to his main story. Much recent work has examined the religious orders (the mendicants especially) in the universities96 or concentrated on evidence of reform and revival.97 The business aspects of monastic history have, though, been touched on by Martin Heale and are subjects of continuing research.98 Further, we could argue that the subject of this paper has only become possible with recent work, notably in the public records, and also that, as being neither institutional, intellectual nor economic history, it falls between the cracks. Much of the evidence gathered here arose in the fourteenth century, and we have noted that some activities declined in the fifteenth century. There is also a suggestion that some abbots who were commissioned as fifteenthcentury tax collectors ‘outsourced’ the task to local laymen, and there is at least an impression that the work of estate administration perhaps became more widely laicised as time progressed. We must, therefore, suppose that travellers from the Yorkist era onwards would have met fewer businessmonks on the road. But, as Jean Jusserand’s work on their appearance alleged, and our own evidence has perhaps suggested, they might not have noticed a difference.

Bibliography Manuscript sources London, The National Archives C 84: Chancery: Ecclesiastical Petitions DL 42: Duchy of Lancaster: Cartularies, Enrolments, Surveys and other Miscellaneous Books

92 Benedictine: Gloucester (1283–1291), Durham (c. 1289), Canterbury (1361); Augustinian: St Mary’s (1435); Cistercian: St Bernard’s (1437). Cambridge: hostel for Ely monks (1340) and a general Benedictine college (1470s); Cobban, Medieval English Universities, pp. 318–9. 93 Canterbury College, Oxford, ed. Pantin, 4 vols. 94 An extreme example is Letter Book of Robert Joseph, ed. Pantin. 96 For example, Sheehan, ‘Religious Orders 1220–1370’; Dobson, ‘Religious Orders 1370– 1540’; Hudson, ‘Wyclif’s Books’, for the importance of the Oxford Franciscans’ library. 97 Religious Orders in Pre-Reformation England, ed. Clark; Greatrex, Everyday Sermons from Worcester, passim. 98 Heale, Dependent Priories, Chapter 4.

172  Alison K. McHardy E 101: Exchequer, King’s Remembrancer: Various Accounts E 315: Exchequer: Court of Augmentations and Predecessors and Successors: Miscellaneous Books E 359: Exchequer, Enrolled Accounts: Clerical Subsidies SC 6: Special collections: Monastic Accounts SC 8: Ancient Petitions

Printed primary sources Ashmore, O., ed., ‘The Whalley Abbey Bursars’ accounts for 1520’, The Historical Society of Lancashire and Cheshire, 114 (1962), 49–72. Accounts of the Cellarers of Battle Abbey 1275–1513, ed. E. Searle and B. Ross (Sydney, 1957). Accounts of the Obedientiaries of Abingdon Abbey, ed. R. E. G. Kirk, Camden Society, 51 (1892). Account Rolls of the Obedientiaries of Peterborough, ed. J. Greatrex, Northamptonshire Record Society, 33 (1984). Canterbury College, Oxford, ed. W. A. Pantin, 4 vols, Oxford Historical Society, new series, 6, 7, 8, 30 (1947–85). Chapters of the Augustinian Canons, ed. H. E. Salter, Oxford Historical Society LXXIV (1922); repr. 1969: Canterbury & York Society, part LXX). Chapters of the English Black Monks 1215–1540, ed. W. A. Pantin, 3 vols, Camden Third Series, 45, 47, 54 (1931, 1933, 1937). The Correspondence, Inventories, Account Rolls and Law Proceedings of the Priory of Coldingham, ed. J. Raine, Surtees Society, 1 (1841). Documents Illustrating the rule of Walter de Wenlock, abbot of Westminster, 1283– 1307, ed. B. F. Harvey, Camden Fourth Series, 2 (1965). The Durham Liber Vitae, ed. D. Rollason and L. Rollason et al, 3 vols (London, 2007). The biographical register of monks is by A. Piper in vol. 3. Gesta Abbatum Monasterii Sancti Albani, ed. H. T. Riley, RS, 28, 3 vols (1867–9). The Letter Book of Robert Joseph, monk-scholar of Evesham & Gloucester College, Oxford 1530–3, ed. W. A. Pantin, Oxford Historical Society, new ser. 19 (1967). Letters from the English Abbots to the Chapter at Cîteaux, ed. C. H. Talbot, Camden Society, 4th series 4 (1967). Memorials of the Abbey of St Mary of Fountains, ed. J. T. Fowler, III, Surtees Society, 130 (1918). Monastery and Society in the Late Middle Ages: Selected Account Rolls from Selby Abbey, Yorkshire, 1398–1537, ed. J. H. Tillotson (Woodbridge, 1988). Le Neve, Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae 1300–1541, 12 vols (London, 1962–7). Petitions from Lincolnshire, c. 1200–c. 1500, ed. G. Dodd and A. K. McHardy, Lincoln Record Society, 108 (2020). Petitions to the Crown from English Religious Houses, c. 1272–c. 1485, ed. G. Dodd and A. K. McHardy, Canterbury & York Society, 100 (2010). Proctors for Parliament: Clergy, Community and Politics c. 1248–1539 (The National Archives, series SC 10), ed. P. Bradford and A. K. McHardy, 2 vols, Canterbury & York Society, 107, 109 (2017–8).

Monks on the Move  173 Studies in Norwich Cathedral History: An Episcopal Visitation of the Priory in 1308, ed. E. H. Carter (Norwich, 1935).

Secondary sources Aston, M., Thomas Arundel: A Study of Church Life in the Reign of Richard II (Oxford, 1967). Baker, J. H., The Order of Serjeants at Law, Selden Society, Supplementary Series 5 (London, 1984). Cobban, A. B., The Medieval English Universities: Oxford and Cambridge to c. 1500 (London, 1988). Denton, J. H. and Dooley, J. P., Representatives of the Lower Clergy in Parliament 1295–1340, Royal Historical Society Studies in History, 50 (1987). Dobson, R. B., ‘The Religious Orders 1370–1540’, in The History of the University of Oxford, volume II: Late Medieval Oxford, ed. J. I. Catto and T. A. R. Evans (Oxford, 1992), pp. 539–79. Gibbs, M. and Lang, J., Bishops and Reform 1215–1272 (Oxford, 1934). Greatrex, J., Biographical Register of the English Cathedral Priories of the Province of Canterbury c. 1066–1540 (Oxford, 1997). Greatrex, J., Everyday Sermons from Worcester Cathedral Priory: An Early Fourteenth-Century Collection in Latin (Amsterdam, 2019). Handbook of British Chronology, ed. E. B. Fryde, D. E. Greenway, S. Porter & I. Roy, 3rd ed. (London, 1986). Heale, M., The Dependent Priories of Medieval English Monasteries (Woodbridge, 2004). Hudson, A., ‘Wyclif’s Books’, in Image, Text and Church, 1380–1600: Essays for Margaret Aston, ed. L. Clark, M. Jurkowski and C. Richmond (Toronto, 2009), pp. 8–36. Jusserand, J. J., La Vie Nomade et les Routes d’Angleterre au 14e Siècle (Paris, 1884); trans. Smith, L. T., English Wayfaring Life in the Middle Ages (London, 1889). Kingsford, C., revised Ormrod, W., ‘Parning, Sir Robert (d. 1343), Justice and Administrator’, ODNB, online edition. Knowles, M. D., The Monastic Order in England (Cambridge, 1940). Knowles, M. D., The Religious Orders in England, 3 vols (Cambridge, 1948–59). Levett, A., Studies in Manorial History, ed. H. M. Cam, M. Coate, L. S. Sutherland (Oxford, 1938). Logan, F. D., Runaway Religious in Medieval England, c. 1240–1540 (Cambridge, 1996). Lunt, W. E., ‘The Collectors of Clerical Subsidies’, in The English Government at Work, 1327–1336; volume II: Fiscal Administration, ed. W. A. Morris and J. R. Strayer (Cambridge, MA, 1947), pp. 227–80. McHardy, A. K., ‘Clerical Taxation in fifteenth-Century England: The Clergy as Agents of the Crown’, in The Church, Politics and Patronage in the Fifteenth Century, ed. R. B. Dobson (Gloucester, 1984), pp. 168–92. Ormrod, W. M., Edward III (London and New Haven, CT, 2011). Page, F. M., The Estates of Crowland Abbey (Cambridge, 1934).

174  Alison K. McHardy Putnam, B. H., The Place in Legal History of Sir William Shareshull Chief Justice of the King’s Bench 1350–1361 (Cambridge, 1950). Raftis, J. A., The Estates of Ramsey Abbey, Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies, Texts and Studies 3 (Toronto, 1957). Sainty, Sir J., The Judges of England 1272–1990, Selden Society, Supplementary Series, 10 (London, 1993). Summerson, H., ‘Sadyngton [Sadington], Sir Robert (d. in or after 1361), Justice and Administrator’, ODNB, online edition. Sheehan, M. W., ‘The Religious orders 1220–1370’, in The History of the University of Oxford, volume I: The Early Oxford Schools, ed. J. I. Catto and R. Evans (Oxford, 1984), pp. 193–221. The Heads of Religious Houses: England & Wales, II. 1216–1377, ed. D. M. Smith and V. C. M. London (Cambridge, 2001). The Heads of Religious Houses: England & Wales, III. 1377–1540, ed. D. M. Smith (Cambridge, 2008). The Medieval Horse and Its Equipment c. 1150–c. 1450, ed. J. Clark (London, 1995). The Religious Orders in Pre-Reformation England, ed. J. G. Clark (Woodbridge, 2002). Thompson, A. H., The Premonstratensian Abbey of Welbeck (London, 1938). Weske, D. B., Convocation of the Clergy (London, 1937).



The realities of political marriage Isabella of Aragon and Frederick III of Austria Richard Barber

At the end of the thirteenth century, the kingdom of Aragon was in the process of becoming a major power, ruled by an energetic and capable monarch, James II.1 Numerous conquests in the previous half century included the kingdom of Sicily, and a strong foothold in Sardinia and Corsica, which, with the Balearic Islands, meant that James ruled much of the coastline of the western half of the Mediterranean. James’s skills were as an administrator and diplomat, working to consolidate the kingdom’s newly won pre- eminence. His subjects in Aragon had resisted their kings over the question of conquests outside Spain; they were more anxious to settle their quarrels with neighbouring Castile. James succeeded in pacifying them and re- establishing royal authority, making Aragon the centre of his operations. He was said to send ‘more solemn envoys to the papal court in one year than the kings of England and France in ten’. His relations with the pope were good, but he was not always in a position to carry out the agreements that he made: his brother Frederick was elected king by the Sicilians in 1296 in defiance of an agreement between James II and the papacy. James was married to Blanche of Naples, daughter of Charles II of Naples, who bore him ten children. As was customary, their five daughters were pawns in James’s complex diplomatic manoeuvres. Two married into the Castilian royal family, one became a nun; matches for the other two were sought further afield, in one case to the ruler of Romania. Isabella of Aragon, the third daughter, born in 1300 or 1302, and her marriage to Frederick III, duke of Austria, is the subject of this essay. For once, instead of merely the documents relating to the formal negotiations and the terms of her marriage, we have a much richer source of material in the letters between her and her father over the course of some fifteen years; there are over a hundred of these, addressed to her, her husband and her attendants. Even more remarkably, the letters from her attendants to the king are highly personal. They give precious insights into the reality of life for a foreign princess after she joined her husband’s household.

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The correspondence The letters survive in the royal registers now in the Archivo del Corona de Aragon at Barcelona. The registers as a series show both James’s deep interest in administrative matters and also the warmth of his personal relations with his children. The Latin letters are in the high diplomatic style of the period, much influenced by the ars dictaminis which was part of the scholastic discipline of rhetoric.2 The elaborate protocol is underlined by one of the rare occasions when James rebukes Isabella, by then duchess of Austria, for failing to address a letter correctly. The following informal note, written in Catalan, was enclosed in a Latin letter from the king to his daughter on 9 June 1321, and rather surprisingly was copied into the register at the same time3: Dearest daughter, we have seen and read the note in your letter to us and, as you requested, we are sending by the bearer of this balsam, theriak,4 and also aloe, the best that we have. Daughter, we have indeed learned that you recently wrote a letter to our beloved eldest son, the infante Alfonso, your brother, in which you named yourself first, and in the same letter you addressed him colloquially.5 Now we believe that you did not do this consciously or deliberately, but rather through a mistake by your secretary or because of the style of address in use by the king and your court. But this is not our style and it is not fitting, particularly since the infante Alfonso is our firstborn in rank since his elder brother James took holy orders,6 and he will therefore rule after our days are done. You should know that in this country you do not use the colloquial ‘tu’ to someone who is so great a person and it pleases nobody for him to be addressed in this way. So, dear daughter, pay attention to such matters when you have to write to him. Normally, the letters in Catalan are the most personal and immediate. Isabella’s attendants address the king very frankly and directly. They were of course from noble families, and were probably writing them without using scribes, but the tone of voice is nonetheless unexpected.

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Isabella’s childhood The first mention of Isabella in the records is problematic, as is the date of her birth, which could be either 1301 or 1302. A letter in April 1300 gives us a terminus a quo, because the writer says that the king has two sons and two daughters.7 The first reference to her has been misinterpreted. In 1922, Heinrich Finke printed a letter dated 30 August 1306 from ‘Constance empress of the Greeks’ to James, in which she says that she has been gravely ill at Valencia, but she has now recovered. She continues: ‘The dear child dona Isabel, your daughter, thanks be to God, is very well, and commends herself to your grace’. The following year, on 1 April 1307, Gombald Dentença, the official in charge of the province, writes to James to tell him of the empress’s death. On hearing the news, he went immediately to see that Isabella was safe and was being cared for. He found her in the empress’s house outside the city walls, which was in a solitary place, being looked after by the empress’s squires and ladies, so he and the bishop of Valencia arranged for her to move to houses within the city. James then sent for her to be brought to his court. This document is undated and in poor condition.8 I have not been able to see the originals of the first two items; a digital image of the third shows that the empress is simply referred to as C. olim imperatricis Grecorum. The problem is this: Finke refers to the empress as ‘Constance’, and identifies her as Frederick II’s daughter, who died in 1302. It should be Catherine, the only grandchild of the last Frankish emperor of Byzantium, and therefore claimant to the Greek empire in her own right. She died in Paris in 1307, which fits the correspondence. Why she had a house in Valencia is unclear. She had some connection with Aragon, as it had been suggested that Frederick III of Sicily, James’s younger brother, should marry her.9 A placement in the empress’s household would have been seen as eminently suitable for Isabella’s upbringing. Apart from this, we learn little of her childhood. There is some evidence that she was her parents’ favourite daughter: several items in her dowry are specifically named as having belonged to her mother Bianca, and James shows particular concern for her. In 1313, when she had toothache, he gave careful instructions to her major-domo, Peter Llull, that a surgeon was to be consulted and his advice followed.10

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Isabella in the marriage market Isabella’s mother Bianca died in 1310. She had been involved in all the marriage negotiations for her first four children, and would have been delighted by the embassy sent to Aragon by Margaret of Brabant, wife of Henry VII king of Germany (and later Holy Roman Emperor). The envoys were Amadeus V, count of Savoy,11 known for his diplomatic skills, and one of the king’s councillors to James in May 1311. They brought the proposal that Waleran, Henry’s brother, should marry one of James’s daughters. Negotiations began, but Waleran was killed by a crossbow bolt at the siege of Brescia.12 However, by December, James’s envoy at the court of Henry VII was exploring the possibility of a match between one of the king’s daughters and Frederick of Austria with the latter’s representative there.13 As a result, Frederick quickly sent Conrad, commander of the Teutonic Order in Wiener-Neustadt, to Aragon to pursue the matter. He presented two letters of credence, issued in Vienna on 5 November 1311, to James II at Teruel in February 1312.14 In the first, Frederick starts the wooing in fine style, sending ambassadors to say that he is not marrying for money and wishes to wed ‘on account of your excellent nobility, wisdom and power, and the beauty of your daughters’. His envoys declared that there was no prince more suitable than their master Friedrich, known as ‘the Handsome’, who was courteous, wise and noble, and tall. James gave detailed instructions to Peter Llull about the clothes Isabella should wear when the Austrian envoys came to inspect her.15 She was to be accompanied by suitable persons, either the admiral or the sacrist of Barcelona, or failing them, by a small number of honourable and good citizens.16 Frederick’s second letter suggested that if the king was minded to give his daughter’s hand in marriage, he should send a reciprocal embassy to Vienna to confirm the ambassadors’ description of him. Accordingly, James briefed Francisco de Xiarch, canon of Teruel, to carry out this task later the same month. He was to enquire about the duke’s age, ability and condition, and the extent of his lands and his title to them. On 1 June 1312 at Klosterneuburg, Frederick wrote a letter to be taken to James by Xiarch, in which he named Otto, abbot of St Lambert, a knight named Hervord von Symaning and Conrad, the commander from the Teutonic order who previously visited Aragon, as his envoys for the detailed negotiations with the king about

The realities of political marriage  181 17

the terms of the marriage. One problem had already arisen: the question of what would happen to the lands endowed to Isabella at her marriage in the event of Frederick’s death. Normally, it would have been Frederick’s property, and inherited – if he had no children with Isabella – by his brothers. To set aside this right of inheritance, sworn statements were required from his brothers, but two of them were not yet of age and could not take the necessary oath. A formula was duly found to circumvent the problem, but it took some time.18 The completion of the negotiations is marked by letters from James dated 5 September 1312, and the envoys returned to Vienna with Bartholomew of Turri, canon of Vich, arriving in November. About this time, another suitor suddenly appeared, when Robert, king of Naples, proposed a match between Isabella and the king of Armenia. This must have been sometime in September or November, when James wrote to Robert saying that this was the first he had heard of the suggestion.19 He had promised Frederick that he would not consider any other suitors for a certain time, which had not yet expired.

Isabella prepares for marriage Negotiations moved slowly, however, as it was not until 2 September 1313 that an embassy was sent to Barcelona to finalize the marriage agreement.20 The eleven-year-old Isabella was at Valencia, and James ordered Peter Llull to have her sent to Barcelona accompanied by Sibylla de Angularia, who seems to have been her guardian. Her marriage by proxy to Frederick took place at Tarragona on 14 October. Rudolf von Liechtenstein, representing Frederick, spoke in German, while Isabella responded in Catalan.21 At this point, Isabella’s trousseau was being assembled. We have James’s instructions to his chamberlain about the trousseau, and details of her escort, which are the fullest that survive for any medieval marriage.22 She was given two crowns, and a third was to be repaired. There are good quantities of jewels, and circlets and a mass of rings. For the table, there are a silver nef with the arms of Castile, described in detail: a silver ship, on the top of which are 4 enamelled shields and in the foot of the ship are 4 enamelled shields; two of each of these bear the royal seal and two flowers, and in the centre of the ship is a large enamel, in the form of a fish, and the ship weighs thirteen marks and half an ounce.

20 AA, I, p. 345. 21 Zeissberg, ‘Elisabeth von Aragónien’, p. 184. 22 AA, III, pp. 239–49.

182  Richard Barber Other table pieces are a handsome gold cup and lid, and a gold eagle set with emeralds and spinel rubies. Cutlery, with special skewers for eating mulberries, and napkin rings are also provided. Hand towels and silver basins for handwashing, tableware in silver, Tunisian and Murcian carpets and chests in which to pack all this are listed. The most remarkable item is a chess set with a board of green jasper and crystal: beneath the crystal are ‘imaginary figures’ and there are four lions embossed on the corners. A large quantity of different kinds of cloth, much of it from the Netherlands, is supplied to be made up into garments, possibly on arrival in Austria. These include lengths of cloth of gold (not necessarily gold in colour, but material of the highest quality), the most expensive item in the list after the great gold cup. There are also lists of more practical items, such as a silver warming pan for her bed, mattresses and towels for her household. For several items or groups of items, there are precise instructions as to which craftsman is to be used and what he is to do. Inevitably, repairs to the jewellery were needed and a silversmith named Guaschi was to be employed to mend a crown and replace missing jewels and pearls. John Garcesius was to decorate ornaments for the reins of jennets, the famous breed of Spanish riding horses, while Bernardo Castelli of Barcelona was given nineteen pieces of silver and twenty-eight Moorish bracelets to make fittings for ‘the saddle and bridle of our daughter’. James also gave very precise instructions as to the organization of the princess’ entourage on her long journey to Austria.23 The bishop of Gerona and Philip count of Saluzzo were to lead the princess’s escort. Their first duty was to look after the princess, and to be close at hand throughout the journey. If, when they stayed in a town or village, local dignitaries wished to pay due respects to the princess, Peter Llull was to inform them so that they could be present. Before they left Aragon, the two leaders were to address the company and emphasize that they must at all costs avoid quarrelling among themselves, as they would have no help from Aragon and the leaders would be the first to punish them. On the way, James hoped that Isabella might have an audience with the pope. Avignon was not far off her route through southern France, and James’s relations with the papal court were good. The king even prescribed the speech that the bishop was to make on such an occasion. Neither the princess nor her companions were to present any kind of petition to the pope. Furthermore, the princess was not to stay at the court for more than a day after the audience, but was to continue on her way. James was anxious that the journey should be accomplished as quickly as possible, and the norm was that she moved on each morning. Exceptions were made for her uncle, the king of Majorca, if he was

23 Zeissberg, ‘Elisabeth von Aragonien’, pp. 160, 190–1; interestingly, this document is in Catalan rather than in Latin.

The realities of political marriage  183 at Perpignan, and for the count of Savoy and the Dauphin at Chambéry and Vienne, respectively. At the journey’s end, the speeches to be made to Frederick and his mother Elizabeth by the bishop were also prescribed by James; in particular, if Elizabeth was there, he was to express the hope that she would be a second mother to Isabella. The king had sent Isabella to Vienna with personal companions worthy of her status, but the duke was free to retain all of them or send some or all of them back to Aragon. If he did choose to keep some with Isabella, they should be men and women of her household whom Isabella found most trustworthy. Frederick was henceforth arbiter of Isabella’s entourage, and their fate is particularly poignant. There had already been problems over the question of the friars who had been chosen to accompany her, because the Austrian envoys had told Philip of Saluzzo that Frederick would be displeased by their presence, for reasons which are not clear. Philip asked James for his advice, and the king replied on 25 October by insisting that they go because Isabella would need a confessor ‘who she could understand’.24 James also wrote to Philip IV of France asking for safe conduct for Isabella through French territory.

The journey to Austria The journey began at last on 15 November 1313. When they reached Carpentras, in the papal lands around Avignon, Clement V met and gave Isabella a splendid palfrey with his apostolic blessing and best wishes for the completion of her journey.25 She and her company continued northwards to the Rhine, to lands near Konstanz which belonged to Frederick. Here they met his mother Elizabeth, who had come from Vienna to comfort his sister Catherine, whose intended husband, the emperor Henry VII of the house of Luxembourg, had died suddenly in August.26 Isabella stayed here for a time to recover from the hardship of the journey, before continuing on her way in January 1314, in the company of Catherine. They travelled through Tirol to Carinthia, where Isabella met Frederick for the first time. Frederick greeted her as soon as he saw her, and drew back the cover of her carriage. He took her by the hand and spoke to her briefly, respectfully and modestly; he then turned to his sister, consoling her and promising to find her another husband.27 They travelled on together to Judenburg, ninety kilometres west of Graz. Frederick wrote to James on 2 February, addressing him as ‘sweetest father and lord’ describing the wedding ceremony which had taken place 24 AA, I, p. 348. 2 5 Victring, Liber certarum historiarum, pp. 29, 60: a palfrey is a horse with a particularly smooth movement, suitable for long journeys, and Victring notes that Isabella mounted it when it was given to her. 26 Victring, Liber certarum historiarum, p. 61. 27 Ibid.

184  Richard Barber two days earlier, promising to cherish ‘our dearest spouse and bride’. This sets the tone of much of the correspondence between son and father-in-law, respectful and affectionate, and unusually warm. He is sending the letter back with the bishop of Gerona and Philip of Saluzzo; he had wanted them to stay for a while, so that they could see his country and keep the young and tender-hearted Isabella company, but they had pleaded urgent business and he had regretfully allowed them to return.28 There was also one reason why Frederick was glad to release them. In the same letter, he says that they will bring a verbal message which he is anxious for the king to hear. The death of Henry VII had dealt a blow to Frederick’s hopes for a close alliance with the emperor himself. Normally the emperor would be succeeded by the king of Germany, but because Henry had only been emperor for less than a year, there had not been time for an election. Frederick saw himself as a possible candidate; whoever was chosen as king of the Germans would also be the emperor elect. It was a tempting prospect, and it was to dominate the lives of both Frederick and Isabella. Isabella came to her new home in Vienna soon after the marriage in Frederick’s company. Peter Llull, her major-domo, and another official from Aragon had remained with them to complete the details of the marriage contract; this business was completed on 20 May. On 29 June, she wrote a letter for them to take to her father.29 In it, after a very formal opening, she assures him of her great happiness and good health. She and Frederick were received in Vienna with great warmth. Austria is a very beautiful country, fruitful and delightful. She speaks warmly of the two envoys who are bringing the letter, but is particularly concerned for Blanca de Calderiis, who, now that Peter Llull is leaving, is her mainstay. Blanca is worried about the two sons she has left behind in Spain and she hopes that her father will take special care of them. She ends by rejoicing in the fact that Frederick already has four of the electors on his side, and is hopeful that this will lead to his success.

A contested election The complex politics of Frederick’s election need to be summarized briefly. Isabella’s part in her husband’s political and military life was marginal, though she was important to him as the daughter of one of his chief allies, and she may have accompanied him on his early military campaigns. She supported him ‘unreservedly and loyally’ in her letters,30 particularly in requesting her father’s assistance, and rejoiced in his moments of triumph. But the election about which she wrote so hopefully in the summer of 1314

28 Zeissberg, ‘Elisabeth von Aragonien’, p. 192. 29 Zeissberg, ‘Das Register 318’, pp. 10–1. Dick, ‘Isabella von Aragón’, p. 175. 30

The realities of political marriage  185 31

did not go well. The obvious candidate was Henry VII’s son John, king of Bohemia, but he was considered too young. The electors divided into two camps, largely because a number of them were unwilling to back anyone from the Habsburg family whom Henry VII had supplanted in the imperial succession. A double election took place. Louis of Bavaria was Frederick’s rival; he was supported by those who favoured the Luxembourg dynasty. The motives behind the two parties were in fact very complex, but left no room for negotiation. Louis had the advantage that he had recently defeated Frederick in an encounter – a skirmish rather than a battle – in a quarrel over the guardianship of the young dukes of Bavaria, Louis’ cousins. The result was that on 19 October 1314, Frederick was elected at Sachsenhausen by four of the electoral princes and Louis was elected at Frankfurt the next day by five of the princes. Normally any dual election would have been referred to the pope, but Clement IV had died on 20 April that year. The next pope was not chosen until two years later. Both groups now held coronations on 25 November. Frederick was crowned with the imperial insignia at Bonn, which was not the traditional place for the ceremony, by the archbishop of Cologne. Louis, on the other hand, was crowned at Aachen, the correct site, by the archbishop of Mainz, but with ‘inauthentic’ insignia. The proceedings were duly reported to the papal curia and both parties canvassed for recognition. Alamanda Sapera sent an enthusiastic account of the proceedings at Bonn back to Aragon. She emphasizes that the archbishop of Cologne had been empowered by previous popes to crown the emperor. In his sermon, he declared that ‘he who holds the relics of our Lord pertaining to the kingdom is the one who must be the king, and no one who does not have them can be called king’.32 Frederick, thanks to his family connections, particularly James II, had the advantage in his attempts to win the favour of the curia and therefore probably that of the future pope. The question of recognition now became a political prize. James II wrote to various cardinals early in 1315, while Frederick succeeded in arranging the marriage of his sister Catharine to Charles of Calabria, son of Robert king of Naples. This strengthened his hand, as Robert had good links to the papacy at Avignon as ruler of the surrounding territory of Provence. It also met with approval from James, who hoped that this might lead to peace between his brother, the king of Sicily, and Robert. Meanwhile, in the immediate aftermath of the coronations, Frederick and his brother Leopold had moved down the Rhine to Speyer, where they attempted to besiege Louis, who set up camp in the Jewish cemetery, but quickly retreated from the city when they appeared. Frederick then made his way up the Rhine, visiting the major towns on that river and enlisting their support. At Ravensburg, a large number of magnates gathered for a

186  Richard Barber feast on 28 April 1315. A fortnight later, on Whitsunday, 11 May, Isabella was crowned queen of the Germans at Basel, followed by the wedding of Leopold to Catherine, the daughter of Amadeus of Savoy. Alamanda Sapera wrote to her mother back in Aragon, full of excitement that Isabella should be at the centre of this grand occasion: As soon as the marriage was done they came to a city called Basel, and there, on Whitsunday our lady was crowned with great solemnity and with many people who were of the court, counts and dukes and prelates and many others, and the aforesaid relics [the regalia of the Holy Roman Empire] were displayed, and we saw it all.33

Financial difficulties and the dismissal of Isabella’s entourage But life was not easy for the queen’s Catalan entourage. Alamanda complained of the troubles and hard work caused by Frederick’s ‘great affairs’. It quickly became evident that the Austrian court was poorer than James had expected, and that his caution, evident in the negotiations before the marriage, was justified. One object sums up the situation. When Frederick wished to give Isabella a personal prayer book for her wedding, he did not commission a new work, as would have been expected. Instead he produced an existing manuscript, possibly already in the family, into which a new section of miniatures had been inserted. These new miniatures included one of St Elizabeth and one of his name day saint, St Catherine, to personalize it for his wife.34 Immediately after the triumphant announcement of the wedding, Frederick had to write a very different letter, explaining that the costs of the occasion and of keeping Isabella’s retinue had left him very short of money. He had been advised by his council that her attendants should be replaced by Austrians of suitable rank and status. The news of this reached Isabella at Baden in June, and she wrote sorrowfully to her father: I am letting you know, my lord, that after the monk and John of Constance, the courier, delivered our mail, they left, and the lord king Frederick, my most beloved husband, before leaving, sent messengers to us with a letter written by his own hand, in which it was stated that he and his whole council had decreed that all of the damsels and all of the company who came with me from Catalonia should be dismissed, with the exception of Blanca de Calderiis and Bonanat Cardona, who writes

34 Wolter-von dem Knesebeck, ‘Kunstwerke aus dem Umfeld Friedrichs des Schönen’, pp. 330–1.

The realities of political marriage  187 for me. And since we cannot do anything else, we have had to obey his command: and this has caused us great consternation because we have not been able to pay as much as the damsels and the rest of the company deserved. And the aforementioned lady, Blanca de Calderiis, is here alone without any company and she has suffered many tribulations in our service, and especially now that her work has doubled and I am not giving her any remuneration, nor have we done, and I cannot pay her as I should; therefore, my lord, I most humbly beseech you that you be so good as to look after and indulge her sons as we have besought you many times in previous letters. And if, peradventure, you could, my lord, through your messengers to me or the king my husband, for love of the two of us, send Blanca de Calderiis’ sons to us.35 James wrote from Barcelona on 6 August 1315 agreeing to this, insisting only that Blanca de Calderiis should remain with Isabella.36 Isabella’s chamberlain Frederick and the rest of her attendants were to return to Spain. Frederick was well rewarded by James, and other payments were made to her two joglars, Fros and Freoli. They were probably both musicians and entertainers, and would have been another link to the world of her childhood. Her confessor also returned home. There was possibly another reason for Frederick’s dismissal of the queen’s retinue. About this time, Isabella’s chancellor, Bartholomew de Turri, was murdered by his squire, who fled towards Aragon. The murderer was arrested, and his confession was sent to the queen. Bartholomew had only been in office since the end of the previous summer, when her previous chancellor Bertrand de Gallifa and her long-standing major-domo Peter Llull had returned to Spain. Alamanda Sapera wrote – and then crossed out what she had written – of ‘the many ills that Bartholomew de Turri did to us, who is dead, God pardon him!’37 Isabella’s retinue was in effect a small group of involuntary exiles, with all the tensions that this implied. Blanca de Calderiis clearly found life away from her sons very difficult. She wrote directly and frankly to James about her situation in a letter which reached him in June 1315: I am most upset because I am still here, which greatly saddens and displeases me, and I feel dishonoured, for I lack any company, and especially, my lord, because of that I remain at risk of losing my body and soul; and as they are making friar R. de Pons, the queen our lady’s confessor, go, and I thus have no-one to be with and I do not know much German, I shall not be able to make confession to any Germans.

188  Richard Barber However, my lord, I endure this because of the pledge I made to you not to leave the queen at any time without being ordered to by you. And I beg of you, my lord, that it please you, that having informed you of such things I may be allowed to go, without there being any dishonour to you or to my lady the queen; or if not, I beg of you that my sons be allowed to come here. And I beg of you, my lord, that you do me this favour, so that they may come here honourably. 38 James replied to this (or perhaps to a later letter on the same theme) in January 1316.39 He addressed her as ‘his dear lady’ and emphasized that he was fully aware of the good service she had rendered – and continued to render – to Isabella, but he was adamant that she was to stay with the queen, ‘for as long as she could worthily remain there’. If she absolutely wished to return, she was to send a letter via the royal messengers, and then ‘we will take care to organise your journey back’. James is unlikely to have known that there was good reason for Blanca to stay, because Isabella was pregnant. At some point in the summer of 1316, he wrote to Isabella, complaining that she did not write to him often enough. She sent a dignified reply on 24 July, promising, now she was older, she knew what she should write to him about and would do so more frequently. The letter contained tragic news: she had given birth to a son, baptized Frederick, on 26 June, who had died only a few days later.40 Bonanat Cardona reported the news to Alamanda Sapera five days later. She added that Blanca was very ill and longed to go home to see her sons. Bonanat doubted if Blanca would ever recover.41 On 4 October, there was little improvement: I am further letting you know that Lady Blanca has sent a letter to the lord king and her sons that she wishes to leave, and that the lord the king, with whom she is corresponding, should arrange for her to go… Tell her sons that one day she will die without confession.42 And the financial situation was no better. Bonanat was trying to get money due to her and Alamanda from their mistress, but Isabella was in no position to provide it:

38 AA, I, p. 365. 39 Zeissberg, ‘Das Register 318’, p. 45. 40 AA, III, pp. 306–7.

The realities of political marriage  189 … After you departed, the household has gone from bad to worse, for the queen’s and the duchess’s crowns and brooches have been pawned for 700 marks and the money has been sent to the king who is with his army. For she should not lack for money to the extent that she cannot give any either to you or to me…. After you departed she did give me a good horse, but she was unable to give me any money.43 Early in 1317, Isabella sent an eloquent letter about Blanca to her father, which probably marks the moment when Blanca at last departed for Spain. In it, she praises her steadfast loyalty, neither diminished by the passage of time nor by adverse circumstances. She hopes that her father can reward her suitably, particularly as she has not hitherto been allowed to return home.44 And she sends another letter, asking that Blanca’s waiting woman Katherina be exempted from taxes she owes in Barcelona. If there was a reply, it is not in the royal records of Aragon. This is the last we hear of the little contingent of Catalans who had set out with such high hopes.

Defeat and decline From here onwards, Isabella seems to have had a household consisting entirely of Austrians. She asked her father for the deeds relating to her dowry, which was her personal property, but he refused to send them, fearing that the lands would be used to raise money for her husband’s wars.45 Frederick’s campaigns met with mixed success; he seems generally to have had the upper hand over Louis of Bavaria. When Isabella wrote to her father to announce the birth of her daughter Elizabeth in August 1317,46 she added that there was a real hope of a successful alliance with the Bohemian barons who were at odds with their new king, John. John escaped from Bohemia and found refuge with Louis. He was reconciled with the barons the following year, and nothing came of the proposed alliance. In 1319, Frederick and Louis faced each other in warfare for the fourth time at Mühldorf on the border between Bavaria and Austria. Previously, at Speyer in 1315, Louis had retreated; later that year, he offered no resistance when Frederick besieged Augsburg. At Esslingen in 1316, Frederick took up an impregnable position in a narrow valley and challenged Louis to a battle in open country, a challenge which Louis did not take up. This latest encounter ended with both sides retreating. Frederick now turned his attention to affairs in Austria and left the conduct of the war to his brother Leopold. Leopold countered an attempt by Louis to invade Alsace at the end of

4 4 AA, III, pp. 324–5. 45 Schrader, Isabella von Aragonien, pp. 65–6. 46 AA, III, p. 342. Elizabeth was born on 8 July.

190  Richard Barber the year by his prompt action. Frederick had hurriedly joined him, and not only did Louis retreat, but many of his followers changed sides. Isabella wrote joyfully to her father from Graz in February 1321 with this news.47 Her letter began by reporting that both she and Frederick and their children were well and in good spirits. Her second daughter Anna had been born at some time between 1318 and 1320,48 but it was her elder sister Elizabeth, now nearly five years old, who was her mother’s pride and joy: ‘every day we find pleasure in her good manners and honest character’. The interval of peace in the household was brief. On 22 September 1322, Frederick once again confronted Louis of Bavaria and his allies at Mühldorf. Louis’s allies now included John of Bohemia, with a formidable group of knights and 500 Hungarian archers. Frederick was expecting his brother Leopold to join him. Louis attacked, despite unfavourable odds, before the other Austrian contingent arrived. The battle began at dawn, and was still undecided by midday, when troops were seen approaching. The Austrians believed that these were Leopold’s, but they proved to be reinforcements for Louis from Nuremberg. Frederick’s army was outnumbered, and he and his younger brother Henry were captured, together with an estimated 1,000 Austrian knights.49 Frederick von Gloysach, Isabella’s chancellor, took the tragic news to James. The king wrote to Frederick, in prison at Trausnitz, from Tarragona on 21 December.50 He declared that he regarded Frederick as his son and would act for him as if he were his father. A version of the same letter went to Isabella the same day as well as an appeal to the Pope. He asked for the support of king Robert of Naples, reminding him of family ties. He sent instructions to his agent at Avignon, Vidal de Villanova, instructing him to act cautiously, as the Austrians had failed to support the pope in a recent conflict with Milan. He also wrote to Leopold of Austria, saying that he would shortly send an abbot from Aragon, who would visit Isabella to console her and also try to negotiate for Frederick’s release.51 Frederick might be in prison, but the pope was in no mood to accept Louis as the king of the Romans. Louis had challenged the pope’s position in northern Italy by supporting the Milanese against the papal army early in 1323. This intervention led to his excommunication in October of that year. Louis responded a year later by declaring that he would set out on the traditional ‘journey to Rome’ for his coronation as emperor. Leopold meanwhile had not been idle, and had formed alliances which threatened Louis’

48 Zeissberg, ‘Das Register 318’, p. 65n.

The realities of political marriage  191 position in Germany; at the same time, however, he handed over the imperial regalia which were in his keeping to Louis.52 It seemed to be an impasse. There are only two – slightly contradictory – letters from the following two years. John of Constance, the courier between James and Isabella, reports from Avignon on 25 April 1324 that Isabella is healthy and cheerful, except for the imprisonment of Frederick.53 However, in a letter sent from Barcelona on 11 June, James, writing in reply to a letter in which Isabella, miserable and in despair, wished that she could be with him, does his best to comfort her, but ends: ‘Therefore, dearest daughter, pay diligent attention to these fatherly sermons’. Isabella took comfort in religion, going on pilgrimages, and undertaking serious fasts and chastisements.54 Louis then produced an astonishing volte-face. On 13 March 1325 at Trausnitz, where Frederick was still imprisoned, he and Frederick agreed to share power in the empire.55 There was nothing in this for Leopold, who was known to be playing his own hand, and resisted the pope’s attempts to reconcile him with Frederick.56 James’s envoy at the papal court wrote on 20 September 1324: ‘that accursed Leopold wants his brother to die in captivity so that he can take over the duchy [i.e. Austria]’.57 Two further versions of the treaty were needed, which added a clause declaring that Frederick and Leopold were likewise to share power in Austria. This was enough to pacify Leopold, but he died suddenly three weeks later. The exact date of Frederick’s release is uncertain; he was reported to have been freed by another of James’s agents at Avignon writing on 11 June 1325.58 The reconciliation between Frederick and Louis was in fact a return to an old friendship, but the complications caused by the pope’s unremitting hatred of Louis meant that matters dragged on. Frederick had promised to try to reconcile the pope with Louis, and was unable to do so. The letter from Frederick to James recording his definitive release is not dated, but is probably from the end of 1325.59 On 4 June 1326, at Graz, Isabella was at last able to write to her father to celebrate Frederick’s release.60 She begins by excusing herself for not writing in recent years, saying that ‘fortune has treated me as if she were my stepmother’. Immediately after Frederick’s return home, she was seriously ill, an illness which affected her whole body, but particularly her

192  Richard Barber head. Her eyesight is so bad that she can only distinguish light and dark. She asks James to send a skilled doctor; perhaps it is a cataract,61 but she is not certain. James replied in December, asking for more details of the illness, so that he can find the right doctor; but he had to repeat the request in October the following year, a month before his death in November 1327. James’s son Alfonso succeeded him and he too was concerned for Isabella’s health, writing to Frederick to say that he was sending Jacobus sa Rocha, ‘who with God’s help, and we say this for certain, will give her medicine which will restore her health’.62 Six months later, Alfonso wrote to his sister to console her after Frederick died in January 1330. On 12 July, Isabella died. She was not yet thirty, and had been married for sixteen years. She was buried in the Minorite convent in Vienna which she had founded soon after she came to Vienna.63 Isabella’s story has all too many parallels in medieval history. For once, however, we can hear the voices of the protagonists clearly and vividly, and watch as the high hopes of the young princess fade away, and the loneliness of exile takes over for both her and her three or four attendants, foreigners in a strange land to the very end.

Acknowledgements I first came across Isabella and her story when researching queens’ dowries for Magnificence and Princely Splendour in the Middle Ages. I am most grateful to Professor Noel Fallows for his help with translation of the documents in Catalan.

Bibliography Manuscript sources Barcelona, Archivo de la Corona de Aragón. ACA, Cancillería, Registros, Núm.140 (Jaime II. Comune 32).

Printed primary sources Finke, H., ed. Acta Aragoniensia: Quellen aus der diplomatischen Korrespondenz Jaymes II. (1291–1327), 3 vols (Berlin and Leipzig, 1908) (abbreviated AA).

The realities of political marriage  193 Gross, L., ed. Regesten der Grafen von Habsburg und Herzoge von Österreich aus dem Hause Habsburg. 3 Abt. Die Regesten der Herzoge von Österreichs sowie Friedrichs des Schönen als Deutsche König von 1314–1330 (Innsbruck, 1924). Victring, J. de, Liber Certarum Historiarum, ed. S. Fedor, Scriptores Rerum Germanicarum, in Usum Scholarum 36 (Hanover, 1910). Zeissberg, H. R. von, ‘Elisabeth von Aragonien, Gemahlin Friedrich’s des Schönen von Oesterreich (1314–1330)’, Sitzungsberichte der Philosophisch-Historischen Classe der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften 137:7 (1898), 1–204. Zeissberg, H. R. von, ‘Das Register Nr. 318 des Archivs der Aragonischen Krone in Barcelona’, Sitzungsberichte der Philosophisch-Historischen Classe der Kaiserlichen Akademie der Wissenschaften 140:1 (1901), 1–91.

Secondary sources Barber, R., Magnificence and Princely Splendour in the Middle Ages (Woodbridge, 2020). Becher, M. and Wolter-von dem Knesebeck, H., eds., Die Königserhebung Friedrichs des Schönen im Jahr 1314: Krönung, Krieg und Kompromiss (Vienna, 2017). Bisson, T. N., The Medieval Crown of Aragon: A Short History (Oxford, 1986). Dick, S., ‘Isabella von Aragón und Friedrich der Schöne: Heiratspolitik im Zeichen des Königtums’, in Die Königserhebung Friedrichs des Schönen, ed. Becher, pp. 165–80. Hartmann, F., ‘Briefgewohnheiten in ungewöhnliche Zeiten’, in Die Königserhebung Friedrichs des Schönen, ed. Becher, pp. 271–88. Pauler, R., Die Deutschen Könige und Italien im 14 Jahrhundert (Darmstadt, 1997). Pauler, R., ‘Friedrich der Schöne als Garant der Herrschaft Ludwigs von Bayern in Deutschland’, Zeitschrift für Bayerische Landesgeschichte 61 (1998), 645–72. Purton, P., A History of the Late Medieval Siege 1200–1500 (Woodbridge, 2010). Schrader, J., Isabella von Aragonien Gemahlin Friedrich’s des Schönen von Oesterreich (Berlin, 1915). Schrohe, H., Der Kampf der Gegenkönige Ludwig und Friedrich um das Reich bis zur Entscheidungsschlacht bei Mühldorf (Berlin, 1902). Tabacco, G., ‘La politica italiana di Federico il Bello re dei Romani’, Archivio Storico Italiano 108 (1950), 3–77. Thomas, H., Ludwig der Bayer (1282–1347) Kaiser und Ketzer (Regensburg, 1993). Wolter-von dem Knesebeck, H., ‘Kunstwerke aus dem Umfeld Friedrichs des Schönen’, in Die Königserhebung Friedrichs des Schönen, ed. Becher, pp. 303–43.

10 Henry de Lacy and the kingship of Edward II J. S. Hamilton

Henry de Lacy, fifth earl of Lincoln (1249–1311), has frequently been referred to as one of the closest friends of Edward I of England (r. 1272–1307),1 but his equally close relationships with the king’s brother Edmund Crouchback, earl of Lancaster (1245–1296), and especially with the king’s son and heir, Edward of Caernarfon (r. 1307–1327), have been largely overlooked.2 The most tangible outcome of Lacy’s connections with the royal house is well known: the 1294 marriage, agreed upon two years earlier, between his daughter and heir Alice, and Thomas, the son and heir of Edmund of Lancaster, by which five earldoms (Derby, Lancaster, Leicester, Lincoln and Salisbury) would ultimately be united, transforming the house of Lancaster, although a branch of the English royal family, into a great potential rival to it as well.3 But Henry de Lacy could not have foreseen any negative consequences of this union, or the great enmity that would develop between his future son-in-law and his future king, being unswerving in his loyalty to the crown and the royal family. Lacy has often been portrayed as a leading figure in the opposition to Edward II, and in particular to his Gascon favourite Piers Gaveston. This discussion will use a number of overlooked original sources to demonstrate the close and lasting bond between Henry de Lacy and Edward of Caernarfon that persisted even during the difficult early years of his reign as Edward II. Henry de Lacy came of age on 13 January 1272, and he was knighted in the following autumn by Henry III at the annual celebration of the Feast of the Translation of St Edward the Confessor.4 Thus, his entry into public life closely coincided with the accession of Edward I just a month later. Edward, of course, was absent on crusade, and perhaps Lacy might have chosen to

Henry de Lacy and kingship of Edward II  195 go with him if this had not been precluded by both legal and financial considerations.5 In any case, it would appear that the new king already had plans for Lacy that did not include the crusade. In a fascinating document issued at Rhuddlan in the midst of Edward I’s second Welsh war on 20 December 1282, the king declared that in the first year of the reign, his brother Edmund, along with Henry de Lacy, earl of Lincoln, Reginald de Grey and other faithful subjects had acted to preserve the king’s peace, which was at that time being disturbed by Robert de Ferrers, earl of Derby.6 Ferrers, the letters allege, had illegally occupied Chartley Castle (Staffordshire) in a hostile fashion in February 1273 – which castle Henry III had granted to Hamo Lestrange of Ellesmere, who had accompanied Lord Edward on crusade and also had prior connections to Edmund.7 Lancaster, Lincoln and their companions had subsequently raised a large force and besieged the castle resulting in the deaths of many men on either side, after which Edmund received these enemies and rebels into the king’s peace. Now, nearly a full decade after the event, the king pardoned Edmund, Henry and their company for any deaths, and also forgave the transgressions of any of those who had acted against his peace but had been received back into it by his brother. The story of Edward I’s ‘legal’ dispossession of the Ferrers family to the great advantage of his brother Edmund has been recounted elsewhere, but the actual physical violence at Chartley is generally overlooked.8 Moreover, harking back to the civil strife of the previous reign, the magnates of England were deeply divided by this dispute. While we find the earls of Lincoln

196  J. S. Hamilton and Lancaster fighting side by side, Ferrers was able to draw support from such substantial figures as the earls of Gloucester and Warenne.9 The conduct of the siege of Chartley appears to have been quite unchivalrous. This is unsurprising, since Ferrers had previously been ‘swindled out of his inheritance’ (in the words of Andrew Spencer), having been forced to surrender all of his lands to Edmund in 1266, forfeited his estates and titles in 1269 and had little success in recovering them in the courts.10 That Edward I would become a ‘masterful’ king able to avoid the kinds of division so familiar in the reigns of Henry III and Edward II may in large part be attributed to the strength of his personal relationships with leading magnates such as Lacy. Throughout the first two decades of the reign of Edward I, the earls of Lancaster and Lincoln were frequently to be found together, both at court and in service to the crown on diplomatic, military and administrative matters.11 Both Edmund of Lancaster and Henry de Lacy were regularly employed on diplomatic assignments, on occasion together.12 In 1286, they travelled to France with the king when he performed homage to Philip IV.13 Lacy accompanied Edward to Gascony where the king-duke spent the next three years in reorganizing the duchy of Aquitaine. Given their experience in France and Gascony, it is no surprise that in 1293, the two earls were delegated to settle maritime disputes between the sailors of Normandy and those of Bayonne and southern England. Their inability to effect a settlement ultimately led to Edward I’s renunciation of his homage to Philip the

Henry de Lacy and kingship of Edward II  197 Fair in June 1294 and to war with France.14 This war produced the final, great, collaboration between the two earls as brothers in arms commanding royal forces in Gascony.15 They sailed from Plymouth on 14 January 1296 with more than 350 ships.16 Following an unsuccessful attack on Bordeaux, Edmund of Lancaster fell ill, and he died at Bayonne on 5 June 1296, in Tout’s words, ‘worn out by the trickery of the French and the burdens of defending his brother’s Aquitanian heritage’.17 It was left to Lacy to carry on as king’s lieutenant in Aquitaine. Although the only battle of this Gascon war was an English defeat at Bellegarde in early 1297, Lacy’s ability as an administrator provided the resources necessary to maintain resistance in a successful war of attrition that allowed Edward I to campaign in Flanders and achieve a negotiated settlement that restored English rule to Gascony. Returning to England, Lacy served as one of the executors of Edmund of Lancaster’s will, and the Lancaster-Lacy connection is clearly commemorated on Crouchback’s magnificent tomb to the north side of the high altar in Westminster Abbey, just to the west of the Confessor’s chapel that was rapidly becoming a Plantagenet mausoleum.18 The tomb of Edmund Crouchback is the ‘earliest example in England of the French type of ciborium tomb’, but in its heraldic display it is more elaborate than anything in contemporary France.19 There are twenty shields on each side of the base, and some fifty-five in the gables of the canopy. These shields represent the earls of England as well as notable baronial and knightly families connected with the house of Lancaster. Especially prominent are the arms of the earl of Lincoln, appearing twice on the north side of the tomb chest and three times on the south side. The personal as well as the chivalric connection between Lancaster and Lacy is embodied here in stone, as it had recently been embodied in flesh through the marriage of Thomas and Alice. *** In the difficult last decade of the reign of Edward I, marked by the passing of Edmund of Lancaster, Eleanor of Castile and other trusted advisors of the king, Henry de Lacy played an increasingly important role in preparing Edward of Caernarfon for his future role as king. Not only was he instrumental in the negotiations that led to the arrangement of the marriage between

198  J. S. Hamilton Edward of Caernarfon and Isabella of France,20 he also provided the prince with instruction in military affairs and chivalric conduct. He accompanied Edward I and Prince Edward to Scotland on the latter’s first military expedition in 1300, as recorded in the Roll of Caerlaverock: Henri le bon Conte de Nichole Ki prowess enbraste et acole E en son coer le a souveraine Menans le eschiele primeraine Baniere ot de un cendall saffron O un lion rampant porprin.21

Henry the good Earl of Lincoln Who embraces and loves valour And holds it sovereign in his heart Leading the first squadron Had a banner of yellow silk With a purple lion rampant.

Lincoln led the vanguard, while earl Warenne led the second regiment, the king the third and the prince the rearguard. In July of the following year at Carlisle, Lacy performed homage to Prince Edward for lands he held of him as earl of Chester.22 He was present in Carlisle as the most senior of the five earls who had been chosen to accompany the prince on campaign in Galloway, where the king desired ‘that the chief honour of taming the pride of the Scots may accrue to the prince’.23 The prince’s expedition, effectively led by Lincoln, did capture the castle at Turnberry, but otherwise achieved little to tame ‘the pride of the Scots’.24 By January 1302, a truce had been arranged to last through to November, and while the king and prince prepared to renew hostilities with the Scots in 1303, Lincoln travelled to France where on 20 May 1303 he and the count of Savoy formally betrothed the prince to Philip IV’s daughter Isabella, in the presence of the French king and queen and the princess herself.25 We are remarkably fortunate to have a roll, albeit incomplete, of the letters of Edward of Caernarfon for 33 Edward I (1304–5), from which we can gain considerable insight into the relationship between the earl of Lincoln and the now twenty-year-old prince.26 The prince wrote to the earl on eight occasions. Two letters of a legal nature are in Latin, the rest are in French: the topics range from the mundane and administrative in nature to the urgent and personal. No other earl was the subject of so much attention from 20 Foedera, I, ii, pp. 894–5, 952, 955; Phillips, Edward II, p. 81, nn. 18, 20. 21 Caerlaverock Roll of Arms of the Princes, p. 2. 22 Johnstone, Edward of Carnarvon, p. 63. Similarly, Lincoln performed homage for Rhos and Rhuvoniog at Odiham in January 1303; CPR 1343–45, p. 228. 2 3 Calendar of Documents Relating to Scotland, ii, p. 305; CCR 1296–1302, p. 480. 24 Prestwich, Edward I, pp. 403–4. 25 Foedera, I, ii, pp. 952–4. 26 E 163/5/2, printed in Letters of Edward, ed. Johnstone. We can supplement the letters with E 101/368/4, a roll of the daily expenses of the prince’s household for the same year. There, we find (m. 2) that the earl of Lincoln dined with the prince in London on 8 February 1305, along with the bishops of Durham and Chester, the chancellor and the mayor and burgesses of London.

Henry de Lacy and kingship of Edward II  199 the prince, aside perhaps from his brother-in-law Ralph de Monthermer, the titular earl of Gloucester in right of his wife.27 The first letter to the earl of Lincoln in the surviving series was written on 4 June 1305 from Langley, concerning a royal debt of £80 owed to a Castilian knight named Sonchenegoz for his service in Gascony with the Aragonese captain known as Ladalit, acknowledged in letters given under Lincoln’s seal.28 The most interesting feature of this letter is the prince’s invocation of his mother’s Castilian heritage in supporting Sonchenegoz’s effort to recover this debt. Far more significant was a famous letter written by the prince at Midhurst ten days later. It is worth quoting in full: Edward etc. to the earl of Lincoln etc. greeting and dear friendship. Know, sire, that on Sunday the thirteenth day of June we came to Midhurst, where we found our lord the king our father; and on the Monday following, on account of certain words which were reported to him as having passed between us and the bishop of Chester, he became so enraged with us, that he has forbidden us to be so bold as to come into his household, we or any of our following, and he has forbidden all the folk of his household and of the exchequer to give or lend us anything for the upkeep of our household. We have remained at Midhurst to await his goodwill and favour, and we shall follow him all the time as best we can, ten or twelve leagues away from the household, so that we may recover his goodwill, as we greatly desire. Wherefore we pray you especially that on your return from Canterbury you will come to us, for we have great need of your aid and counsel.29 Although there is no evidence of the earl and prince meeting face to face in response to this appeal, several more letters to the earl follow fairly soon after, maintaining the close communication between them and suggesting that even if the prince was not formally reconciled with the king until October, the worst of his ostracism was soon over.30 On 24 June, the prince dispatched John de Bedale from Perching to William de Nouny, steward of the earl of Lincoln, bearing letters concerning a house and lands that Bedale held from Lincoln.31 It would seem that

2 8 Letters of Edward, ed. Johnstone, pp. 18–9. See also SC 8/322/E534 for a petition from Pascasius Valentini, known as Ladalit, concerning arrears from his service in Aquitaine, and E 30/1676 for his release of all claims in March 1308; Cf. CPR 1292–1301, p. 489. 29 Letters of Edward, ed. Johnstone, p. 30, Johnstone’s translation. 30 Johnstone, Edward of Carnarvon, pp. 97–101. 31 Similar letters were also dispatched to Alan de Smytheton, who held a messuage and rent in South Kirkby from Lincoln; Bedale may have held through Smytheton; Letters of Edward, ed. Johnstone, p. 35; C 146/7456. It is tempting to think that Edward’s connection to

200  J. S. Hamilton the house had been battered in a storm and high winds, and that the earl (or his steward) had demanded two and a half marks for having restored the house, which charge the prince asks him to forego. From a letter addressed to Roger Brabazon, chief justice of King’s Bench, written on 27 June at Hellingly, it would appear that the prince and earl were both patrons of Mankin the Armourer. The prince having learned that his ‘well loved’ armourer was imprisoned in London, asks Brabazon ‘for the love of us’ to bring forward the inquest. As Hilda Johnstone noted in her edition of the letters, Mankin and his brother Peter were indeed acquitted of various felonies and trespasses against the peace in 1305, but at the request of the earl of Lincoln rather than the prince.32 On the following day (28 June), the prince wrote to Lincoln from Battle asking that the earl intercede in the case of the executors of Oliver of Ingham, who sought to recover certain debts from the executors of Eleanor of Castile. While this is essentially a routine legal or administrative matter, the prince asks this for the release of his mother’s soul, adding a personal dimension to the request.33 The prince did not write to the earl again for two months during his period of relative isolation from the king, but on 11 September he wrote to ‘the noble man his dear cousin Sir Henry de Lacy, earl of Lincoln’ from the park at Windsor, seeking his assistance in protecting the prince’s rights in Gower at the upcoming parliament.34 Several more letters to Lincoln followed regarding a variety of matters under consideration by the king’s council. On 1 October from Kennington, the prince wrote to Lincoln requesting that he aid John the Porter of Tickhill in his business before the king’s council.35 Two days later, on 3 October the prince again wrote from Kennington, this time on a matter of more personal concern. The prince having come to understand that certain members of the king’s council had ordered the prince’s bachelor Sir William Inge to travel to Scotland to serve as a justice, he states that he has great need for his service, as Inge knows the prince’s business like no other. He argues that there are other ‘good men, wise in the law and suitable for holding this place in those parts (i.e., Scotland)’. Finally, he asks the earl to confer personally with Guy Ferre, William Blyborough and Walter Reynolds on this matter.36 The urgency of the prince’s concern is made clear in the very next letter in the compilation, addressed to Guy Ferre, which urges him also to pursue the matter John de Bedale came through Miles de Stapleton, whose more famous grandson Sir Miles de Stapleton of Bedale shares a loconymic with this otherwise unknown John de Bedale.

34 Letters of Edward, ed. Johnstone, p. 113. 35 Ibid., p. 132. Perhaps relating to land held in Tickhill from Constance of Béarn; SC 8/346/ E1381. 36 Letters of Edward, ed. Johnstone, p. 133.

Henry de Lacy and kingship of Edward II  201 of William Inge along with Blyborough and Reynolds, and then to go to the earl of Lincoln, Hugh Despenser, and others of the king’s council ‘who are our friends’ and tell them about the damage that would be done were Inge to be sent away.37 This campaign was apparently successful, as Inge remained with the prince. Similarly, Prince Edward wrote to Lincoln again on 4 October, noting that the king had ordered Lincoln to travel to the Curia in Rome, and that the earl had requested the services of Sir Miles de Stapleton to manage the business of the earl’s household in his absence. Here again, Edward was unwilling to be parted from a member of his household, but there were extenuating circumstances. As he explains in his letter, rather apologetically, he does not have the authority to release Stapleton, who had been placed into his household as steward by the king.38 This is an interesting episode, since Stapleton had served with the earl of Lincoln at Falkirk in 1298 and again at Caerlaverock in 1300 – where Lincoln accompanied the prince. He had also previously accompanied Lincoln to Rome in 1300, at which time he was described as a knight of his household. It is tempting to think that Lincoln himself may have been behind Stapleton’s appointment as the prince’s steward, and it seems remarkable that he would not have known that this appointment had been made by the king himself. Although it appears that Stapleton did re-enter Lincoln’s service in 1305,39 he went on to serve as steward of the king’s household in the early months of Edward II’s reign, and although he was included in the general pardon to adherents of Thomas of Lancaster for the death of Piers Gaveston in 1313, he ultimately remained loyal to the king, dying on the field at Bannockburn in the following year.40 A few days prior to his letter concerning Miles de Stapleton, on 29 September, the prince had written to Isabelle, widow of John FitzHugh, concerning her marriage, which the king had granted to his valet John de Stapleton. The prince urges Isabelle, somewhat plaintively, to assent to this arrangement. On the same day, the prince also wrote to Richard Oysel, the recently appointed escheator beyond Trent, to ensure that he provided assistance to John de Stapleton in every way possible with regard to this grant. Interestingly, as Johnstone noticed, letters patent actually granting the marriage were issued on 30 September ‘at the instance of Henry de Lacy, earl of Lincoln’,41 suggesting further communication between the prince and earl.

40 See Musson, ‘Stapleton, Miles, first Lord Stapleton’.

202  J. S. Hamilton That the prince and earl continued to be in close contact after this series of letters concludes is indicated in April 1306 when one Matilda, late wife of Thomas de Belhus, who was being held at the Tower of London under indictment for the murder of her husband, was pardoned at the request of the prince on the information of the earl.42 A month later, Henry de Lacy was present on 22 May 1306 when Edward of Caernarfon was knighted in a lavish ceremony. Two of the closest friends of the king, the earls of Hereford and Lincoln, fastened the spurs of the prince of Wales, introducing him to the order of knighthood.43 Very soon after this, the earl and the prince once again served together in Scotland, and Lincoln was the leading lay figure in a delegation summoned to accompany the prince on a trip to France in the spring of 1307, although this visit to the French court did not, in the end, take place.44 Later in 1307, Lincoln would be among the first to swear homage to King Edward II.45 *** According to the Brut chronicle, Lincoln was one of those charged by Edward I on his deathbed with seeing to the welfare of Edward of Caernarfon,46 and during the early years of the reign of Edward II, Henry de Lacy used all of his stature in efforts to facilitate the transition from the old king to the new. Although the so-called Boulogne Declaration of January 1308 has long been seen as an attack on the crown, Seymour Phillips has convincingly argued that ‘it was essentially designed to help Edward rather than impose restraints on him’, and may well have been drafted in conjunction with discussions regarding the king’s impending coronation.47 Subsequent to his return to England from the royal wedding in France, early in 1308 Lacy hosted a meeting of the earls at Pontefract,48 where apparently plans were discussed for the upcoming April parliament. At this subsequent assembly, on 28 April, the earl of Lincoln presented the king with three articles.49 The first of these three articles bluntly asserted that homage and allegiance were due to the crown rather than to the person of the king. It went on to threaten direct action to constrain a wayward ruler. The second and third articles were more narrowly personal, applying the principles adduced

4 6 Brut, I, pp. 202–3. 47 Phillips, Edward II, pp. 139, 142. For a contrasting view see Maddicott, Thomas of Lancaster, pp. 73, 80–3. 48 Ibid., p. 80.

Henry de Lacy and kingship of Edward II  203 in article one to justify the exile of Piers Gaveston and the confiscation of his estates, to which the king reluctantly acquiesced in June.50 There are signs of strain in the relationship between Edward II and Henry de Lacy in mid1308, but a reconciliation between the king and his magnates was achieved at the Northampton parliament in August, and there is little evidence of any lasting breach between the king and the earl. By November 1308, relations with the king were sufficiently cordial that the earl was granted permission to hunt with hawks along all preserved rivers and carry away his quarry.51 He was present at court at Windsor on New Year’s Day 1309,52 and in February 1309 the terms of the wardship for the daughters of Brian FitzAlan were renewed in the earl’s favour.53 In the first three years of the new reign, Lincoln was a ubiquitous presence at court as illustrated in the witness lists to the charter rolls. He was present at court for 35 per cent of enrolments in 1 Edward II, 79.6 per cent in 2 Edward II and 70.3 per cent in 3 Edward II. Particularly in the first year, he was also found together with his son-in-law Thomas of Lancaster, jointly witnessing on 12 occasions (30 per cent of all enrolments).54 We cannot be sure of the nature of the relationship between Henry and Thomas. In the last decade of the reign of Edward I, they had often been at court together,55 and a similar pattern continued into the first year of Edward II, where they appear together as witnesses on a dozen occasions between August 1307 and May 1308.56 But while Lacy remained a ubiquitous presence at court during the next two years, Lancaster appears just twice in late 1309 and three times in March 1310 before withdrawing altogether. As he had in the reign of Edward I, Lacy also continued to provide funds to the crown, in July 1309 receiving a bond for repayment of 600 marks that he had provided to the keeper of the wardrobe John Droxford for the king’s use.57

50 For Lincoln’s relationship with Gaveston, see J. S. Hamilton, Piers Gaveston, earl of Cornwall 1307–1312 (London and Detroit, 1988), pp. 48, 50–1, 68, 74; Phillips, Edward II, pp. 147–9, 161–2. It is significant that Lacy almost certainly knew Gaveston’s father Arnaud de Gabaston personally. As king’s lieutenant in Gascony, he appointed Arnaud as custos of the town and castle of Sault with forty men-at-arms and fifty foot soldiers, and likewise at Rochefort with five men-at-arms and fifty foot soldiers; C 47 24/2/23. See also Rôles Gascons, ed. Bémont, III, no. 4476. 51 CPR 1307–13, p. 146. 52 CChR 1300–26, p. 125. 54 Witness Lists of Edward II, ed. Hamilton, pp. 1–7.

204  J. S. Hamilton The tensions that repeatedly arose during the early years of the reign ultimately led Edward II to agree in March 1310 to the establishment of a body of twenty-one prelates, earls and barons ‘to ordain and establish the estate of the king’s household and realm’.58 Both Henry de Lacy and his son-in-law Thomas of Lancaster were elected to serve as Ordainers. Lacy, in all likelihood, continued to play a moderating role throughout the period in which the Ordinances were drafted. And he continued to have the king’s trust. On 1 September 1310, Edward II appointed Lincoln as king’s lieutenant and keeper of the realm during his absence in Scotland.59 But when Edward ordered the removal of the exchequer and benches to York on 28 October 1310, Lincoln threatened to resign and faced the king down, suggesting that he was fully invested in the drafting process and the ongoing process of reform, while also committed to serving the crown. *** A remarkable, but little discussed, element of the earl of Lincoln’s efforts to mentor the young king is physically embodied in a copy of the Brut presented to Edward II in the third year of his reign by Lacy, providing the young ruler with historical foundations for good kingship.60 That this gift was made to the king after the drafting of the Boulogne Declaration and the Three Articles, and perhaps even after the appointment of the Lords Ordainers, suggests that the earl of Lincoln still had high expectations for the kingship of Edward II. Although Sir Frederick Madden described the author of this abridgement of the Brut Rauf de Boun as a ‘miserable history-monger’, and his work as ‘a collection of historical notices chiefly derived from apocryphal sources, and put together in so confused and ignorant a manner, in defiance of chronology, as to baffle all ingenuity to reconcile them to each other’,61 yet Henry de Lacy must have had a clear plan behind the commission and organization of this abridgement. Perhaps such ‘baffling’ claims, as that Arthur was the father of Ethelwold and grandfather of Alfred, are less important than the assertion that Arthur-like Edward I had conquered Wales and Scotland. If the details of the reign of Richard the Lionheart are not entirely accurate, the crucial emphasis is on crusading and the chivalric duties of a Christian king (si se aforsa par tout cel temps par l’eide de Deux enhancer et cel malice ley payen destruer). Perhaps most significantly, this very short chronicle (829 lines, covering eleven leaves in the MS [fols. 1r–11v] and nineteen and half pages in the modern printed edition), devotes fully 1307–13, p. 285. This sum was still owed at the time of the earl’s death; CPR 1307–13, p. 321.

Henry de Lacy and kingship of Edward II  205 one-sixth of its coverage (138 lines) to the reign of Edward I, a reign in which Henry de Lacy had been not just a witness, but a crucial actor. Surely it is here that he is reaching out to the young Edward II, with whom he had been so close for more than a decade, with practical lessons in kingship. The depiction of Edward I is largely accurate and stresses one key principle above all else: the maintenance of the king’s right (pur son droit mayntiner). The portrait of the late king begins with his youthful crusade in the Holy Land, stressing that he was a most noble and chivalric knight. In the account of his wars in Wales – in which both Henry de Lacy and Edmund of Lancaster had played such prominent roles – it is the treachery of Llewelyn and David ap Gruffydd, and later Rhys ap Maredudd and Madog ap Llewelyn that is stressed. The importance of Gascony is also emphasized. When Edward returns from Gascony – with which Henry de Lacy was so closely associated – the king purges the judges (and Le Petit Bruit correctly names the chief justice of Common Pleas, Thomas de Weyland, along with Richard of Boyland, William de Brompton and Adam Stratton as among those dismissed from office)62 and expels the Jews from England, both acts seen as works of royal justice. The Great Cause of Scotland is treated at considerable length, from the death of Alexander III and the adjudication of the right to the crown by Edward I, through the failings of John Balliol, the treason of William Wallace (un rabaud laron thief ) and finally the usurpation by Robert Bruce, all these men guilty of disloyalty to the king of England. The chronicle concludes with the death of Edward I at Burgh on Sands ‘in this time of war’. It seems very clear that Edward II is being urged to action in a just cause. If Edward II did not emulate his father in word and deed as exemplified in Le Petit Bruit, he did continue to value Lincoln’s advice throughout the earl’s life as indicated by the earl’s continued service to and communication with the king. His influential role is reflected in a privy seal writ dispatched from the king on 8 September 1310 instructing Lacy to convene the great council in order to consider various matters in Aquitaine.63 On 23 October, Lacy wrote from London to John de Brittany, earl of Richmond, noting that both he and the king, who was presently in Scotland, were in good health.64 On 22 November, the king wrote a series of letters to Lincoln, as keeper, covering a commission in Gascony, exports to Flanders and administrative matters, including appointments to office and the work of the exchequer.65 In December 1310, as the English and French negotiators entered into the Process of Périgueux, the king wrote to his father-in-law Philip IV, noting his need to discuss Gascon affairs with his experts, the earls of Lincoln and

206  J. S. Hamilton Pembroke and Sir Otto de Grandison.66 The king wrote to Lacy, as keeper, from Berwick in January 1311, on a variety of topics, including the Frescobaldi.67 This was likely their final communication. *** Henry de Lacy did not live to see the impact of either Le Petit Bruit or the Ordinances on Edward II, having died on 5 February 1311 in his London house in Holborn. He was subsequently buried in a magnificent tomb – that had much in common with the tomb of Edmund of Lancaster, although apparently without a canopy – between the chapels of St Mary and St Dunstan in the old St Paul’s Cathedral. We are fortunate to have Hollar’s engraving, showing the ‘weepers’ and their shields, as well as the architectural design of this splendid tomb.68 We also have another memorial of a different sort. According to the Annales of John Trokelowe, Lacy shared his last moments with his son-in law, advising Thomas of Lancaster in military matters and his manner of living: Thomas was to guard the liberties of the Church, but also to relieve the populace of England from the ‘various vexations and tallages, imposed by kings, that have reduced them to servitude’. He was to ‘exhibit the honor and reverence due to the king, remove evil councillors and aliens from the court, and maintain the dignity of the crown’.69 He was to be a paragon of chivalric virtue and loyalty. The sequel was to prove decidedly mixed, however, with dire consequences for the king, his cousin of Lancaster and the kingdom as a whole. The absence of the steady hand of Henry de Lacy, earl of Lincoln, would be greatly missed.

Bibliography Manuscript sources Bodleian Library: MS Fairfax 24 British Library: MS Burney 277; MS Harley 902 The National Archives: C 53: Charter Rolls C 146: Ancient Deeds DL 29: Duchy of Lancaster: Minister’s and Receiver’s Accounts DL 10: Duchy of Lancaster: Royal Charters E 101: King’s Remembrancer SC 8: Ancient Petitions

66 Cuttino, English Diplomatic Administration, p. 90.

Henry de Lacy and kingship of Edward II  207 Printed primary sources Annales Londonienses, Chronicles of the Reigns of Edward I and Edward II, ed. W. Stubbs, RS (1882). Calendar of the Charter Rolls. Calendar of the Close Rolls. Calendar of Documents Relating to Scotland. Calendar of the Patent Rolls. Foedera, conventiones, litterae et cujuscunque generis acta publica, ed. T. Rymer, 10 vols in 40 pts (The Hague, 1739–45). Flores Historiarum, ed. H. R. Luard, 3 vols, RS (1890). Johannis de Trokelowe et Henrici de Blaneforde chronica et annals AD 1259–1296, 1307–1324, 1392–1406, ed. H. T. Riley, RS (1866). Letters of Edward, Prince of Wales, 1304– 05, ed. H. Johnstone (Roxburghe Club, 1931). Rauf de Boun, Le Petit Bruit, ed. D. B. Tyson, Anglo-Norman Text Society, Plain Text Series 4 (London, 1987). Reliquiae Antiquiae: Scraps from Ancient Manuscripts, ed. T. Wright and J. O. Halliwell (London, 1845). Rôles Gascons, III (1290–1307), ed. C. Bémont (Paris, 1906). The Brut, ed. F. W. D. Brie, EEET vol 131. The Roll of Arms of the Princes Barons, and Knights who Attended King Edward I to the Siege of Caerlaverock, in 1300, ed. T. Wright (London, 1864). The Royal Charter Witness Lists of Edward I (1272–1307), ed. R. Huscroft, List and Index Society 279 (Kew, 2000). The Royal Charter Witness Lists of Edward II (1307–1327), ed. J. S. Hamilton, List and Index Society 288 (Kew, 2001).

Secondary sources Baldwin, J. F., ‘The Household Administration of Henry Lacy and Thomas of Lancaster’, EHR 42 (1927), 180–96. The Complete Peerage, ed. G. E. Cokayne, 13 vols (London, 1910–57). Cuttino, G. P., English Diplomatic Administration, 1259–1337, 2nd ed. (Oxford, 1971). Davies, J. C., The Baronial Opposition to Edward II (Cambridge, 1918). Duffy, M., Royal Tombs of Medieval England (Stroud, 2003). Dugdale, W., The History of St Paul’s Cathedral in London (London, 1658). Goodall, J., ‘The Heraldry on the Tomb of Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster (d. 1296)’, in Gothic Tombs of Kinship in France, the Low Countries and England, ed. A. Morgenstern (University Park, PA, 2000). Hamilton, J. S., ‘Lacy, Henry de, fifth earl of Lincoln (1249–1311), magnate’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Hamilton, J. S., Piers Gaveston, earl of Cornwall 1307–1312: Politics and Patronage in the Reign of Edward II (London and Detroit, MI, 1988). Johnstone, H., Edward of Carnarvon (Manchester, 1946). Kantorowicz, E. H., The King’s Two Bodies: A Study in Medieval Political Theology (Princeton, NJ, 1957).

208  J. S. Hamilton Lawton, R. P., ‘Henry de Lacy, Earl of Lincoln (1272–1311), as locum tenens et capitaneus in the duchy of Aquitaine’ (unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, University of London, 1974). Lloyd, S., ‘Edmund [called Edmund Crouchback], First Earl of Lancaster and First Earl of Leicester (1245–1296)’, ODNB, Maddicott, J. R., ‘Ferrers, Robert de, Sixth Earl of Derby (c.1239–1279), Magnate and Rebel’, ODNB, Maddicott, J. R., Thomas of Lancaster, 1307–1322: A study in the Reign of Edward II (Oxford, 1970). McFarlane, K. B., ‘Had Edward I a “Policy” towards the Earls?’, History 50 (1965), 145–59. Mercer, M., ‘King’s Armourers and the Growth of the Armourer’s Craft in Early Fourteenth-Century London’, in Fourteenth-Century England VIII, ed. J. S. Hamilton (Woodbridge, 2014), pp. 1–20. Morris, M., A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of England (New York and London, 2009). Musson, A., ‘Stapleton, Miles, First Lord Stapleton,’ ODNB, ref:odnb/26301. Phillips, S., Edward II (New Haven, CT and London, 2010). Prestwich, M., Edward I (Berkeley, CA and Los Angeles, CA, 1988). Richardson, H. G. and Sayles, G. O., The Governance of Medieval England (Edinburgh, 1964). Somerville, R., History of the Duchy of Lancaster (London, 1953). Spencer, A., Nobility and Kingship in Medieval England: The Earls and Edward I, 1272–1307 (Cambridge, 2014). Thiolier-Méjean, S., ‘Croisade et registre courtois chez les troubadours’, in Études de philologie romane et d’histoire littéraire offertes à Jules Horrent à l’occasion de son soixantième anniversaire, ed. J-M. D’Heur et N. Cherubini (Liège, 1980), pp. 298–307. Tout, T. F., ‘The Earldoms under Edward I’, TRHS, n.s. 8 (1894), 129–55.

11 Faction, prerogative and the common profit of the realm in the Good Parliament Mark Arvanigian

Parliaments of the last quarter of the fourteenth century, very much in line with England’s general political situation, were often rambunctious affairs. Yet the parliament convened in April of 1376, the so-called ‘Good Parliament’, has long held a special interest for historians of England’s political and constitutional development.1 By the early 1370s, the regime of an ailing Edward III had fallen prey to a group of corrupt advisors and royal intimates, intent on self-enrichment at the expense of public well-being and good government.2 These historians have seen the mandate of parliament in fairly straightforward terms: oppose the court party, weed out the malfeasance and return the king’s government to good health. Yet that diagnosis of the problem badly understates the complexity of the political situation in 1376, and while the Commons’ countermeasures against the court provided short-term relief, their proposed reforms of government proved not to be durable in the least; many were reversed within weeks, while others fell under the axe of the Hilary Parliament the following January, when the political situation was essentially restored to the status quo ante.3 For some early constitutional historians, this represented something of a tragedy, as the hard-won progress of reform made by the Lower House was quickly reversed by the forces of ancient privilege and reaction.4 For Bishop Stubbs,

210  Mark Arvanigian the Good Parliament was potentially a landmark moment, a step along the sure path to English (then British) ‘exceptionalism’. He was cheered by the willingness of the Commons to air new ideas and approaches, and the confidence with which they pursued public reform, bolstered by their emerging role as watchdog of the public fisc. While certainly disappointed by the fact that these advancements were abruptly cut short after the end of the session and during the following parliament, Stubbs and many who followed continued to believe that the Good Parliament represented a foundation stone in what would become the nation’s unique ‘mixed constitution’ by the end of the seventeenth century.5 If Stubbs’ successors lacked his enthusiasm for historical teleology and his faith in a providential constitutional progress, they nonetheless accepted his basic premise: the reality of ‘parliamentary evolution’. Ever the hardnosed administrative historian, T. F. Tout nonetheless found himself (albeit hesitantly) adopting a more modest version of Stubbs’ interpretation, seeing in the Commons an unusually robust expression of reform principles coupled to an equally striking willingness to insinuate themselves into the king’s business.6 So, too, did the great parliamentary historians of the midtwentieth century, particularly Roskell beginning in the 1950s, and then Richardson and Sayles in subsequent decades.7 For them, as for Stubbs, 1376 was a landmark for the Commons on several fronts, offering many novelties of approach and mechanism. For example, election by MPs of one of their own to serve as Speaker proved to be the crucible of that important constitutional office. They pointed also to the Good Parliament’s forceful dissent of a proposed new round of royal taxation, and to its novel use of impeachment, arrayed here against top royal officials and intimates accused of incompetence and corruption. The latter came under the mechanism of another relatively new procedure, the so-called ‘common petition’; and while impeachments lacked the force of law, they nonetheless served as de facto indictments, and served to pave the way for the introduction

general flavour of this, see Wedgewood’s short and evocatively titled article ‘John of Gaunt and the Packing of Parliament’.

Faction, prerogative and the common profit  211 later on of more forceful censure and impeachment measures.8 The Good Parliament was therefore seen by many as England’s first radical, reforming parliament, foreshadowing especially the rise of the Commons, itself crucial in the formation of that quintessentially English construct, rule by the king in Parliament.9 Yet this easy interpretation detracts from a more complex and interesting reality. The 1376 Parliament was clearly a confrontational gathering, but the explanation for that was external to the body itself. It was found instead in the broader political context on the one hand, and in the Commons’ ever-more strenuous affirmation of their role in fiscal oversight on the other. Royal spending – alongside its usual cognate, royal taxation – was by this time the Commons’ most reliable route to influence royal policy. Moreover, it is nearly axiomatic to assert that the war in France provided a near-unlimited wellspring of royal need, as the treasury’s war requirements produced consistent shortfalls of ready money. These rounds of taxation were generally agreed to by the Commons in exchange for a wide variety of concessions, perhaps not least of which was an emerging belief that it should meet regularly.10 For Edward III, war, like kingship and government more generally, was a personal and dynastic undertaking, part and parcel of a broader effort to extend the influence of his family. This was borne out for example in his dogged attempts to serve this end through the marriages of his children, as Mark Ormrod has discussed in some detail.11 The dynastic nature of Edward’s war and the problems borne by the rest of nation in its prosecution were, for a time, buffeted by his military successes. The famous victories at Crécy and Poitiers brought personal and national glory, after all, and held out the prospect of annexing new territories, with opportunities for yet-greater national prosperity.12 However, by the 1370s, popular memories of these victories were rapidly being complicated by others which told of recent military and diplomatic failures. Fading alongside those memories of battlefield glory, it seems, was the Commons’ former enthusiasm for

212  Mark Arvanigian lavishly funding the war as the king saw fit.13 Tensions were undoubtedly exacerbated by the end of the long two and a half years of parliamentary intermission, following the relatively contentious gathering of 1373.14 The present essay seeks to clarify the context of the 1376 Parliament, while also reconsidering the roles played by the Commons and the king – and perhaps most importantly by the figure of John of Gaunt, around whom so much revolved and for whose political life the parliament marked a sea change. *** At least some of the attention paid to the Good Parliament by historians has been the result of the survival of a rich core of literary and documentary evidence.15 Modern historians are blessed to have no fewer than three contemporary reconstructions of events, providing a combination of basic reporting and some vivid detail.16 The most important of these is the work of the anonymous clerks of parliament themselves, whose account for the parliament rolls was compiled following the end of the session, as per usual.17 Their account of the Good Parliament is unusually detailed and survives mostly intact, the single crucial text for understanding the parliament.18 However, two other contemporary accounts also survive, both showing a close knowledge of the proceedings, even as they differ substantially one from the other.19 The Anonimalle Chronicle, compiled by an anonymous monk of the Benedictine abbey of St Mary’s, York, is the shortest and likely the most reliable of the two.20 Its treatment of the Commons’ prosecution of the king’s closest advisors, for example, is admirably straightforward and neutral in tone, recounting little more than the charges levelled against them.21 This is probably explained by the regional stature of the accused, in that while Lords Neville and Latimer served as steward and chamberlain of the royal household, they were also figures of considerable import and influence in Yorkshire and the north-east. John Neville was the heir to the Neville estates in North Yorkshire and Durham, and had even been

Faction, prerogative and the common profit  213 granted leave to fortify Raby Castle (his main residence on the River Tees) by his feudal lord and colleague Bishop Hatfield of Durham – in spite of the fact that it lay on the northern border of Yorkshire, rather than that with Scotland, where such requests were much more typically granted. Yet Hatfield, like Neville, was a royal servant and advisor, the two connected via the court and the tight web of acquaintance which typified the region.22 This had become more acute in recent years, as Neville translated some of the dividends of high royal and Lancastrian service into greater regional influence for himself and his family. One brother, William, had become one of the senior admirals of the fleet and sometimes-keeper of the ports, while a second, Alexander, had recently been elevated to the archbishopric of York, and was by this date already enthroned at York Minster – a few hundred yards from the gates of St Mary’s Abbey.23 Though Latimer lacked the Neville pedigree and regional influience, he was nonetheless also an important landowner and had established himself in royal service as an able diplomat, soldier and administrator, and had been of much service to both Gaunt and the Black Prince in France. A Lancastrian retainer, he had also served as Edward’s household chamberlain since the early 1370s, an important link between Gaunt and the royal household. It is understandable, then, if in his account of their indictments, the Anonimalle writer failed to report the same spirit of righteous indignation shown by the Commons’ was reported by other witnesses.24 The lengthiest and most influential ‘external’ account of the parliament, however, was that of the St Alban’s chronicler Thomas Walsingham.25 With his characteristically excellent access to the highest political circles, Walsingham likely composed his account of the Good Parliament before 1388, in a portion of his larger Chronica Maiora usually referred to by historians as the Chronicon Angliae.26 In general terms, scholars have been reluctant to rely exclusively on Walsingham’s accounts of events, in that he altered – or had altered for him – much of his magnum opus following the Lancastrian Revolution of 1399, in order to accommodate the new regime’s sensibilities.27 As historians of the reign of Richard II have shown, this seems to have been part of a project to better align accounts of the period with

22 ‘Inquisitions Post Mortem, Richard II, file 56’; CIPM, pp. 277–91. 23 Arvanigian, ‘A Lancastrian Polity?’, pp. 121–42. 24 Taylor, ‘Good Parliament and its Sources’, pp. 88–90. The section of the Anonimalle Chronicle dealing with the events of the Good Parliament has been reproduced (in translation) in Taylor, English Historical Literature, pp. 301–13. 25 This essay will refer to the version printed in the Rolls Series as the Chronicon Angliae, ed. Thompson (hereafter CA). 26 For Walsingham’s treatment of the Good Parliament, see CA, pp. 68–101. 27 It has been suggested that for his account of the Good Parliament, Walsingham relied on having had access to the account of the MP Thomas Hoo, whose witnessing of events he describes in detail; Goodman, ‘Sir Thomas Hoo’, pp. 139–40.

214  Mark Arvanigian Lancastrian sensibilities, particularly those touching the reign of Richard II.28 Yet, as one of the editors of the Chronica Maiora notes, the Chronicon Angliae is unlikely to have been altered from its original 1388 version, and so probably represents the author’s authentic views of the Good Parliament without Lancastrian revision.29 It is for this reason that we might conclude that it represents Walsingham’s unaltered views on the parliament, allowing for its use here. However, Walsingham’s account of the Good Parliament presents historians with a second problem, one that cannot be quite so easily dismissed: his deep and professed personal antipathy for the duke of Lancaster.30 In his capacity as editor of the Anonimalle Chronicle, Galbraith warned against taking Walsingham’s uncorroborated word on any subject touching John of Gaunt’s character or behaviour.31 Holmes also adopts this standpoint in the only dedicated scholarly monograph to date on the Good Parliament, and makes sparing use of the Chronicon in the absence of corroboration.32 Yet Walsingham’s view of the duke as a malevolent, ambitious and scheming threat to good order is ultimately let down by the startling lack of supporting evidence. Gaunt’s dealings at the Good Parliament, and at the one which met during Hilary 1377, are both very much cases in point. His influence over the Commons in 1376 was only ever a minor one, a fact acknowledged by most modern historians and confirmed by the Commons’ obvious antipathy towards him. The numbers confirm this: just seven Lancastrian retainers or officers served as MPs in the Good Parliament, very few from outside Lancashire itself. That number grew to just twelve for the January Parliament of 1377, one which he has long been accused of hijacking to avenge the damage done to him by its predecessor.33 As Simon Walker has shown in some detail, Gaunt’s retaining was still very much in transition during this period, with his political focus shifting only very slowly away from the Continent and towards English politics. In these transitional years, he simply lacked the wherewithal to pack the Commons with supporters and retainers, even from the north. Yet the claims of Wedgewood and others that Gaunt controlled the Hilary Parliament via an army of parliamentary retainers dutifully passing legislation reversing the 1376 reforms – or at least preventing their recurrence – have gone unchallenged for decades.34 To be clear: amongst those taking seats in

28 For the best discussion of the manuscripts and their dating, see Stow, ‘Richard II’, pp. 68–102. 29 Taylor, English Historical Literature, pp. 65–6. 30 Reign of Richard II, ed. McHardy, pp. 36–7.

Faction, prerogative and the common profit  215 the Commons in January 1377, just twelve can be identified as Lancastrian retainers – a number only slightly higher than its immediate predecessor; this rather minor difference in number does not serve to explain the aboutface in the attitude of the Hilary Parliament.35 A more likely one lies in the extraordinary conditions surrounding both gatherings. Gaunt’s growing power, alongside the infirmity (and eventual death) of the Black Prince, the king’s own advancing age and infirmity, and the minority of the royal heir, must have made for an alarming political moment for the Commons. Yet, whatever Lancaster’s political ambitions, they were not pursued through the packing of the Commons in 1376–7. *** The central purpose of the Good Parliament, from the king’s perspective, was made clear immediately. In his opening address on 28 April, the chancellor John Knyvet announced the king’s intent that there be a new round of taxation, for the purpose of shoring up the nation’s defences, continuing to provide good government for the kingdom and providing for the ongoing war effort in France.36 For the next two weeks the Commons met in the Chapter House of Westminster Abbey on their own, before making the unusual request that the king appoint an intercommuning committee of lords to assist them in their deliberations.37 The response was favourable, and a committee of bishops, earls and barons (four of each) was duly appointed. Its composition shows a real attempt to empanel genuine ‘neutrals’, since many of those named were reasonably free of factional interests. However, the issues in play were sufficiently weighty that the goal of a genuinely apolitical committee, if it had ever existed, was unrealistic. The bishops of Carlisle, London, Norwich and St David’s were joined by the earls of March, Suffolk, Warwick and Stafford and the Lords Brian and Percy, along with Sir Henry Scrope and Sir Richard Stafford.38 Though Courtenay of London and the earl of March were hostile to Gaunt, Scrope, Percy and Guy Brian (and to a lesser extent, Stafford) could actually be described as a Lancas-

even where he wielded considerable influence, as in Yorkshire: The Lancastrian Affinity, pp. 262–91. 36 PROME, parliament of April 1376, item 2. The Anonimalle writer believed the specific request for taxation was a fifteenth and tenth on the laity, plus the addition of either one or two years’ wool subsidy; if so, it was quickly rejected or withdrawn from consideration, most likely rejected by the Commons as a non-starter, never to appear again amongst the proposals; Anonimalle Chronicle, ed. Galbraith, p. 80. 37 This had been provided also in 1373. McFarlane reminds us how unusual this was: in the thirty-four parliaments between 1373 and 1407, the rolls record that the Lords only conferred formally with the Commons (in any way) just seven times; McFarlane, ‘Parliament and “Bastard Feudalism”’, p. 54 (note). 38 Anonimalle Chronicle, ed. Galbraith, pp. 80–5; PROME, parliament of 1376, item 8.

216  Mark Arvanigian trian bloc. Though the time frame and sequence of events are left obscure by the author of the relevant section of the parliament roll, it is likely to have been understood that the proposed three-year subsidy on wool would be agreed to by the Commons in exchange for the king entertaining a number of proposed reforms. Thereafter, beginning on 24 May and after a lengthy period of discussion and consultation with the intercommoning panel, the Commons presented a slate of requests over the next several days. Among the most important acts of the parliament were the removal from court of the king’s mistress, Alice Perrers, and the great London merchant and financier, Richard Lyons, who were both extremely influential with the king. In addition, the Commons asked that the royal household be purged of its top officials, the chamberlain Lord Latimer and the household steward Lord Neville. Others would follow in the coming days and weeks, including the well-known London merchant and associate of Lyons, John Pecche, and his associate, William Ellis.39 Pressing their advantage, the Commons next recommended that the royal council be disbanded entirely, and a new one assembled from amongst the lords then serving on the intercommuning committee. With Gaunt’s recommendation, the king agreed. Having done so, and perhaps now reeling somewhat in the face of a reinvigorated Commons, he also acquiesced to the prosecution of his old advisors. On 26 May, Lord Latimer was arrested and ultimately detained at the pleasure of the earl of March; two days later Richard Lyons was arrested and conferred to the Tower, his property seized ahead of an impending trial. Thus sated, the Commons, their principal concerns dealt with and their main targets at court purged and punished, assented to the king’s proposed three-year subsidy on wool. The timing here strongly suggests that MPs had already agreed to this course of action ahead of time, awaiting only the king’s agreement to their main slate of reforms to act.40 However, if the purging of Latimer and Neville was meant to diminish Gaunt’s influence, the attempt failed.41 Any hopes that the new council might rise above factional politics and engage a programme of reform were quickly dashed. The Anonimalle writer suggests that the inclusion of Bishop Wykeham of Winchester, who with Bishop Courtenay acted as the body’s leading voices, ensured on the council elements hostile to any perceived Lancastrian interests.42 While the inclusion of Mortimer likely made that

40 PROME, parliament of 1376, items 8, 19 and 30; Anonimalle Chronicle, ed. Galbraith, pp. 93–4. 41 Ibid., pp. 90–2; Holmes, Good Parliament, p. 105. The recommendation of the Commons as to the council’s reformation is referred to by the clerks of parliament in PROME, parliament of 1376, item 10. 42 This is hard to work through, as Wykeham’s relationship with Gaunt is murky; he had once been among the duke’s household officers and stood as an attorney for him in 1375; Foedera VII, p. 61.

Faction, prerogative and the common profit  217 opposition easier, the impression of the Anonimalle writer’s account – that Gaunt’s enemies were now arrayed against him on the council – is still not quite correct.43 Gaunt himself retained his own membership on the panel by agreement with the Commons, alongside his brother, the earl of Cambridge; Archbishop Sudbury of Canterbury, a staunch ally of Lancaster, was also included, with the lords Beauchamp, Percy and Brian. By that date, Beauchamp and Percy were fee’d Lancastrian retainers, and Guy Brian a staunch ally, as well.44 So while the new council was not an instrument of Lancastrian policy, neither was it reflexively hostile to Gaunt’s interests. Even so, the Commons might have had more success constraining Gaunt’s ambitions had they not made a further critical concession: reinforcing the king’s prerogative in appointing his own household officers, and confirming that those officers should be free to execute their duties unhindered by the new council. These caveats proved crucial, and undercut the reforms envisioned by the Commons. As it was, Roger Beauchamp was quickly installed as under- chamberlain and Sir John Ypres replaced Lord Neville as household steward. Beauchamp’s talent for service made him useful both to Gaunt and to the crown, while his unimpeachable aristocratic lineage guaranteed respect even in the loftiest circles. Ypres was a different animal altogether. Already an experienced household servant, he rose to his new position after several years as controller of the royal wardrobe.45 Yet he was also amongst Gaunt’s closest advisors, knighted on the field of Najera for his service there. A decade later saw him president of Lancaster’s ducal council and a senior member of his household.46 So while the council now included members hostile to Lancaster’s ambitions, it was in practice a weaker version of itself in two main respects. Firstly, it had clearly ceded responsibility – and therefore authority – for the daily business of governing to household officials, elevating the latter in importance via the promise of greater autonomy. Secondly, the composition of the council failed to curtail Lancaster’s influence, certainly among the principal goals of these reforms. In Latimer and Neville, two Lancastrian partisans were indeed dismissed by the Commons, yet two others were simply elevated to serve in their stead; the effect was to further blunt any potential acts by Wykeham and others which might be hostile Lancaster’s interests in the final months of the reign. Moreover, the reversals of the reforms of the Good Parliament’s efforts were spearheaded by the working Lancastrian minority in the council, which also paved the way for the parliamentary ‘counter-reformation’ of January 1377, which essentially restored customary royal authority absent parliamentary oversight.

4 4 Walker, Lancastrian Affinity, p. 264; Tout, Chapters, VI, p. 47. 45 Holmes, Good Parliament, pp. 105–6. 46 Tout, Chapters, VI, pp. 23 and 28; Walker, Lancastrian Affinity, pp. 38, 78, 87 and 105.

218  Mark Arvanigian Indeed, in the absence of parliamentary oversight and with the burden of war set aside, Gaunt enjoyed significant freedom of action for the balance of 1376 and spent much of it rebuilding royal authority. To this end, he laid the foundation for reversing the Good Parliament before its session had even concluded, acting in his capacity as steward of the realm.47 In that sense, then the failure of the Commons to enact a programme of meaningful reform upon royal government was not one of zeal, or ideology or imagination, but of practical politics. Yet in one important area, the Good Parliament was successful in forcing the crown to address decisively an issue of great national import: the royal succession. As Michael Bennett has shown, Edward III’s unusual and forceful act of placing the crown itself under entail established publicly his own preference for the royal succession, in both general and specific terms. Yet it also undoubtedly contributed to the intense factionalism that prevailed during parliamentary proceedings, by encouraging the two ‘cadet-line’ candidates, Mortimer and Gaunt, to each mobilize their respective partisans in the service of their claims.48 From one perspective, given the incredibly high stakes injected into the parliament by circumstance and by the question of the entail, it is surprising that any progress towards reform was made by the Commons at all, testimony perhaps to the dire state of royal government and the talents of the new speaker.49 De la Mare was an early practitioner of popular politics within the parliamentary context: his experience in high office (he was the steward of the earl of March) gave him sound qualifications to deal with the court and nobility. Yet he was also possessed of a rare combination of personal eloquence and a mastery of the issues before the House.50 As such, constitutional issues and partisan politics came into temporary alignment, and the Speaker moved the Commons to take advantage of their opportunity and reform what they agreed was an ineffective and corrupt government.51 The Commons applied somewhat novel techniques like impeachment to prosecute government officials for specific transgressions. While lacking the force of law, these impeachments served as a useful instrument of pressure. Their public enumeration of specific rather than vague charges of wrongdoing, along with the gathering and presentation of evidence, proved sufficient to move the king to act, even against his closest counsellors. Publicity

48 Bennett, ‘Edward III’s Entail’, pp. 580–3. 49 Roskell, ‘Sir Peter de la Mare’, pp. 24–37. 50 Oliver, Parliament and Political Pamphleteering pp. 29–35. The Good Parliament was probably the first to use systematic pamphleteering to sway the wider community towards their proposals; Oliver, ‘First Political Pamphlet?’, pp. 251–68.

Faction, prerogative and the common profit  219 and specificity formed a winning combination and made the indictments difficult to ignore, just as others lacking such seriousness and specificity – say, ‘malfeasance’ or ‘evil counsel’ – were often easier to set aside. The Commons were therefore commending themselves to the nation in 1376 as a legitimate instrument of public oversight. Here, the gathering and presentation of evidence might usefully be arrayed in an attempt to influence royal policy, all through the mechanism of common petition.52 Aware of the peril to members in this course of action, the Commons, before disbanding, made special petition to the king for the protection of individual members against any retribution they might encounter, especially at the hands of those recently impeached, many of whom of course were powerful men.53 The petition may have been the response to just these kinds of threats, as MPs came to understand their own individual jeopardy outside the chamber. This may explain also why the Commons’ impeachments in 1376, spectacular though they were in the context of the late fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, were also relatively few in number. In any case, the bell of impeachment could not thereafter be ‘unrung’. In this sense, its broader importance lay in the fact that institutional practice – in this case, parliamentary impeachment – once introduced, had a kind of immortality, slumbering indefinitely before being resurrected in the service of some contemporary utility.54 *** Given the intensity of the pressures and the politics of faction in the 1376 Parliament, might there have been any residual space for the expression of political ideas? Perhaps so. Mark Ormrod and others have suggested that political language provides a window into the Good Parliament’s selfconception, and here that means above all else gauging the importance of the relatively new phrase ‘common profit of the realm’. The term was a relative debutante, and made its impact on the Good Parliament initially as the centrepiece of the extraordinary opening oath taken by the Commons.55 Yet it reappeared several times, including during a critical exchange alleged to have taken place between de la Mare and the Lords in which the Speaker requested the intercommuning committee. The Anonimalle writer in fact puts the phrase several times in de la Mare’s mouth while addressing the council; it reflected a new emphasis upon the well-being or prosperity of

220  Mark Arvanigian the political community.56 Indicative of rising expectations on the part of the Commons, concern over the common profit of the realm was in the process of replacing the older ‘common weal’, which itself sought to set a minimal framework of security. Concern for the ‘common profit’ also reflected a deepening agreement regarding the interests of the broader community of provincial and urban England. Both, partly through their representatives in the Commons, were demanding that royal government be more attentive to their needs and prosperity, a sure sign of their maturity into legitimate political stakeholders. Yet these changes in the political lexicon reflect a deeper shift, away from an acceptance of the traditional authoritarian model of kingship in favour of something more inclusive. ‘Common profit’ connotes an emphasis on shared interests and responsibility for the national destiny amongst the estates of the realm. Traditional authoritarian models of royal authority had long emphasized other elements of royal authority and responsibility, pointing especially to the sacral character and divine mission of kingship as the ultimate source of any king’s prerogative – his ‘right to rule’. A monarch’s feudal mastery of his nobility, his relationship with the church and his ability to co-opt his greatest magnates into governance in nomino regis perhaps none of these surpassed the necessity of communicating to the wider realm his acceptance of his sacred duty to his people, conferred upon him by God, for it was this that conferred upon him the need for an extensive royal prerogative. As such, it was perhaps the single critical factor in determining the extent of that prerogative, more important than any legal institutions or constitutional norms.57 This element of kingship is replete with symbolic meaning, and while this is not the appropriate place to discuss its many manifestations, in the case of Edward III it might be well to highlight just two of them. The first is outlined briefly, above: the matter of political theology. Beyond brute force, the king’s authority rested upon his royal status, conferred by affirmation of the nobles and sanctified through anointment, the latter formally conferring upon the office its sacred status. It is this process of anointment (which made manifest a king’s sacred connections both to God and to their past) that proved so helpful in defining a king’s relationship to his subjects; he was seen in the ancient sense as a gift of Divine Grace to his people, set apart from all others in status and authority. Only rarely was this shaken, as it had been during the deposition crisis of 1326/1327. In such cases, where a king was judged to be in violation of his duties, perhaps articulated and given form through a coronation oath, the door might open for the expression of some alternative criteria, such as the ‘common profit’ of the kingdom.

56 Ibid., pp. 311 and 313. 57 Ormrod, ‘“Common Profit”’, p. 215.

Faction, prerogative and the common profit  221 Indeed, Edward III himself had long been a vigorous practitioner of this approach to kingship, as a devotee of an older honour culture that encapsulated conventional piety, chivalry and deeds of arms.58 He employed symbols and slogans such as St George, the Arthurian Round Table and the prominent phrase Dieu et Mon Droit to establish his priorities and make known his values. Edward even adopted and mimicked early in the reign that most famous of all legendary chivalric heroes, Arthur.59 He went so far as to attempt the rebuilding of a new replica of the Arthurian Round Table (never completed) for his own knights at a newly redesigned ‘temple of chivalry’, the Great Hall of Windsor Castle.60 For some years, these symbols and expressions were pressed into the service of his royal prerogative and aspirations, extending to his aspiration for an imperial monarchy that included both England and France. While the motto Dieu et Mon Droit was not of his own invention, it nonetheless matched his aspirations perfectly.61 Indeed, the antiquity and provenance of the slogan were precisely the point: its adoption provided a tangible link to the animating spirit that first moved Richard Coeur de Lion to adopt it. Pleasantly for Edward, Richard I had also wielded the motto in defence of his French possessions, against the incursions of another French king. Dieu et Mon Droit even found its way into Edward’s royal arms, perhaps our best summation of his thinking on the subject of government. Yet the motto was also used in several more specific contexts, of which two stand out. The first was its adoption by Edward’s troops at Crécy as a battle cry. Its prominence and the ideas it represented rose in status right alongside Edward’s own. For just as Crécy, the greatest of all of his victories, was vindication of his decision to press his claim in France, it also seemed to provide evidence that God was indeed siding with him in that quest – the motto borne out in battle. The second related use was the motto’s adoption by Edward’s new chivalric fraternity, the knights of the Garter, after 1349. Unlike noble or knightly standing, membership in Edward’s neo-Arthurian band was reserved for his comrades in arms. With a royal clubhouse of Windsor Great Hall, and with its own dedicated devotional chapel there in St George’s (so named in dedication to the Order’s patron saint), membership in the Order became England’s highest honour.62 The motto served as a public pronouncement of its purpose; it deftly married sacred, martial

222  Mark Arvanigian and chivalric elements, all in the service of a king favoured by God, His ‘pious warrior’.63 In Old Testament terms, this was exemplified best by the life of David, the faithful boy-hero who served as an instrument of God’s will and later became His chosen king. This was the fulfilment of what had always been his providential destiny, to rule a united kingdom of the Israelites in the Promised Land of God’s Chosen People. Anointed by the Prophet Samuel, his authority was as close to sacrosanct as the Hebrew tradition allowed. For many other kings, useful parallels were abundant; for Edward, they were acute, stretching from his own youthful overthrow of Isabella and Mortimer (though not with a sling) to his proposed ‘destiny’ to rule over all of his family’s realms as king. Models of prophetic kingship from Christian history would only have encouraged him further in this thinking. Most obvious among these was the first of all Christian monarchs, the Roman Emperor Constantine, whose victories and subsequent reign were said to have reflected the Divine Will. Providence and the will of God granted Constantine victory over his enemies at the Milvian Bridge, and he repaid it with the salvation of Rome’s Christians and with the building of God’s Church on Earth in a new empire that provided Christians a footing in their struggle with the established Pagan gods. Like both rulers, and in common with most medieval kings, Edward also believed his successes to be providential, and in the service of righteous causes. This was only confirmed by his stunning victories at Crécy and Poitiers, the surest possible evidence of Divine favour. Belief in his just cause, in his own place in providence and in the notion that his mission was tapped from a sacred spring all produced in Edward a strong belief in a certain kind of kingship. As the Vicar of Christ to his people, it was of paramount importance that he regained all of his rightful lands, an endeavour that had already met with great success, proof positive of God’s emphatic approval. The metaphor of vicarage was very much on the lips of theologians and political thinkers of the day, from religious reformers like Wyclif to political philosophers like Marsilius of Padua. All emphasized in one way or another the sacral functions of anointed kings, Christ’s designee to his people, His ‘Good Shepherd’.64 For those hostile to papal influence in politics, these views proved attractive – of which Gaunt’s short dalliance with Wyclif’s ideas is ample testimony.65 Yet as powerfully adorned as Edward’s brand of kingship had been, by the last years of the reign it was visibly damaged, evidenced by the contentious parliaments of 1373 and 1376, as well as the factional infighting within the nobility. For Edward, success in France and his own personal chivalric aura had buoyed his authoritarian approach to kingship, and left his government with an ex

Faction, prerogative and the common profit  223 pansive authority. Yet this had been largely dependent upon a single grand supposition – that popular memory of the great victories prior to Brétigny was strong enough to retain political capital. Yet for the Commons of 1376, the achievements and glories of Crécy and Poitiers were long ago and far away, belonging to the achievements of a previous generation.66 The king’s age and frequent infirmities served as a living reminder of this, as did the death on 8 June of the Black Prince – a teenage debutante at Crécy and the hero of Poitiers. Exacerbated by the entire political community being assembled, and raising many questions of course about the royal succession, the prince’s death was also a powerful symbolic reminder of the passing of a generation responsible for so many glorious deeds.67 It is in this context that the Commons chose to assume a new approach. The employment of the term ‘common profit of the realm’ by the Good Parliament might of course have been lexical sophistry, not at all indicative of any real change in thinking. Yet the adoption by the Commons of the new phrase more likely reflects its utility in a moment of acute crisis, a sound encapsulation of their goals.68 As John Watts points out, this was repeated in the mid-fifteenth century, with the redefinition or repurposing of a number of important political terms. Watts’ example of the self-definition of the participants in Cade’s Rebellion as the king’s true ‘liege men’, while at the time being in open rebellion against his government, speaks not only to their misunderstanding of the term, but also to an ongoing redefinition of the meaning of fidelity to the crown, increasingly distinct from fealty to the king’s person. The waning of the older, widely accepted expression ‘common weal’ in favour of a new one, ‘commonwealth’ (res publica), certainly speaks to a wider conception of politics and public affairs. The reported use of the phrase ‘common profit’ at the opening of the 1376 parliament likely signaled a change in meaning from its predecessor – the ‘common weal’ or ‘commonwealth’ (from wele, as in the modern ‘welfare’) – which described a simple absence of want and protection against dire need or hardship. Conversely, the new term ‘common profit’ placed a greater moral burden on the state to attend to the ‘profit’, the thriving, of the commons rather than simply attending to its basic needs. The shift is noteworthy also for moving away from the view of the king as a powerful and providentially guided shepherd of an otherwise helpless flock, towards a more complex, even

66 Edward himself was a living relic in 1376, having survived every one of his contemporaries; Bothwell, ‘Emotional Pragmatism’, pp. 39–70. Ruddick has shown that by 1375 and perhaps before, the view that England had now been abandoned by God was very much abroad; ‘National Sentiment’, pp. 1–2. 67 Green considers the ‘meaning’ of his death as related to us by the rather unreliable chroniclers, most notable among them the Prince’s chief literary sycophant, Thomas Walsingham; Green, Edward the Black Prince, pp. 185–7. 68 Watts, ‘“Common Weal” and Commonwealth’, pp. 147–66; some of this is also expressed in a different context in his Henry VI, Chapter 1.

224  Mark Arvanigian communitarian, constitutional arrangement which obliged the king to positively contribute to the general prosperity of his realm. This was the view expressed by the Commons in 1376, when they discussed the complementarity of their twin roles as royal watchdogs and supporters of the crown. This was aptly demonstrated by their taking of an unusual oath to open the session, pledging to attend to the ‘common profit of the kingdom’.69 No oaths of this sort had been seen since the crisis of Edward II’s reign in 1326/1327 – an occasion which elicited much conversation in 1376 – and it was widely seen as a sign that the Good Parliament felt itself to be weathering a similar crisis.70 Indeed, nowhere is that purpose more evident than in the common petitions, which encapsulated several important criticisms. In them, the Commons accused the crown of being overly focused on defending the royal prerogative at home, and of advancing certain individuals’ war aims abroad without paying sufficient attention to their impact on the nation – the ‘common profit of the realm’.71 For their part, the chroniclers of the parliament remained wedded to the by-then traditional phrase for the public good, the ‘common weal’, synonymous with ‘common well-being’. Simple clerical conservatism might account for using the older form, yet there is also another possibility. In studying Lancaster’s role in these affairs, Anthony Goodman argues that the very value of the term as a basis for criticism of the royal state lay in its imprecision.72 With its vague connexions to public opinion and even violent mob action (as in 1381), accusations of politicians placing their own personal profits over the public good could be powerful, and indeed these formed the heart of many of the most prominent denunciations of Gaunt levelled by the Commons and the chroniclers. Their apparent, widespread assumption that Lancaster intended to usurp the throne for himself at the death of his father haunted his political efforts for some years, as he sought to reshape his role in the new regime. What was unusual here was the Commons’ confidence in confronting a perceived threat to the crown and its heir, a confidence that perhaps hints at inspiration drawn from the new popular politics and a conviction that they had much popular support. This also hides an irony at the centre of the king’s twilight years, for while the Commons would come to venerate Edward III and his many achievements posthumously, the Good Parliament was testimony to the political community’s growing hostility to his authoritarian style and

Faction, prerogative and the common profit  225 approach, favouring increasingly a more communitarian and collaborative polity – something more attuned to the common profit of the realm.73

Bibliography Manuscripts London, The National Archives DL 10: Duchy of Lancaster, Royal Charters. DL 36: Duchy of Lancaster, Cartae Misc. DURH: Bishopric of Durham. E 101: Exchequer, King’s Remembrancer: Various Accounts SC 8: Ancient Petitions.

Printed sources The Anonimalle Chronicle, 1333 to 1381, from a MS. written at St Mary’s Abbey, York, ed. V. H. Galbraith (Manchester, 1970). Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Volume 16, Richard II, ed. M. C. B. Dawes, M. R. Devine, H. E. Jones, and M. J. Post (London, 1974). Calendar of Patent Rolls, vol. 16: 1370–1374. Calendar of Patent Rolls, vol. 17: 1374–1377. Chronicon Angliae ab Anno Domini 1328 Usque ad Annum 1388 Auctore Monacho Quodam Sancti Albani, ed. E. M. Thompson (Rolls Series, 1874). Foedera, Conventiones, Litterae, etc., ed. T. Rymer, 2nd ed., 20 vols (London, 1727–35). ‘Inquisitions Post Mortem, Richard II, File 56’, Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem: Volume 16, Richard II, ed. M. C. B. Dawes, M. R. Devine, H. E. Jones, and M. J. Post (London, 1974), pp. 277–91. Parliament Rolls of Medieval England, ed. C. Given-Wilson, Brand, J.R.S. Phillips, M. Ormrod, G. Martin, A. Curry and R. Horrox (Woodbridge, 2005). The Reign of Richard II: From Minority to Tyranny, 1377–97, ed. A. McHardy (Manchester, 2012). The St Albans Chronicle: The Chronica Maiora of Thomas Walsingham: Volume I, 1376–1394, ed. W. Childs, J. Taylor, and L. Watkiss (Oxford, 2003). The Chronicle of Adam Usk, 1377–1421, ed. C. Given-Wilson (Oxford, 1997). Chronica Maiora of Thomas Walsingham (1376–1422), ed. D. Preest and J. Clark (Woodbridge, 2009).

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226  Mark Arvanigian of Christopher Given-Wilson, ed. R. Ambühl, J. Bothwell and L. Tompkins (Woodbridge, 2019), pp. 227–61. Arvanigian, M., ‘A Lancastrian Polity? John of Gaunt, John Neville and the War with France, 1368–88’, in Fourteenth Century England III, ed. W. M. Ormrod (Woodbridge, 2004), pp. 121–42. Barber, R., Edward III and the Triumph of England (Woodbridge, 2013). Bellamy, J., ‘Appeal and Impeachment in the Good Parliament’, Historical Research 39 (1966), 35–46. Bennett, M., ‘Edward III’s Entail and the Succession to the Crown, 1376–1471’, EHR 113 (1998), 580–609. Bothwell, J., Edward III and the English Peerage: Royal Patronage, Social Mobility, and Political Control in Fourteenth-Century England (Woodbridge, 2004). Bothwell, J., ‘An Emotional Pragmatism: Edward III and Death’, in Monarchy, State and Political Culture in Late Medieval England, ed. G. Dodd and C. Taylor (Woodbridge, 2020), pp. 39–70. Canning, J., ‘The Role of Power in the Political Thought of Marsilius of Padua’, History of Political Thought 20 (1999), 21–34. Collins, H. E. L., The Order of the Garter, 1348–1461: Chivalry and Politics in Late Medieval England (Oxford, 2000). Davies, R. G., ‘The Anglo-Papal Concordat of Bruges, 1375: A Reconsideration’, Archivum Historiae Pontificiae 19 (1981), 97–146. Dodd, G., ‘The Lords, Taxation and the Community of Parliament in the 1370s and Early 1380s’, Parliamentary History 20 (2001), 287–310. Dodd, G., ‘A Parliament Full of Rats? Piers Plowman and the Good Parliament of 1376’, Historical Research 79 (2006), 21–49. Dodd, G., Justice and Grace: Private Petitioning and the English Parliament in the Late Middle Ages (Oxford, 2007). Duffy, E., The Stripping of the Altars: Traditional Religion in England, 1400–1580 (New Haven, CT, 1992). Duffy, E., Reformation Divided: Catholics, Protestants and the Conversion of England (London, 2017). Edwards, J. G., ‘“Justice” in Early English Parliaments’, in Historical Studies of the English Parliament, Volume 1: Origins to 1399, ed. E. Fryde and E. Miller (Cambridge, 1970), pp. 280–98. Faith, R., ‘The “Great Rumour” of 1377 and Peasant Ideology’, in The English Rising of 1381, ed. R. H. Hilton and T. H. Aston (London, 1984), pp. 43–73. Fowler, K., The King’s Lieutenant: Henry of Grosmont, First Duke of Lancaster, 1310– 61 (London, 1969). Given-Wilson, C., The English Nobility in the Late Middle Ages: The Fourteenth Century Political Community (London, 1987). Good, J., The Cult of St George in Medieval England (Woodbridge, 2009). Goodman, A., ‘Sir Thomas Hoo and the Good Parliament’, Historical Research 41 (1968), 139–49. Goodman, A., ‘John of Gaunt: Paradigm of the Late-Fourteenth Century Political Crisis’, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 5 (1987), 133–48. Goodman, A., John of Gaunt and the Exercise of Princely Power in Europe (London, 1992). Green, D., Edward the Back Prince: Power in Medieval Europe (Harlow, 2007).

Faction, prerogative and the common profit  227 Harriss, G. L., ‘War and the Emergence of the English Parliament, 1297–1360’, Journal of Medieval History 2 (1976), 35–56. Holmes, G., The Good Parliament (Oxford, 1975). Keiser, G., ‘Edward III and the Alliterative Morte Arthure’, Speculum 48 (1973), 37–51. Maddicott, J. R., ‘The County Community and the Making of Public Opinion in Fourteenth-Century England’, TRHS, 5th series,18 (1978), 27–43. Madicott, J. R., Origins of the English Parliament, 924–1327 (Oxford, 2010). McFarlane, K. B., ‘Parliament and “Bastard Feudalism”’, TRHS 26 (1944), 53–79. McFarlane, K. B., John Wycliffe and the Beginnings of English Nonconformity (London, 1952). McHardy, A., ‘The Dissemination of Wyclif’s Ideas’, Studies in Church History: Subsidia 5 (1987), 361–8. Oliver, C., ‘The First Political Pamphlet? The Unsolved Case of the Anonymous Account of the Good Parliament of 1376’, Viator 38 (2007), 251–68. Oliver, C., Parliament and Political Pamphleteering in Fourteenth-Century England (Woodbridge, 2010). Ormrod, W. M., ‘The Personal Religion of Edward III’, Speculum 64 (1989), 849–77. Ormrod, W. M., ‘For Arthur and St George: Edward III, Windsor Castle and the Order of the Garter’, in St George’s Chapel, Windsor, in the Fourteenth Century, ed. N. Saul (Woodbridge, 2005), pp. 13–34. Ormrod, W. M., ‘Alice Perrers and John Salisbury’, EHR 123 (2008), 379–93. Ormrod, W. M., ‘The Trials of Alice Perrers’, Speculum 83 (2008), 366–96. Ormrod, W. M., ‘The Good Parliament of 1376: Commons, Communes and “Common Profit” in Fourteenth-Century English Politics’, in Comparative Perspectives on History and Historians: Essays in Memory of Bryce Lyon, ed. D. Nicholas, B. S. Bachrach and J. M. Murray (Kalamazoo, MI, 2010), pp. 219–52. Ormrod, W. M., Edward III (New Haven, CT, 2012). Ormrod, W. M., ‘“Common Profit” and “The Profit of the King and Kingdom”: Parliament and the Development of Political Language in England, 1250–1450’, Viator 46 (2015), 219–52. Ormrod, W. M., ‘The Foundation and Early Development of the Order of the Garter in England, 1348–1399’, Frühmittelalterliche Studien 50 (2016), 361–92. Pollard, A. F., ‘The Authorship and Value of the Anonimalle Chronicle’, EHR 53 (1938), 577–605. Richardson, H. G. and Sayles, G., ‘The King’s Ministers in Parliament, 1272–1377’, EHR 46 (1931), 529–50. Richardson, H. G. and Sayles, G. O., The English Parliament in the Middle Ages (London, 1981). Roskell, J. S., ‘The Medieval Speakers for the Commons in Parliament’, Historical Research 23 (1950), 31–52. Roskell, J. S., The Commons and their Speakers in English Parliaments, 1376–1523 (Manchester, 1965). Ruddick, A., ‘National Sentiment and Religious Vocabulary in Fourteenth-Century England’, The Journal of Ecclesiastical History 60 (2009), 1–18. Ruddick, A., English Identity and Political Culture in the Fourteenth Century (Cambridge, 2013). Sayles, G. O., The King’s Parliament of England (London, 1974).

228  Mark Arvanigian Somerville, R., The Duchy of Lancaster (London, 1946). Stow, G. B., ‘Richard II in Thomas Walsingham’s Chronicles’, Speculum 59 (1984), 68–102. Taylor, J., English Historical Literature in the Fourteenth Century (Oxford, 1987). Taylor, J., ‘The Good Parliament and Its Sources’, in Politics and Crisis in Fourteenth Century England, ed. J. Taylor and W. R. Childs (Gloucester, 1990), pp. 81–96. Tompkins, L., ‘Alice Perrers and the Goldsmiths’ Mistery: New Evidence Concerning the Identity of the Mistress of Edward III’, EHR 130 (2015), 1361–91. Tompkins, L., ‘“Said the Mistress to the Bishop”: Alice Perrers, William Wykeham and Court Networks in Fourteenth-Century England’, in Ruling FourteenthCentury England: Essays in Honour of Christopher Given-Wilson, ed. R. Ambühl, J. Bothwell and L. Tompkins (Woodbridge, 2019), pp. 205–25. Tout, T. F., ‘The English Parliament and Public Opinion, 1376–88’, in Historical Studies of the English Parliament, Volume 1: Origins to 1399, ed. E. B. Fryde and E. Miller (Cambridge, 1970), pp. 299–317. Vale, J., Edward III and Chivalry (Woodbridge 1982). Walker, S., The Lancastrian Affinity, 1361–1399 (Oxford, 1990). Watts, J., Henry VI and the Politics of Kingship (Cambridge, 1999). Watts, J., ‘“Common Weal” and Commonwealth: England’s Monarchical Republic in the Making, c. 1450–c. 1530’, in The Languages of Political Society: Western Europe, 14th–17th Centuries, ed. A. Gamberini, J.-P. Genet and A. Zorzi (Rome, 2011), pp. 147–66. Wedgewood, J., ‘John of Gaunt and the Packing of Parliament’, EHR 45 (1930), 623–5. Wilks, M., ‘Reformatio regni: Wyclif and Hus as leaders of Religious Protest Movements’, Studies in Church History 9 (1972), 109–30.

12 ‘During our absence or until further order’ Edmund of Langley, duke of York, and the custodianship of the realm, October 1394–May 1395 Douglas Biggs On 1 October 1394 Richard II with the royal portion of the 8,000-man army he had organized left Haverfordwest for Ireland. The king would spend the next eight months in Ireland with the intention of restoring Irish rebels to loyalty and bringing much-needed peace to his Irish possessions. Richard II’s Irish campaign and its successes have been well covered,1 but to this point no one has pursued in-depth analysis of the government at home during the longest of Richard II’s three trips abroad. In the fourteenth century, the governance of the realm during the months when the king was abroad was usually the job for a mere caretaker. As T. F. Tout and Mark Ormrod have demonstrated for the reign of Edward III, after the debacle of 1340 the king kept a tight control on the governance of the realm even when he was abroad.2 Thus, after 1340 Edward’s custodians were either his minor children or, in 1372, his grandson Richard of Bordeaux, then aged six.3 On all these occasions, those who received the realm into their keeping until the king returned, along with those royal councillors who advised them, had little practical power and Edward III expected them to do very little on their own initiative. Richard II, however, chose not to follow his grandfather’s practice. Rather than run the government at a distance during his extended stay in Ireland, the king left the custody of the realm to his uncle, Edmund of Langley, duke of York. Traditionally historians have made very little of this moment. Nineteenth-century and twentieth-century historians routinely disparaged Edmund of Langley as an individual of ‘no weight’, and heaped all manner

230  Douglas Biggs of abuses upon him from being ‘lazy’, to ‘monumentally stupid’, to charging him with suspicious fidelity.4 Even the great administrative historians gave York’s longest of his three custodial periods scant attention. Sir Nicholas Nichols found the eight months of York’s 1394/1395 custodianship to be ‘of much interest’, but did not draw any significant conclusions or conduct a deeper study.5 James Baldwin failed to mention this important, if brief, period of government by custodian and council in his great work on the latter,6 and while T. F. Tout did discuss what he inaccurately termed York’s ‘regency’ of 1394/1395, he was far more concerned with charting the physical movement of the Great Seal from Milford Haven to London than any meaningful aspect of Edmund of Langley’s custodianship.7 More recent scholarship, however, has demonstrated that York had a significant influence on and played a central role in the English political world throughout his lifetime.8 This discussion argues that Richard II expected his uncle to be much more than a mere caretaker of the realm, but rather expected Duke Edmund to actually govern it in his royal absence. To this end, Richard II had Edmund of Langley undertake significant and unprecedented tasks. In fact, Richard appears to have been so comfortable with the competent and efficient way that his uncle ran the government during his absence that he delayed his return from Ireland for several months despite entreaties from the duke and council that he return sooner rather than later. To demonstrate the efficacy of York’s government during Richard’s first Irish campaign, this discussion will address three points. First, it will consider the duke of York himself and why he was the perfect choice to serve as custodian in Richard’s absence. Second, it explores the duke of York’s role in the daily governance of the realm during his custodianship. Surviving documents demonstrate that he was quite active as the titular head of state over these eight months in terms of confirming grants, constituting commissions for various purposes and serving as the acting head of the council. Finally, there will be a discussion of Edmund of Langley’s role in the parliament of 1395. The duke of York successfully summoned and managed a very eclectic

During our absence or until further order  231 mix of knights of the shire in the parliament that sat from 27 January to 15 February 1395. In these three weeks the duke presided over the sessions, adjudicated parliamentary petitions and most importantly of all, asked for and received from MPs a full tenth and fifteenth – a unique achievement for any custodian of the realm in the fourteenth century.9 *** York received his appointment as guardian of England ‘during the king’s absence or until further order’ on 29 September 1394.10 On paper at least, the appointment was not an unusual one. The powers outlined in Duke Edmund’s appointment were largely of the same formula that had been issued to other custodians of the realm since the 1340s, and was an almost verbatim copy of Edward III’s letter giving custodial powers to Richard of Bordeaux in 1372.11 While Edward II left adult regents such as Piers Gaveston, John Droxford, bishop of Bath and Wells and Aymer de Valence, earl of Pembroke, during his brief trips outside England, Edward III always left the keeping of the realm in the hands of a minor – first his younger brother, John of Eltham, then his young sons Edward of Woodstock and Thomas of Woodstock and finally his young grandson Richard II.12 Thus, the real work of governing the realm lay in the hands of the council with the king overseeing their activities from France.13 On the one occasion that Edward had trusted the council to summon parliament and seek a subsidy in 1340, Bishop Stratford failed utterly at the unenviable task of seeking the Commons’ support for an unpopular war effort mired in debt and Flemish politics: the king’s wrath was legendary.14 After the issues brought forward by the 1340 parliament, Edward spent the remainder of his reign always attending parliament, listening to the Commons and redressing their grievances. As McFarlane noted, the king may not have liked to listen, but he had little practical choice.15 It was only in 1372 that the king contemplated trusting the management of a parliament to his council under the presidency of the five-year-old Richard of Bordeaux, but the contrary winds in the Channel

232  Douglas Biggs forced the cancellation of the relief of La Rochelle and Edward was able to preside over parliament himself.16 By October 1394 when Richard II departed to campaign in Ireland, the fifty-two-year-old duke was a natural choice to govern in the king’s absence. Edmund of Langley had spent almost his entire life at court and thus at the very epicentre of government. The duke’s experience in all aspects of politics, diplomacy, military affairs and administration ran deep. As a young man, Edmund accompanied his father on his 1359 French campaign that resulted in the treaty of Brétigny. His father thought enough of his abilities to choose to marry him to Margaret de Male, heiress of the Duchy of Flanders. Through the tangled web of diplomatic negotiations that flowed between Ghent, Paris, London and Avignon over the issue, Edmund of Langley learned much about diplomatic policy and practice.17 During his father’s dotage and after his death, York served regularly on diplomatic missions to France, Castile and Portugal.18 Beginning in the 1370s, Edmund had led a number of military expeditions to both France and Iberia in the middle stages of the Hundred Years War, in addition to serving as constable of Dover Castle and warden of the Cinque Ports in the early and uncertain years of Richard II’s reign. While none of Edmund of Langley’s campaigns produced victories on the scale of Crécy or Poitiers, they were competently led and were not the complete failures that some have suggested.19 At home, Edmund of Langley possessed a wealth of experience with politics and political management at the highest levels. From the early 1360s Duke Edmund was a regular attendee at parliament and had served as a trier of petitions. The triers were significant officials in parliament and were responsible for adjudicating petitions that did not require the king’s grace.20 A total of thirtyfive parliaments met between 1362 and 1397. Edmund of Langley acted as a trier on no fewer than twenty-three occasions. Only one peer acted as a trier more often than Duke Edmund: his brother John of Gaunt who served on twenty-six occasions.21 Much of the labour the triers performed turned not always on providing a res judicita, but rather to act as a clearing house to refer the petitions to the appropriate government department for final adjudication.22 Experience from this service made Edmund of Langley intimately

22 Ibid., pp. 104–8.

During our absence or until further order  233 aware of which departments of government performed which tasks and also acquainted him with many of the clerks who served in the government offices. In addition to his decades of experience with government offices and officials, the duke of York could be counted as the leading moderate politician in the realm. Duke Edmund led the group of moderates who worked to hold the middle ground in the political crises from 1386 to 1388.23 These moderates, of course, failed to hold out against the demands and political actions of the Appellants between 1387 and 1389, but this neither nullified their influence nor negated their political effectiveness. Edmund of Langley and his fellow moderates waited for the political wheel of fortune to turn, which it did, after a bare sixteen months. York, not his elder brother, had been the architect of Richard II’s return to personal rule in May 1389.24 The period of conciliar maturity and independence from the king in the years that followed quite possibly had much to do with Duke Edmund as well.25 He often attended council meetings and Duke Edmund and his friends were the leaders throughout the subsequent period of political moderation and good governance until 1397.26 Thus, for Richard II, Edmund of Langley was the natural choice to leave as custodian of the realm while the king looked to Irish affairs. The duke’s experience in government and moderate political stance allowed him to work freely with all factions of the political community, and Edmund of Langley possessed neither the anti-clerical taint and feared political ambitions of his elder brother John of Gaunt (who was conveniently out of the country in Gascony during the period of Richard’s Irish expedition), nor the political baggage and reputation for difficult behaviour of his younger brother Thomas of Woodstock (who had accompanied Richard to Ireland). While Edmund of Langley’s experience in diplomacy and administration along with his moderate political stance made him the best choice to lead the government, it is clear that the duke was heavily involved in the day-today governance of the realm during the eight months he served as custodian. There is no doubt that certain aspects of York’s custodianship were little more than customary. Following convention, the king ordered the steward and marshal of his royal household to execute their offices in the verge of 23 For York’s role in the political crises of these years, see Oliver, Parliament and Political Pamphleteering, p. 95. For Edmund of Langley’s standing as a moderate, see GivenWilson, ‘Richard II and the Higher Nobility’, p. 112. Tout also perceived York as a political moderate; Tout, Chapters, III, p. 459. See also Ormrod, ‘Government by Commission’, pp. 303–21. 24 For a discussion of the duke of York’s role in Richard’s resumption of power, see my article ‘Our Dearest Uncle’, pp. 26–35. 25 For a commentary of the growth, maturity and independence of the council in the 1390s, see Saul, Richard II, pp. 251–5. 26 For York’s attendance at council in the early 1390s, see Saul, Richard II, p. 253; POPC, I, pp. 6–18; Tuck, Richard II and the English Nobility, pp. 141–3.

234  Douglas Biggs Edmund of Langley’s household on 2 November 1394.27 The duke also gave his assent to a number of letters issued out of chancery that he himself had little to do with personally. For example, on 1 October 1394 he issued an order to John Joce, Laurence Drew, John de Mosdale, serjeant-at-arms, and Maurice Guyn to gather the king’s ships at Milford for the crossing – which had already occurred.28 The custodian also sent a series of letters to Pope Boniface IX’s court in Rome dealing with minor ecclesiastical affairs, which although they were all warranted teste custodie, York himself probably had little to do with.29 Nearly all letters patent and letter close issued out of the Chancery between Richard’s departure in October and his return on 15 May bore the warranty teste custodie. While all of these letters and orders bore Edmund’s name, it is doubtful that he had much of anything to do with many of them personally. Nevertheless, the fact that his name alone appears demonstrates York’s prominent role in the daily affairs of government. It was not uncommon for child-guardians earlier in the century to warrant chancery documents, but when their names appeared they were always noted as testifying to the documents with the council. The fact that the chancery letters during York’s custodianship rarely bore the warranty, ‘and Council’ clearly demonstrated that those who ran the machinery of government understood that Edmund of Langley alone possessed sufficient authority to move the Great Seal and that those who received the chancery instruments found no difficulty in acting on his orders. One of the most significant aspects of York’s custodianship is that he fulfilled functions that had not been allowed to minor guardians of the realm in earlier periods; specifically, he issued charters in his name and heard parliamentary petitions and, indeed, granted some of them in his name. The government issued one charter during the eight months that York served as custodian. The fact that a charter was issued at all during the king’s absence is unusual, because Edward III never allowed royal charters to be issued when he was abroad during his long reign. The fact that a charter was issued at all during the king’s absence strongly suggests that Richard II wished government to continue in as normal a way as possible and that he trusted his uncle to perform tasks even at this level. The charter on the roll bears the warranty given ‘by the hand of Edmund, duke of York, Custodian of England, at Westminster, 30 October [1394], by the Privy Seal’30 York’s appearance as the grantor of a royal charter was unusual if not irregular, be-

28 Foedera, III, p. 104. 29 Ibid., pp. 104, 106–7. C 53/165, m. 16, Charter #13; CChR 1341–1417, pp. 349–50. 30

During our absence or until further order  235 cause royal charters were part of the royal prerogative and lay with the king alone. The charter was a grant of quasi-palatine rights to John of Gaunt and his heirs over the hundreds of North Greenhoe and Smithdon in Norfolk.31 These two hundreds were contiguous to Gaunt’s hundreds of Gallow and Brothercross in Norfolk on the northeast coast hard by the Wash.32 Thus, the charter York gave to his brother was merely extending rights to Gaunt and his heirs in North Greenhoe and Smithdon that he already possessed in Gallow and Brothercross, which he had received from Edward III. Quite possibly Gaunt and his servants were operating in North Greenhoe and Smithdon the way they had operated in both Gallow and Brothercross, therefore the charter of 20 October was merely the crown catching up with an already existing practice. Thus, there is nothing unusual about the document except that York’s name was removed from the list of witnesses and added in the warranty clause. It is possible that Edmund’s place as grantor was a mistake by the clerk who wrote the charter roll, but this seems unlikely. The charter roll was an enrolled account and as such the authoritative copy. On other parts of the rolls where mistakes were made, the clerks either corrected or crossed out the entry altogether, but in this case the entry has not been touched. The fact that the clerk also removed Duke Edmund’s name from the list of witnesses further suggests that his name did not appear as the grantor by accident, especially considering that York witnessed every other one of the seventeen charters granted in the eighteenth year of Richard II’s reign. Richard gave York this type of power as custodian. But, since no other custodian had ever exercised this power, his appearance as a grantor of the charter is unusual and is perhaps a measure of just how much authority the duke possessed for the eight-month term of his office. York’s government was very active in maintaining a line of communications with the king in Ireland. These were not merely councillors asking the king to tell them what to do, but clearly demonstrate Richard II engaging with the duke and the council regarding advice on certain issues and how best to address a whole host of problems. For example, there was concern on the part of the council in February 1395 that the Scots might break the truce with the king in Ireland and they sought his advice on the defences of the Northern Marches. There were also a series of letters from November 1394 to March 1395 between the two over the issue of Irish rebels. Initially, York and the council advised the king to treat the rebels harshly, but soon realized the advisability of extending a blanket pardon to those Irish who had

236  Douglas Biggs taken up arms against the king.33 It seemed clear to Richard II, Edmund of Langley and the council that the benefits of mercy and oblivion outweighed those of vengeance and justice. Working with the chancery and communicating with the king were only two of the tasks that Richard had entrusted to his uncle. Edmund of Langley not only had to oversee the collection and management of funds into and out of the exchequer to support the king in Ireland, but also had to see to the defence of the realm. The Michaelmas term for 1394/1395 reflected a significant increase in exchequer business. The receipt rolls show a total income for the term at £120,320, 3s. 3½d. Steel found this an ‘unusually large’ total and admitted that even though almost £50,000 of the total was bookkeeping, it was still a significant sum.34 This substantial sum of money was used to support the king in Ireland, of course, but it was also used to support the defence of the realm. In spite of the general good feelings between London and Charles VI’s court in Paris, Duke Edmund sent £2,624 to Calais for defence on 7 November 1394.35 There is no doubt that the duke and the council feared troubles on the Scottish border. As we have seen, York and the council had informed the king of their fears in February 1395, but Henry, earl of Northumberland and warden of the Western March, received £833 on 13 November 1394, followed by £1,850 from the customs of London, Boston and Hull on 11 February 1395 and a final payment of £1,000 on 1 March, which Steel thought came from the lay subsidy voted in the January 1393 parliament.36 While spending money was one side of the coin, Duke Edmund also worked diligently to ensure that money was brought into the exchequer in the form of loans. In late November, he tested a series of acknowledgements of loans given to the king amounting to £1,700 from William Wykham, bishop of Winchester; the king’s clerks John Scarle and Thomas Middleton; and Aubrey de Vere, earl of Oxford, and Thomas Beauchamp, earl of Warwick.37 On 5 December, the civic corporation of London loaned the king £6,333. In February 1395, Duke Edmund sent a further round of letters to

34 Steel, Receipt of the Exchequer, pp. 70–1. James Ramsay thought that the income for the term amounted to £147,000, but Steel’s calculations revealed a different number; Ramsay, Genesis of Lancaster, II, pp. 294–303, 389. 35 This seems a rather large amount for the defences of Calais, especially since these years were ones where the French truce held firm and Charles VI’s uncle Philip ‘the Bold,’ duke of Burgundy, held sway in Paris. Duke Philip desired peace with the English, and since his becoming regent in 1392 had worked to support a truce and lasting peace. He has sent many lavish gifts to Richard II as well as John of Gaunt, Edmund of Langley and Thomas of Woodstock; Stratford, Richard II and the English Royal Treasure, pp. 59, 62, 273. 36 Steel, Receipt of the Exchequer, pp. 70–1.

During our absence or until further order  237 prelates asking for additional revenue to support the king’s efforts in Ireland.38 These letters and requests bore the fruit the duke wished, as between November 1394 and 1 March 1395 the exchequer received over £20,000 from various individuals, including £1,000 each from the treasurer, Richard Mitford, bishop of Salisbury; the chancellor, Thomas Arundel, archbishop of York; Henry Percy, earl of Northumberland; and a £1,333 6s. 8d. loan from one of the king’s least favourite people, Richard, earl of Arundel.39 The individuals and civic corporations who loaned the king such large amounts of money came from all parts of the political spectrum. Many of these, such as Richard Arundel, his brother Thomas and the city of London, had a history of difficult relations with the king, and the fact that all of them supported the custodian and the government perhaps speaks volumes about the duke of York’s moderation and influence across the broad spectrum of the political community. While the duke was clearly concerned with the very real matter of cash, he also sought the blessings of a higher power to further support Richard’s Irish campaign. On 16 October 1394, York sent a series of letters to the great prelates asking the archbishops and bishops to encourage their parish clergy to offer prayers and undertake processions in their parishes seeking the Lord’s help for a successful royal expedition in Ireland.40 While Edmund of Langley actively worked to raise money in the form of loans, he was also well paid for his work as custodian. The duke was active at the exchequer as he usually was when it came to his annuities.41 He drew £17 6s. 8d. on an annuity on 6 December 1394 and again on 22 February 1395.42 These were both payments from a 500 mark annuity that the king had given his uncle to support his estate until lands could be found to replace the annuity. But, in addition to these annuities, the duke received compensation for his service as custodian. On 6 December 1394, York drew £134 6s. 8d. out of the exchequer for his work at custodian and a further £400 on 12 July 1395.43

38 POPC, I, p. 60. 40 One of these letters survives in the Register of John Trefant, bishop of Hereford; Registrum Johannis Trefnant, Episcopi Herefordensis, ed. Capes, pp. 24–5.

238  Douglas Biggs Perhaps the most important task Richard charged York with accomplishing during his time as custodian was the management of parliament and the securing of a subsidy. Letters Close were sent to the lords, the clergy and to the sheriffs, ordering elections for knights of the shire and burgesses in their respective constituencies, on 20 November 1394 summoning them for a meeting in Westminster on 27 January 1395.44 In calling, presiding over and managing parliament, the duke of York faced several challenges. First was the simple fact of what Richard expected his uncle to achieve by calling the assembly: a subsidy. This was not as easy as it might sound. The last time the king had been out of the country and expected his ministers to secure a parliamentary subsidy was in 1340 which ended in notorious failure. While Richard trusted his uncle to accomplish something that not even Edward III could, the task confronting York was not an easy one. Second, Duke Edmund had to contend with the fact that many members of the king’s affinity who would often have been returned to parliament as knights of the shire were with the king in Ireland. Thus, the management of parliamentary selections was especially delicate, for the duke needed an assembly that would do his bidding and not arrive in Westminster with a long list of grievances that might lengthen the assembly and potentially divert it from its intended purposes. Sufficient opportunity for the assembly to be diverted from its intended purpose seems to have existed, for Richard left a number of lords at home who had been at the epicentre of political opposition and violence less than a decade before. All of the former Appellant lords (i.e. Thomas of Woodstock, duke of Gloucester; Richard Arundel, earl of Arundel; Thomas Beauchamp, earl of Warwick; and Henry of Lancaster, earl of Hereford), except Thomas Mowbray, earl of Nottingham, sat in the assembly without any hint of disagreement or dissatisfaction with the king’s policy. In fact, they even sat in the parliament with some of their most inveterate opponents from the past and the present and together with them, they supported the king they had perhaps tried to depose a bare seven years before.45 To manage this assembly and achieve the outcome Richard wished took an attention to detail, an application to business and the ability to blend competing interests to focus on achieving a common goal. The fact that Edmund of Langley was able successfully to manage the assembly and secure a subsidy was a unique feat for a fourteenth-century custodian and demonstrates that he possessed all these qualities. Nevertheless, York did have several advantages in managing a potentially surly and intractable parliament. First was that Richard had skilfully manoeuvred his two remaining uncles out of the country, and thus they would not be a potential focus for any anti-government activity. John of Gaunt had left for his duties in Gascony 4 4 CCR 1392–96, pp. 386–7.

During our absence or until further order  239 in July and Thomas of Woodstock had accompanied the king on his expedition to Ireland. While Thomas did return to London and to parliament, his time in the county was brief. He was not in the country during the selection of MPs and had very little influence on them; in fact, only five knights of the shire can be identified as being part of the affinities of the three senior Appellants (Gloucester, Arundel and Warwick). A second advantage for the duke of York lay in the fact that Richard had left a number of members of the royal affinity, and seventeen of these were returned as knights of the shire. Some of these men were the most prominent members of Richard’s affinity and were most loyal to the king. For example, Sir Bernard Brocas of Hampshire had served Edward III and had been a king’s knight from the beginning of the reign.46 Sir John Bushy who sat for Lincolnshire was elected Speaker of the Commons, and he along with Sir William Bagot who sat for Warwickshire were two of the king’s closest confidants.47 Philip Walwyan from Bedfordshire was a king’s esquire and had been the usher of the king’s chamber since 1384, while John Wittlebury who sat for Rutland was the steward of the king’s manor and lordship of Okham in that county.48 A third advantage York had in managing parliament turns on the fact that the many of the Lords, both secular and sacred, in the parliament of 1395 were some of his closest friends and political moderates. Henry Percy, earl of Northumberland, who had been one of York’s closest allies in the early 1390s, was busy with duties on the Northern Marches because of the fear of a Scottish incursion and did not attend the assembly. Although Percy was gone on the March, Duke Edmund still had many friends in parliament. One of these was William Montague, earl of Salisbury. Earl William was in his sixties, he had been at Poitiers with the Black Prince and as a young man had a successful military career which transitioned into government leadership as he grew older. He had served with York as a trier of petitions on numerous occasions and had helped the duke restore the king to the governance of the realm in 1389. Another of Edmund of Langely’s close friends in the Lords was William Wykham, bishop of Winchester. Wykham had been in Edward III’s innermost circles and like Montague had served on many commissions with Edmund of Langley throughout the 1370s and 1380s, in addition to aiding the duke in restoring the king to governance following the Appellant crisis in 1389. Thomas Brantingham, bishop of Exeter; William of Gloucester, abbot of Westminster; and Robert Braybrooke, bishop of London, who were also present in the parliament, had connections to Duke Edmund that dated back to the 1370s and were either long-standing political moderates or close supporters of King Richard.49 All of them had 46 47 48 49

House of Commons, ed. Roskell, et al, II, pp. 359–62 (hereafter cited as HoC). For Bushy, see HoC, II, pp. 449–54; for Bagot, see HoC, II, pp. 99–103. For Walwyn, see HoC, IV, pp. 762–4; for Wittlebury, see HoC, IV, pp. 99–103. For the friendship between Edmund of Langley and all of these men see Biggs, ‘Our Dearest Uncle’, pp. 25–35.

240  Douglas Biggs long associations with Edmund of Langley, and although they were all older men, York quite probably counted on them to help him steer the kingdom on a moderate course. Duke Edmund opened parliament on 28 January 1395 and he instructed the chancellor Thomas Arundel, archbishop of York, to give his opening address. The archbishop’s address followed three themes of ‘honouring the king’. The archbishop asked the assembled peers and Commons to honour the king first by reason that God had ordained him, second by reason that Richard was an even-handed king who provided good governance and third because he was a merciful king.50 The makeup of the Commons was an eclectic mix of members of no fewer than half-dozen noble affinities, combined with members of the royal affinity that had not gone to Ireland. The numerical significance of these MPs with Ricardian sympathy strongly suggests that the king had left behind in England some of his affinity who possessed unwavering loyalty to the king and sufficient political weight to sway at least some members of Commons to the king’s cause. Even though John of Gaunt had departed for his duties in the Aquitaine, Henry Bolingbroke did attend the parliament of 1395 and fifteen members of the Commons were also members of the Lancastrian affinity. Gwilym Dodd argues that across Richard II’s reign, the increasing numbers of royal affinity members returned as knights of the shire demonstrates that ‘the Commons had shifted from sympathy for the king, to co-operation and virtually to unquestioning support for his political program’, and that ‘the king’s attitude to the Lower House had changed from a policy of appeasement to one of careful management and assertiveness’.51 The duke of Gloucester had been sent from Ireland to address the assembly with good news of the king’s success and the duke’s positive report was supplemented by that of Lawrence Dru, one of Richard’s retainers. The common petitions, of which there were only four, were not addressed to the king but to the duke of York and the Lords. The duke’s answers to the petitions were based around the concept that the statutes already on the books concerning the petitioners should simply be upheld and enforced. The single deviation from this standard response was the petition concerning the farms of the sheriff of Essex and Hertfordshire. The petition asked that the sheriff be given pardon and grace because the office was ‘around £180 or more from his farm that [could not] be levied in any way’. The duke replied that the king had given his council ‘sufficient power by authority of parliament to grant 50 PROME, parliament of 1395, item 1.

During our absence or until further order  241 grace and mitigation … to such sheriffs’ in the past and that this would be done.52 In the midst of the proceedings, a Lollard sympathizer or sympathizers posted a list of ‘Conclusions’ in English on the door of St Paul’s and possibly on the door of Westminster Abbey.53 Both Thomas Walsingham and the Monk of Evesham claimed that these ‘Twelve Conclusions’ of the Lollards caused enough commotion to be debated on the floor of the parliament, although, as Chris Given-Wilson suggests, this was probably not the case.54 The same chroniclers also claimed that a committee of greater clergy was hurriedly sent to the king in Ireland asking him to return to England immediately to defend the Church against heretics. This too seems to be either an overembellished story or an outright fabrication because the king did not return until May. The text of the ‘Twelve Conclusions’ was standard Lollard rhetoric, and only seems to have shocked or scandalized cloistered monastic authors who knew little of the outside world in any case. Duke Edmund and the government appear to have treated the ‘Conclusions’ as a nuisance rather than a crisis, and after having ‘dealt efficiently’55 with the matter the custodian moved forward with the main task at hand: securing the subsidy. The assembly voted a much-needed tenth and fifteenth in only three weeks, and set the collection dates at Whitsuntide and Martinmas (11 November).56 The duke of York dissolved parliament on 15 February 1395.57 The northern and southern convocations followed suit three weeks later by voting a clerical tenth to support the king in Ireland. The remainder of York’s first custodianship was uneventful and the king’s return in early May allowed the administration of the realm to fall back to a normal routine. *** Over the eight months that Edmund of Langley served as custodian of the realm, he served as the active de facto governor of the realm. He oversaw the proper workings of government administration by confirming grants, constituting commissions for various purposes and serving as the acting

54 Annales Richardi Secundi, ed. Riley, pp. 173–82; St Albans Chronicle, 1394–1422, ed. Taylor, Childs and Watkiss, pp. 215–7; PROME, parliament of 1395, Introduction. 55 PROME, parliament of 1395, Introduction. 56 Ibid., item 6; Steel, Receipt of the Exchequer, p. 72.

242  Douglas Biggs head of the council. The duke used his influence as the kingdom’s leading moderate politician to raise loans for the king’s needs in Ireland from both secular and sacred lords, and even undertook the unusual, if not unique, step of conferring a grant of royal grace to his brother John of Gaunt. But perhaps the most significant action the duke of York successfully completed in his first custodianship was the summoning and management of a very eclectic mix of knights of the shire in the parliament that sat from 27 January to 15 February 1395. In these three weeks, the duke presided over the sessions, adjudicated parliamentary petitions and most importantly of all, asked for and received a full tenth and fifteenth from the Commons – a unique achievement for any custodian of the realm in the fourteenth century. There is no doubt that Edmund of Langley was well paid for his efforts, but it is also clear that he did the work. York was not merely a titular head of government but a working one, whose efforts did much to facilitate the king’s achievement in Ireland and were efforts that Richard II clearly appreciated.

Bibliography Manuscript sources The National Archives, London C 53: Chancery, Charter Rolls E 101: Exchequer, Accounts Various E 403: Exchequer, Issue Rolls

Printed primary sources Annales Richardi Secundi eh Henrici Quarti, ed. H. T. Riley, Rolls Series (London, 1866) Calendar of Patent Rolls, Richard II, 5 vols (London, 1895–1909) Calendar of Close Rolls, Richard II, 5 vols (London, 1892–1927) Calendar of Charter Rolls, Edward III – Henry V (London, 1916) The Chronica Maiora of Thomas Walsingham, 1376–1422, trans. D. Preest, introduction & notes J. Clark (Woodbridge, 2005) Early Common Petitions in the English Parliament, c. 1290–c. 1420, ed. W. M. Ormrod, H. Killick and P. Bradford (Oxford, 2017) English Historical Documents, Volume IV, 1327–1485, ed. A. R. Myers (London, 1995) The Parliament Rolls of Medieval England, ed. P. Brand, A. Curry, C. Given-Wilson, R. E. Horrox, G. Martin, W. M. Ormrod and J. R. S. Phillips (Leicester, 2005), online edition. Registrum Johannis Trefnant, Episcopi Herefordensis, 1389–1404, ed. W. Capes (Hereford, 1914) The St Albans Chronicle, Volume II 1394–1422: The Chronica Maiora of Thomas Walsingham, ed. J. Taylor, W. R. Childs and L. Watkiss (Oxford, 2011)

During our absence or until further order  243 Thomas Rymer, ed., Foedera, conventions, litterae et cujuscunque generis acta publica, 10 vols (The Hague, 1739–45)

Secondary sources Baldwin, J. F., The King’s Council during the Middle Ages (Oxford, 1913). Biggs, D., ‘“A Wrong Whom Conscience and Kindred Bid Me to Right”: A Reassessment of Edmund of Langley, Duke of York and the Usurpation of Henry IV’, Albion 26 (1994), 231–46. Biggs, D., ‘The Reign of Henry IV: The Revolution of 1399 and the Establishment of the Lancastrian Regime’, in Fourteenth Century England, ed. N. Saul (Woodbridge, 2000), pp. 195–210. Biggs, D., ‘To Aid the Custodian and Council: Edmund of Langley and the Defense of the Realm, June–July 1399’, Journal of Medieval Military History I (2002), 125–44. Biggs, D., ‘“A Voyage or Rather an Expedition to Portugal”: Edmund of Langley in Iberia 1381/82’, Journal of Medieval Military History 7 (2009), 57–74. Biggs, D., ‘Chasing the Chimera in Spain: Edmund of Langley in Iberia, 1381/82’, Journal of Medieval Military History 15 (2016), 79–98. Biggs, D., ‘“Our Dearest Uncle:” The Role of Edmund of Langley, Duke of York, in the Resumption of Richard II’s Personal Rule, 1389–92,” Czech and Slovak Journal of Humanities 2 (2018), 26–35. Cronin, H. S., ‘The Twelve Conclusions of the Lollards’ EHR 22 (1907), 292–304. Curtis, E., Richard II in Ireland 1394–5 and the Submission of the Irish Chiefs (Oxford, 1927). Curtis, E., ‘Unpublished Letters from Richard II in Ireland’, Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 37 (1927), 276–303. Dodd, G., ‘Crown, Magnates, and Gentry: The English Parliament, 1369–1421’ (Unpublished Ph. D. Dissertation, University of York, 1998). Dodd, G., Justice and Grace: Private Petitioning and the English Parliament in the Late Middle Ages (Oxford, 2007). Given-Wilson, C., ‘Richard II and the Higher Nobility’, in Richard II: The Art of Kingship, ed. A. Goodman and J. L. Gillespie (Oxford, 1999), pp. 107–28. Handbook of British Chronology, 3rd Edition, ed. E. B. Fryde, et al (London, 1986). Hutcheson, H. F., The Hollow Crown (New York, 1961). Johnson, D., ‘Richard II and the Submissions of Gaelic Ireland’, Irish Historical Studies 12 (1980), 174–92. Lydon, J. F., ‘Richard II’s Expeditions to Ireland’, Journal of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland 93 (1963), 135–49. McFarlane, K. B., ‘An Early Paper on Crown and Parliament in the Middle Ages’, in idem, The Nobility of Later Medieval England (Oxford, 1973), pp. 287–97. Nichols, N. H., Proceedings and Ordinances of the Privy Council, 4 vols (London, 1834–7). Oliver, C., Parliament and Political Pamphleteering in Fourteenth Century England (Woodbridge, 2010). Ormrod, W. M., ‘Government by Commission: The Continual Council of 1386 and English Royal Administration’, Peritia 10 (1996), 303–21. Ormrod, W. M., Edward III (New Haven, CT and London, 2011).

244  Douglas Biggs Orpen, G. H., ‘Ireland, 1315–c. 1485’, in Cambridge Medieval History, ed. J. B. Bury, et al., 8 vols (Cambridge, 1928–36), VIII, pp. 450–65. Palmer, J. J. N., ‘England, France, the Papacy, and the Flemish Succession, 1361–9’, Journal of Medieval History 2 (1976), 339–64. Ramsay, J. H., Genesis of Lancaster, 2 vols (Oxford, 1913). Roskell, J. S., The Impeachment of Michael de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk in the Context of the Reign of Richard II (Manchester, 1984). Russell, P. E., English Intervention in Spain and Portugal in the Reigns of Edward III and Richard II (Oxford, 1955). Saul, N., Richard II (Yale, 1997). Somerset, F., ‘Answering the Twelve Conclusions: Dymmok’s Halfhearted Gestures Towards Publication,’ in Lollardy and the Gentry in the Later Middle Ages, ed. M. Aston and C. Richmond (New York, 1997), pp. 52–76. Somerville, R., History of the Duchy of Lancaster, 1265–1603 (London, 1963). Steel, A. B., The Receipt of the Exchequer (Cambridge, 1955). Stratford, J., Richard II and the English Royal Treasure (Woodbridge, 2013). The House of Commons, 1386–1421, ed. J. S. Roskell, L. Clark, C. Rawcliffe, 4 vols (London, 1992). Tout, T. F., Chapters in the Administrative History of Medieval England, 6 vols (Manchester, 1928–33). Tuck, J. A., Richard II and the English Nobility (London, 1973).


13 “Cherchant toute Egypte pour les bons homes” Philippa de Vere (1367–1411) and her book Jocelyn Wogan-Browne The entanglement of literary and sociocultural worlds in late medieval England’s multilingualism continues to raise questions about the interrelations and differentiations of francophone and English-language practices. Mark Ormrod has argued that Edward III cultivated xenophobia, nativism and (especially after 1362) English-language events and texts in England, but continued to deploy a supranational, largely francophone ‘magnificence’ in his European strategies. Edward maintained an interest in francophone romance and in ‘global’ texts, such as Mandeville’s Livre (a dedicatory letter to Edward is copied in many of its manuscripts) and Marco Polo’s Divisament dou monde.1 Although English texts also became part of English court culture during Edward’s reign and beyond, French continued as an international court, diplomatic and literary as well as a professional and mercantile language, and women in particular, but by no means exclusively, continued to use francophone texts in England.2 This essay considers a little discussed manuscript book belonging to Edward III’s granddaughter, Philippa de Vere, countess of Oxford, duchess of Ireland (1367–1411) in order to look at women’s participation in the borderless francophone culture of late medieval England and at the cultural dimensions of texts inadequately categorized as simply pious reading. As well as showing common interests between lay and religious women across the estates of marriage, widowhood and professed religion, Philippa’s book dissolves boundaries between pious reading and the genres we categorize as secular. As with Edward III’s own books, the manuscript opens out into large, if Eurocentric, vistas of the world and the advance of Christian empire in it. 1 Ormrod, Edward III, pp. 456–61; see also Brown, “Three Kings of Cologne”, pp. 61–85. On the problematic but important term ‘global’, see Holmes and Standen, ‘Introduction’, pp. 1–44.

248  Jocelyn Wogan-Browne The book, now Paris, BnF f. fr. 1038, is a late thirteenth-century or early fourteenth-century collection, whose texts are Continental and whose making was most probably also in France. A professionally executed, highcalibre, planned collection of 168 folios, with scribe, rubricator and artist(s) working closely together, the book is serviceably and handsomely articulated for readers.3 A table of contents formed from the texts’ rubrics and running titles has been drawn up and added in an initial quire of four leaves (separately foliated as 1r–4va) also containing the verse prologue to the opening text (Figure 13.1). The manuscript contains French prose versions of Latin originals: 1a La Vie des pères (Vitae patrum prose champenois version with verse prologue)

fols. 1ra–110ra

1b Les Voyages de saint Antoine (prose version of Itinerarium attributed to Antoninus Placentinus 2 L’Histoire de Barlaam et Josaphat 3 La Légende de l’Antechrist (based on Adso of Moutier-en-Der, Libellus de Antecristo) 4 Si comme Nostre Sires vendra jugier le monde 5 L’Assomption Notre Dame

fols 110ra–113v fols 114ra–162rb (title rubric, fol. 113vb) fols 162rb–164ra fols 164ra–164rb fols 164va–167v

An extra set of blue running titles (Liber I, II, III) suggests the book was seen as a three-volume compilation, consisting of items 1a and b, item 2 and items 3–5. The manuscript’s texts are well represented in multiple versions and most have later fourteenth-century and fifteenth-century English and earlier insular French versions, so that Philippa’s book, among its other points of interest, is a window into a network of medieval texts that became common to anglophone and francophone readers wherever they were. The particular selection and ordering of texts in BnF fr. 1038, however, are distinctive in their methodical extension of Christian empire’s claims beyond Europe and the North African Mediterranean to Eurasia.4

Philippa de Vere (1367–1411) and her book  249

Figure 13.1 Part of the table of contents and the opening of the prologue to the Vie des pères, with the inscription of Sibyl de Felton’s acquisition of Philippa de Vere’s book. BnF f. fr. 1038, fol. 4r. Reproduced with permission of the Bibliothèque nationale de France.

An inscription notes Philippa as the owner (Cest liuer(e) est a Philipe de Coucy Duchesse Direland (et) Comitesse Doxenfordh, fol. 167v), and another marks the book’s acquisition by Sibyl de Felton, abbess of Barking (1393–1419) from Philippa’s estate in 1411 (Cest liure achata dame Sibille de Feltonne abbesse de Berkyng de les executurs de dame Philippe Coucy duchesse dIrland et contesse d’Oxenford, fol. 4ra, see Figure 13.1). Sibyl de Felton owned Latin, French and English texts, and was a highly competent and enterprising abbess who developed Barking’s library and its doctrinal and liturgical culture.5

250  Jocelyn Wogan-Browne That Philippa’s was a book belonging to a secular noblewoman, and also identified for acquisition by a nunnery, is further evidence of the now well-established overlap in the literary culture of religious and laywomen, just as it is evidence of the seamlessness with which French-language works could pass between insular and overseas owners and communities. Neither Philippa’s lay status nor her high rank precludes commonalities of language and interest in the book. She and Sibyl de Felton were from overlapping circles. Philippa’s base after 1387–1388 was at Great Bentley in Essex, some 60 miles from Barking, and Barking was in the patronage of the de Veres, so they may have known each other. Sibyl’s father Sir Thomas Felton (d. 1381) was seneschal of Aquitaine and a close companion of Philippa’s uncle, the Black Prince: Felton became a member of the Order of the Garter in January 1381 shortly before his death and two years after Philippa had joined her mother, Princess Isabella, among the women given Garter robes (1379).6 Sibyl entered Barking by 1384 (probably as a vowess) and became its abbess in 1393, while her husband Sir Thomas Morley (d. 1413) was still alive. Vowesses, women who took vows of chastity after or during their marriage, often became nunnery inhabitants or associates, and Sibyl’s position, though exceptional in her eventual abbatial rank, was not irregular.7 Nicole Rice has used Barking’s early fifteenth-century English-language lives of two exemplary chaste wives (Sara, wife of Tobit, and Susanna, falsely accused by the Elders) to show that monastic chastity, even if primarily envisaged as virginity, was in Barking’s culture, as elsewhere, ‘inseparable from the states of wifehood and widowhood’.8 Sibyl de Felton’s own revised Ordinale contains rituals for the consecration of widows and virgins (uirgo precedens et uidua subsequens) and also a ceremony for the blessing of vowesses.9 Philippa de Vere herself is best known as the scandalously abandoned wife of Robert de Vere, ninth earl of Oxford (1362–1392) and (thanks to de Vere’s position as Richard II’s favourite) duke of Ireland (from 1386). Not only Philippa’s book but the circumstances of her life were cross-channel. In 1365, her mother, Isabella of Woodstock, Edward’s eldest and favourite daughter (1332–1382), married Enguerrand, Sire de Coucy (c. 1340–1397), a

Philippa de Vere (1367–1411) and her book  251 chivalric paragon to his contemporaries and a powerful recruit for Edward III from the French military and political leadership.10 Philippa was born at Eltham in 1367, her older sister Marie in France the previous year. Isabella spent time with her daughters and husband in France as well as at her father’s court, but de Coucy, who had remained in favour both with Edward III and Charles V of France (r. 1364–1380), decided after Edward’s death in 1377 that his loyalties could no longer be split; he remained permanently in France with his older daughter Marie, and Isabella and Philippa thereafter lived in England.11 Philippa and the teenage de Vere married in 1376 (she was nine) and in 1387–1388, de Vere repudiated and divorced her for Agnes Lancecrona, a woman of Anne of Bohemia’s chamber. The queen strongly protested and Maud de Vere (d. 1413), Philippa’s formidable and politically active mother-in-law, took Philippa to live with her at her moated manor of Great Bentley in Essex.12 Though ascribed by the Westminster chronicler to Maud’s affection for Philippa, this move is also likely to have been a matter of noblewomen (along with much of the court) closing ranks against de Vere’s action and Richard’s tolerance of it.13 De Coucy sent a messenger with a letter enquiring after Philippa’s welfare in 1389.14 She retained her titles (the divorce granted de Vere by Urban VI in 1388 was nullified by his successor Boniface IX in 1389).15 Philippa was well supported in her anomalous position. For that matter, so was her mother Isabella, who spent from 1377 till her death in 1382 neither divorced nor widowed in relation to Enguerrand de Coucy, and so was Sybil de Felton, the much respected married abbess of Barking. Philippa’s cross-channel existence continued after her marriage in her own movements between the two courts. She was present at the 1392 Amiens truce talks, when Froissart presents her (in an image derived perhaps as much from social expectation as observation) as ‘in good estate but like a widow who had had little joy in her marriage’ (en bon arroy ainsi comme une dame vesve qui petit de joye avoit en durant son marriage) and as having a très-ardant désir to see her father.16 She escorted Isabella, Richard II’s

252  Jocelyn Wogan-Browne widow, to Calais on Isabella’s journey back to France in 1401.17 Philippa also seems, like many elite women, to have paid largely successful attention to her landed and financial interests, though she did have finally to agree to renounce her possessions outside England to her elder sister Marie.18 She died in England on 24 September 1411; it is not known where she is buried. Philippa’s will is not extant, and evidence of her cultural activities and tastes is hard to come by; no other manuscript owned by her is known to survive.19 Since the inscription of ownership accompanying her monogram on MS fr. 1038, fol. 167v replaces an earlier, erased note, it is unlikely that the book came from her father or mother, and she may have acquired it herself, perhaps on her own visits to France.20 Nothing is known of her book’s early history, but it must have travelled from France to England since it was in Philippa’s and Barking’s ownership there, and it has well documented trajectories between England and France and between women and their institutions on both sides of the channel in the fifteenth century.21 The book’s principal texts are, as tabulated above (p. 248), the Vie des pères and Barlaam et Josaphat, together with a sequence of briefer pieces. The manuscript opens with the Vie des pères in the prose champenois version originally composed for Blanche de Navarre (d. 1229), countess of Champagne and its regent from 1201 to 1222.22 It is a reworking of the Vitae

22 On Blanche’s governance, see Evergates, Aristocracy, pp. 36–42.

Philippa de Vere (1367–1411) and her book  253 patrum compilation of lives and sayings of the desert fathers by Jerome, Rufinus and others. A foundational classic of ascetic Christian spirituality, this compilation and its variants had an increasing vogue in the later Middle Ages, and, as I shall argue, was equally engaging for both secular and religious readers.23 The text’s (verse) prologue, addressed to Blanche by name, urges her to ‘abandon Cligés and Perceval’ (heroes of romances by Chrétien de Troyes) and ‘narratives of worldly vanity’ (Laissiez Clieges et Perceval… et les romanz de vanité, 4/33–6) in favour of the examples of those who left towns and cities to conquer paradise in the desert (6/89–98).24 It adjures her as a ‘Noble countess, daughter of a king’ to ‘let the king of kings see you faithfully living in the world’ (vivre en cest sieccle loialment, 6/101, 104–5). The cultural fiction that pious and secular lives involve separate worlds and genres of reading is thus set up at the outset of the book only to be immediately dissolved. The prologue replaces a putative secular-religious binary by a third term of the ‘mixed’ life of the religious layperson and, in invoking Blanche, presents an elite pedigree for the text and offers an illustrious exemplary figure of a chaste matron reader and pious ruler under God. Women of Blanche’s dynasty and other elite women owned romances alongside more obviously devotional reading, and both kinds of texts involve multifarious interests across a wide spectrum of socio-economic and political concerns, just as the practice of piety itself may have political dimensions. The genres involved are more capacious and polysemous than their rhetorical opposition suggests.25 The Vie des pères, for instance, is less removed than at first appears from the romances its dedicatee Blanche is supposed to abandon: Cligés (a romance whose hero’s quest relates Arthur’s insular court to those of the German empire and Constantinople, and which demands a martyr-like death to the world from its heroine) and Perceval

23 On the Vie des pères tradition see Grossel’s concise account in her ‘Des lectures au réfectoire’, pp. 183–6 (she omits the thirteenth-century insular translation for the Lincoln Templar Henri d’Arci; see Dean with Boulton, Anglo-Norman Literature, nos 583–85), and Rosenthal, Vitae Patrum. The principal editions of the Latin collection remain Rosweyde’s De vitis patrum (1605, rev. 1628) and PL 73 and 74. 24 For convenience, citations are normally to page and paragraph or verse number in La Traduction champenoise, ed. Grossel with Lyon, Bibliothèque municipale, MS 868 (c. 1260–1270) as base and variants from MS fr. 1038. 2 5 Blanche de Navarre is thought to have sent a manuscript (BL MS Add. 36614) containing Chrétien de Troyes’ Conte du Graal [Perceval] and a life of the desert saint Mary of Egypt for the marriage of her niece Jeanne de Flandre to Ferdinand of Portugal in 1212. Jeanne subsequently commissioned a continuation of the Conte du Graal (La Traduction, pp. xxxiii–iv). Like her husband’s grandmother (Blanche de Navarre), Blanche d’Artois (see n. 21 above) was familiar with romances and is the probable owner of Paris, BnF f. fr. 123 (d’Avril and Stirneman, Manuscrits enluminés, pp. 110–2; Stones, Gothic Manuscripts, I.1., p. 99). This manuscript of the Lancelot-Grail cycle was made in England and contains a later generation of romances than those over which Blanche de Navarre is adjured in the Vie des pères prologue.

254  Jocelyn Wogan-Browne (a version of the Holy Grail quest with accompanying bodily and behavioural disciplines). Whether eremitic or chivalric, asceticism can fascinate as a technique of discipline and power formative of the body in society; and hermits are specialists in this, as knights are. The Egyptian desert of the Vie des pères is much akin to the forest of the Grail quest (itself given an influential Cistercian-informed prose version, c. 1225–30)26: both are settings for fiercely disciplined spiritual quests and exemplary narratives of heroic asceticism and its failures, and both reiterate rather than dissolve the social structures and preoccupations of which they are proposed as a reformative reimagining. The Vie des pères is nevertheless, on the face of it, an unattractive text for women lay readers: several hundred short stories, mainly of ascetic elderly men, including many (no doubt smelly) hermits. The Vitae patrum tradition notoriously works with (sometimes intersectional) misogynist and racial stereotypes; indeed, it opens in Philippa’s manuscript with stories of St Cyprian and his young disciple who bites off his tongue and spits it at his temptress (une foule feme bele) rather than yield (7/3–5), while devils en guise de folle femme appear to aspirant holy men, only to be unmasked as ethiopiene, leide et tant occure et orrible (‘an Ethiopian, ugly and very dark and horrible’, sic MS, see also 355/626).27 The compilation also includes antiJewish narratives such as the image desecration of ‘The Crucifix of Beirut’ (pp. 392/162–395/175). But the Vie des pères has a broader cast of characters, including heroic women saints and female hermits, and it has some more complicated reading experiences to offer than its stereotypes might suggest. In addition to stories of St Syncletica, the desert mother and her rigorous spiritual counsel (267/179–83) or of abaiesse Saire (‘Mother Sara’) and her resounding victory over the spirit of fornication (pp. 297/338–298/339), the lives of saints Marina, Euphrosyne, Marie the penitent (of Egypt) and Thaïs are included (pp. 359–90).28 The first two have had much modern study for what their lives as cross-dressed saints say of medieval conceptions of gender, but they also offer further points of identification (especially to the iterative and meditative habits of reading inculcated by the use of

Philippa de Vere (1367–1411) and her book  255 the psalter among socio-economically privileged medieval women readers). It is worth noting that this selection of women saints opens with Marina’s father longing for his little daughter from within his monastic life. In tears at the feet of his abbot, the newly tonsured father strategically explains that ‘I have left one of my sons (un mien fil) who is still very little in my town’ (MS fr. 1038 ‘in the world’): ‘I am very uneasy when I think of him’, 360/3). In spite of coenobitism’s commitment to renouncing family ties in favour of the monastic familia, Marina’s father is invited to bring his ‘son’ to live in the monastery, where ‘he’ grows up and eventually dies. Here, as throughout the Vie des pères, the severance of family relations is never seen to be easy (as it perhaps was not for Philippa de Vere), however strongly it is counselled or required. The compilation’s other female lives, those of the repentant harlots Mary of Egypt and Thaïs, offer ascetic practice and commitment to the ‘paradise’ romance of the desert as transcendence of and alternative to the need for women to exercise their sexual capacities for money or for the generation of family. The desert of the Vie des pères itself emerges as an intensely peopled social world, filled with coenobitic communities as well as solitaries, economically and socially linked to the cities of Egypt and Palestine, and rife with visitors internal and external, wanted and unwanted. Once again, family ties are both shunned and persistent, as are those of patronage and friendship; many stories concern their evasion or negotiation. Even in cases where the holy men refuse contact with their patrons or family members, cures and messages are given by long-distance prayer or other means (with St Anthony himself setting the pattern of remote cures in the case of the emperor’s marshal’s daughter, 29/127–30/129). Not only family, but many other visitors cause questions and problems: monks visit hermits, worthy laymen visit monks or send messengers and letters to them, as do various widows and chaste matrons. Gifts and goods for sale are sent to and fro; the city and the desert, avatars of urban and secular lives and the romance of monastic life, exert a constant pull on each other. This is a space that seethes with feeling: a concentrated display of human appetites and emotions and their passionately aspiring regulation in an exotic locale (with, for instance, crocodiles on occasion, 78/170–4, 196/435–6), but still a society with many familiar features. One hermit is jealous of the number of another’s visitors (134/115), but the uncompetitive St Eulales, having unintentionally woven the best basket, flees in embarrassment further into the desert (138/134– 140/141); when the emperor visits a recluse near Constantinople to lament the burdens of empire, the holy man listens, but then retreats deeper into the desert, in contrast to monks who compete for the love of princes (125/72– 126/78). The desert is both solitude and its own social world; there are, for instance, rhythms and rituals of assembly for desert ascetics: they gather to celebrate liturgical feasts (130/93–131/99), to pay tribute and consult with exceptional ascetics over the life of perfection (254/116). Nowhere is the desert so strongly a society as in the plethora of stories it generates, sometimes with

256  Jocelyn Wogan-Browne named tellers – Sainz Basiles contoit d’une nunnain… (323/469), but more often uns prodons, uns abes, uns freres (passim): a multitude of narratorial perspectives, circulations and exchange. The Vie des pères carefully balances exemplary but impossibly ascetic heroism with the virtue of laypeople, treading a line between adjuration and reassurance. On the one hand it includes many stories of holy men humbled by the greater piety of laypeople (as in St Panutius and the busking vielle player of Thebes, the marital chastity of a townsman and the charitable merchant, 56/57–60/79, or St Macharius and the two virtuous city women, 175/330–176/334). On the other hand, some desert inhabitants are inimitable celebrity spiritual athletes. Some fathers conquer the intense temptation of a cucumber with extreme mental and physical asceticism (115/21, 153/209), and two heroic youths taking a gift of figs from a monastery at Scetis in Egypt’s Wadi-al-Natroun to a sick colleague living deeper in the Nitrian Desert lose their way and are found starved to death, alongside the untouched basket of fruit (253/108–11). Again, an exceptionally pure hermit, so chaste as never to feel sexual stirrings, awake or asleep (il ne sentoit ne en veillant ne en dormant nul movement de sa char, 259/138), dreams that an angel removes from his belly a stinking tumour-like lump (une boce enflamee et gieta puer, 259/139) as God rewards him with perpetual purity of body and soul. But two keen laymen who become monks and castrate themselves por le regne Deu in an overly literal reading of the Gospel (qu’il entendirent trop cruelemant, 317/440) are immediately excommunicated and have to demonstrate repentance all the way up to the pope and back to the bishops of Egypt and Alexandria (317/440–319/446). The Vie des pères offers a range of narrative situations whereby the reading audience is engaged and their discrimination of meaning and its implications for conduct is as much challenged as that of the participants. No simple set of rules or precepts emerges from this world of stories: like many successful compilations, the Vie des pères is a reservoir of proliferating meaning residing in the reading experience itself and open to systematic, repeated or occasional use in readers’ and listeners’ choices and pathways through the text. All this is gathered under the figure of an anonymous narrator who reports his encounters and tale-gathering in Egypt as if from a field trip: ‘in order to give good examples to those who want to hear, a worthy man made this book and went searching all Egypt for the holy men’ (pour bonne exemple donner a ceus qui voudroient a bien entendre, fist uns preudons ce livre (et) ala cerchant toute egypte pour les bon homes, MS fr. 1038, fol. 11va, cf. La Traduction, 45/3). He returns from the desert to the Mount of Olives to write up his quest and its harvest of things told and seen. The Vie des pères thus becomes a gallery of spiritual and ethical possibilities framed as a travel book and an ethnography, the very vernacularity of the text helping to retrofit the long tradition of the desert fathers’ heroic asceticism as a form of travel narrative. It is not so distant from Mandeville’s wildly popular Livre with its accounts of exotic peoples and customs and Eurocentric engagement with a wider world.

Philippa de Vere (1367–1411) and her book  257 In Philippa’s manuscript, the Vie des pères’ universe of tale-telling is mapped into more spatial terms by concluding with the Voyages de saint Antoine, a version of the anonymous Itinerarium usually attributed to Antoninus Placentinus, and introduced with a rubric explaining that Ici fine la vie des peres et cil qui ce [MS de] livre fist raconte les uoiages que saint Antoine fist en la terre doutre mer (‘here the Life of the Fathers ends and he who made [this] book recounts the journeys St Antoninus made in the lands across the [Mediterranean] sea’, MS fr. 1038, fol. 110ra; 441/1). There follows a narrative cartography of the Holy Land, moving through Syria, the former Roman provinces of Judea and Syria Palaestina, and Egypt. The territories of Egypt and the adjacent Latin kingdom traversed in the Vie des pères become more explicitly spatialized as an extension of Christian cult, for which they provide holy sites and relics as the narrator follows Antoninus’s tours.29 Although it is a compilation of the late thirteenth century, the Vie des pères in its fourteenth-century life could thus be seen as offering readers in England a continuing engagement with crusading and pilgrimage territories and an expansive, specular version of Christian empire against the background of Edward III’s claims and losses regarding Plantagenet rule in North West Europe. The book’s second substantial text, L’Histoire de Barlaam et Josaphat, takes Christian empire further East. It is well known as the narrative of a young prince, Josaphat, and the Eastern holy man (Barlaam) who forms him as a Christian in spite of his pagan father, the king of India. In origin a life of the Buddha, this story has some 150 versions in Asian, African and European languages. In Europe (after Georgian and Greek intermediaries were translated into Latin) it was appropriated from the eleventh century onwards as a Western narrative of Christian empire, its origin in the Buddha’s life remaining unrecognized until the mid-nineteenth century.30 Like the Vie des pères, Barlaam et Josaphat’s appeal to varying spheres of interest is not suggested by the label of ‘pious tale’.31 The prose so-called champenois version copied into Philippa’s book opens with an account of Christian foundation and conversion after St Thomas the apostle’s mission to India:

29 La Traduction, ed. Grossel, pp. 441–5, with maps at pp. 556–9. For a larger map and a tabulation of toponyms in Latin, Greek and Hebrew with modern-day Arabic and other equivalents, see Itinerarium Antonini Placentini, ed. Milani, pp. 72–9. Grossel suggests that Antoninus’s Itinerarium was added to the Vie des pères as a form of virtual travel for Blanche de Navarre, who had herself been unable to go on crusade (Grossel, ‘Des lectures au réfectoire’, p. 192). 30 See further Uhlig, Le Prince des clercs, Introduction, pp. 13–44; Lopez and McCracken, In Search of the Christian Buddha, pp. 127–36. 31 Barlaam et Josaphat is included in devotional, romance and hagiographic collections; for its francophone versions and their manuscripts, see Sonet, Roman de Barlaam et Josaphat (the fourteen extant manuscripts of Philippa’s version are listed at I, pp. 136–8, 138–47); Hunt, ‘Einer bisher unberücksichtigte Handschrift’, pp. 217–29; and Grossel, ‘Le Roman de Barlaam et Josaphat’, pp. 141–60.

258  Jocelyn Wogan-Browne An ce tans que les yglises et li moutier furent conmencié a esdefier u non nostre seingneur Jhesu Crist, et que li saint home commencierent nostre seingneur a servir par diverses manieres d’ordre moinnial, si s’espandi la beneüree renonmee par toutes les parties du monde: et quant elle se fu toute espandue qu’elle fu venue tresqu’en Ynde, une si grant parties des Yndiens deguerpirent toutes choses terriannes et s’en fouirent u desert et illec reçurent en cors mortiex conversacions d’angres… et …li pluseur s’en aloient es ciex ausint come en vollant de pannes dorres.32 (‘At the time when the churches and minsters had begun to be built in the name of our lord Jesus Christ and the holy men began to serve our Lord in various kinds of monastic orders, then their blessed renown expanded throughout all the regions of the world: and when it had spread so far as to arrive in India, a great number of Indians left all earthly matters and fled to the desert and there, in the bodies of mortal men, they led the lives of angels, … and … many of them went to heaven as if flying on golden wings’). In Philippa’s manuscript, the opening initial shows a king and two monks (fol. 114ra) portrayed as white and Western (as are all the figures in the manuscript’s initials except Antichrist and the devils, who are black, fol. 162rb). India’s religious are called priests of the temple and ‘Saracens’ (Sarragins, p. 107) and are due to be converted into a version of the Western patriarchal desert. Barlaam et Josaphat continues with a situation familiar from Western saints’ lives and romances: a much blessed king has no heir, so that the heir who is born by special intercession is both a gift from God and, since Josaphat becomes a Christian holy man, a challenge to earthly dynastic ambitions. This version of the text also contains a lengthy exposition of other faiths – the ‘pagan’ faiths of the Chaldeans, the Greeks and the Egyptians, and of the Jews – as inadequate and partial in comparison with Christianity (pp. 108–14). Before he abandons his throne for his long-desired eremitic life, Josaphat replaces the temples of India with churches. There is of course much else in this long text, itself inlaid with exemplary stories as well as preaching, debate and speeches (e.g. a surprisingly nuanced discussion between Josaphat and the saige et belle woman sent to seduce him, in which her offer of marriage nearly works, pp. 123–7; some robust advice from Josaphat to his successor on a king’s responsibility for honest officials, serious care for the poor and not maintaining outmoded laws simply as a matter of respect for ancestors, pp. 142–5; the story of Josaphat’s father King Arvenir’s progress from furious and brutal intransigence to conversion and reconciliation, passim, esp. pp. 117–8 and 134–5). But the overarching theme

Philippa de Vere (1367–1411) and her book  259 of irresistible, naturalized Christian conquest and conversion remains, especially when, as in Philippa’s book, Barlaam et Josaphat is a sequel to the Vie des pères’ Christianized Mediterranean and near East. In its final sequence of texts, the book, mappa mundi like, places the spaces it has marshalled under the aegis of eschatological time and judgement with the Libellus de Antechristo by Adso of Montier-en-Der (d. 992) in a summary French prose anonymous version (fol. 162rb, without the original dedicatory letter to Gerberga of Saxony, Queen and Regent of France, d. 984).33 A short piece (Si comme Nostre Sires vendra jugier le monde) elaborating on a chiliastic period of forty days’ repentance between Antichrist’s defeat and before the final judgement follows (fol. 164ra) as a direct sequel to Adso. Again, questions of Christian conquest bulk large: the French text follows Adso in his argument that Antichrist cannot come until the Roman Empire, so much stronger than the Greeks or the Persians, has fallen; that that empire, though diminished, persists in the French kings; and that the last world emperor may well be a French king, who will reign in peace before going to Jerusalem and placing his sceptre and crown on the Mount of Olives.34 Finally, a prose L’Assomption Notre Dame, in which the bodily assumption of the Virgin is unambiguously clear, both returns to the early apostolic period and shows the installation of an intercessor for everyone as fully present in heaven.35 Philippa’s book continued its career across topographical and other borders. Some years after Sibyl de Felton’s death in 1419, it went back to France as part of the duke of Orléans’ library when he was finally released from his hostageship in England in 1440. This most probably happened, I suggest, through the agency of a de la Pole noblewoman. Katherine de la Pole, sister of William de la Pole, duke of Suffolk, one of D’Orléans’ keepers in England, was Barking’s abbess from 1433–1473, and would have had knowledge of the manuscript and the authority to gift it away from the abbey.36 Suffolk was also the third husband of Alice, granddaughter of Chaucer, also a possible intermediary and one who owned at least twenty-one books in her trilingual library (though the texts of Philippa’s manuscript do not seem to have been among them).37 The book eventually went into the library of Charles d’Orléans’ third wife, Marie de Clèves (d. 1487). This trajectory may encompass different purposes in its transmissions: if the manuscript was a

36 Bush, ‘Pole, Katherine de la; Watts, ‘Pole, William de la’; Askins, ‘The Brothers Orléans and Their Keepers’, pp. 27–46.

260  Jocelyn Wogan-Browne parting gift to Charles d’Orléans from the sister of Suffolk (whose keepership may have included his acting as d’Orléans’ exchange partner in French and English lyric writing), it could have been more important as a book gift than for its particular collection of texts. That the book went on to Marie de Clève’s library, however, suggests that it was perceived as a book she might wish to own. A rhymed Vie des pères leads the 1467 list of those books from d’Orléans’ brother Jean d’Angoulême’s library that ‘Madamoiselle’ (probably Jeanne, his daughter; d. 1520) has taken from the library ‘pour passer temps’.38 Barking itself continued to read the Vie des pères, acquiring a copy of Caxton’s English translation from the French in its 1495 printing by Wynkyn de Worde.39 For texts as compilatory as those in Philippa’s book, no single meaning is possible. But the collection does have a very particular shape: not a miscellany but an anthology, carefully compiled, of ‘global’ texts (in so far as ‘global’ may be applied to the horizons visible from North West Europe in the later Middle Ages). Philippa’s manuscript witnesses to the claims and the spread of Christian empire in a Eurocentric world, while providing exemplary instances of heroism and fortitude in Christianity’s service under the purview of Christian eschatology. With its customized mix of Mediterranean and Eastern narratives, the book also combines a worldwide view of piety with the attractiveness of travellers’ tales, told, like other contemporary travel narratives, under the final eschatological framing of a newly enlarged and Eastward-looking world. One of the most interesting findings from Janice Radway’s classic study of women’s romance-reading in modern small town America was that the women highly valued the cultural and geographic information to be gleaned from their romances as a window onto the world.40 Philippa’s manuscript allows us to reconstruct a high-powered version of information about the world as a component of medieval women’s religious reading. For women of Philippa’s rank, as for Sybil de Felton and Katherine and Alice de la Pole, the book’s worlds need not have been simply exotic or fantastical but could be bound up with contemporary religion and militancy, even as this changed over time. The manuscript was compiled around or slightly after the 1293 Siege of Acre, presumably, given its deluxe attributes, for readers whose own lineages and networks intersected with or were aware of those of the rulers of the Latin Kingdom, Sicily and Cyprus, and whose sense of Eastern lands must have been simultaneously informed by Realpolitik and perceptions of the sacred. Philippa’s father himself died in 1397 on a later crusade, contracting plague in Ottoman captivity after the battle of Nicopolis. We see in Philippa’s book how the 38 Ouy, La librairie des frères captifs, ‘Inventaire après décès des livres de Jean d’Angoulême, 1467’, p. 70. 39 Bell, What Nuns Read, p. 110, no. 8. 40 Radway, Reading the Romance, pp. 107–18.

Philippa de Vere (1367–1411) and her book  261 French of Outremer in both its sense of ‘across the channel’ and ‘across the Mediterranean’ could be a language with its own imperialisms, rephrasing the medieval world throughout which it was an important means of contact, and offering a world both partly known to and partly opened up and to some extent historicized for women by their religious reading. The piety of such readers as the women who commissioned and owned the compilation’s texts (from Gerberga in the tenth century to Blanche of Navarre in the thirteenth) and the owners of the manuscript from the thirteenth to the late fifteenth centuries were the pieties of women familiar with rule and with crossing boundaries in various spheres, women to whom various worlds were available or imaginable. French as a language of Christian empire in the book owned by Edward III’s granddaughter rejoins women’s reading to the king’s own interest in books of travel, trade and conquest in a piety engaged with the world and its politics rather than confined away from it.

Acknowledgements I am grateful to Professor Elizabeth Tyler for helpful discussion, to the Columbia Medieval discussion group and to Professor Richard Ingham for listening to earlier versions of this paper, and to this volume’s editors for helpful suggestions and improvements.

Bibliography Manuscript sources London, The British Library MS Add. 36614 London, The National Archives SC 8 Ancient Petitions Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France MS fonds français 123 MS fonds français 1038

Printed primary sources Analecta reginensia: extraits des manuscrits latins de la reine Christine conservés au Vatican, ed. A. Wilmart (Vatican City, 1933). ‘Antichrist’, ed. R. C. Perman in ‘Henri d’Arci: The Shorter Works’, in Studies in Medieval French Presented to Alfred Ewert, ed. E. A. Francis (Oxford, 1961), pp. 279–321. Calendar of Patent Rolls (CPR). Chroniques, in Oeuvres de Froissart, ed. K. de Lettenhove, J. M. B. Constantin and A. Scheler, 25 vols in 26 (Brussels, 1867–77). Grossel, M.-G., ‘La Figure de l’Antichrist dans quelques œuvres du Moyen Âge (avec édition de l’avenement de l’Antichrist, ms Paris, BnF, fr. 1038)’ in Parcs et

262  Jocelyn Wogan-Browne jardins au Moyen Âge et à la Renaissance, l’Apocalypse, ed. C. Ridoux (Valenciennes, 2008), pp. 187–206. L’Histoire de Barlaam et Josaphat, version champenois d’après le ms. Reg. lat 600 de la Bibliothèque Apostolique Vaticane, ed. L. R. Mills, TLF [Textes Littéraires Françaises] 201 (Geneva, 1973). The Ordinale and Customary of the Benedictine Nuns of Barking Abbey, ed. J. B. L. Tolhurst, 2 vols, HBS [Henry Bradshaw Society] LXV, LXVI (London, 1926–7; repr. Woodbridge, 2010). The Parliament Rolls of Medieval England (PROME), 16 vols, ed. C. Given-Wilson et al (Woodbridge, 2005), online edition. La Queste del Saint Graal: Român du XIIIe siècle, ed. A. Pauphilet, CFMA [Les Classiques français du moyen age] 33 (Paris, 1972). Patrologiae Cursus Completus … Series Latina, ed. J-P. Migne, Paris, various years. Rotuli Parliamentorum vol. III (London, 1783). La Traduction champenoise de la Vie des Pères, ed. M.-G. Grossel, SATF [Société des anciens textes français]111 (Abbeville, 2017). De Vitis Patrum earumque recognitione, ed. H. Rosweyde (Antwerp, 1605, rev. 1628). The Westminster Chronicle 1381–1394, ed. and tr. L. C. Hector and B. Harvey (Oxford, 1982).

Secondary sources Archer, R., ‘“How Ladies….Who Live on Their Manors Ought to Manage Their Households and Estates”: Women as Landholders and Administrators in the Later Middle Ages’, in Woman is a Worthy Wight: Women in Medieval English Society, c.1200–1500, ed. P. J. Goldberg (Stroud, 1992), pp. 149–81. Askins, W., ‘The Brothers Orléans and Their Keepers’, in Charles D’Orléans in England, 1415–1440, ed. M.-J. Arn (Woodbridge, 2000), pp. 27–46. Avril, F. and Stirnemann, P., Manuscrits enluminés d’origine insulaire, VIIe-XXe siècle (Paris, 1987). Bell, D. N., What Nuns Read: Books and Libraries in Medieval English Nunneries, Cistercian Studies Series 1, 58 (Kalamazoo, MI, 1995). Brown, M. C., ‘The “Three Kings of Cologne” and Plantagenet Political Theology’, Mediaevistik 30 (2017), 61–85. Bugyis, K. A.-M., ‘Women Priests at Barking Abbey in the Late Middle Ages’, in Women Intellectuals and Leaders in the Middle Ages, ed. K. Kerby-Fulton, J. van Engen and K. Bugyis (Cambridge, 2020), pp. 319–34. Bush, R., ‘Pole, Katherine de la (1410/1–1473), abbess of Barking’, ODNB. Butterfield, A., ‘National Histories’, in Cultural Reformations: Medieval and Renaissance in Literary History, ed. B. Cummings and J. Simpson, Oxford Twenty-First Century Approaches to Literature (Oxford, 2010), pp. 33–55. Cavanaugh, S. H., ‘Books Privately Owned in England 1300–1450’ (unpublished PhD thesis, University of Pennsylvania, 1980). Collins, H. E. L., The Order of the Garter, 1348–1461: Chivalry and Politics in Late Medieval England (Oxford, 2000). Dean, R. J. with Boulton, M. B. M., Anglo-Norman Literature: A Guide to Texts and Manuscripts, Anglo Norman Texts Society OPS 3 (London, 1999). Dutton, A. M., ‘Women’s Use of Religious Literature in Late Medieval England’ (unpublished D.Phil thesis, University of York, 1995).

Philippa de Vere (1367–1411) and her book  263 Emmerson, R. K., Antichrist in the Middle Ages: A Study of Medieval Apocalypticism (Manchester, 1981). Erler, M. C., ‘English Vowed Women at the End of the Middle Ages’, Mediaeval Studies 57 (1995), 155–203. Evergates, T., The Aristocracy in the County of Champagne, 1100–1300 (Philadelphia, PA, 2007). Gillespie, J. L., ‘Ladies of the Fraternity of Saint George and the Society of the Garter’, Albion 17:3 (2014), 259–78. Gillespie, J. L., ‘Isabella, countess of Bedford (1332–1379), princess’, ODNB. Goodman, A., The Loyal Conspiracy: The Lords Appellant under Richard II (London, 1971). Green, M. A. E., Lives of the Princesses of England from the Norman Conquest, 6 vols (London, 1849–55). Grossel, M.-G., ‘Des lectures au réfectoire des moines jusqu’au château de la comtesse : traduction des Vies des Pères pour Blanche de Champagne (ca 1205– 1220)’, in Langue de l’autre, langue de l’auteur: affirmation d’une identité linguistique et littéraire aux XIIe et XIIIe siècles, ed. M-S. Masse and A-P. Pouey-Mounou (Geneva, 2012), pp. 183–94. Grossel, M.-G., ‘Le Roman de Barlaam, et Josaphat et les translations romanes des Vitae Patrum’, in Barlaam und Josaphat: neue Perspektiven auf ein europäisches Phänomen (Berlin, 2015), pp. 141–60. Hardy, T. D., Syllabus of the Documents relating to England and other Kingdoms Contained in the Collection Known as Rymer’s Foedera, 3 vols (London, 1869–85). Holmes, C. and Standen, N., ‘Introduction’, in The Global Middle Ages, ed. C. Holmes and N. Standen, P&P 238, suppl. 13 (2018), pp. 1–44. Hotchkiss, V. R., Clothes Make the Man: Female Cross Dressing in Medieval Europe (New York, 2012). Hunt, T., ‘Einer bisher unberücksichtigte Handschrift des Barlaam et Josaphat (« version champenoise »)’, in Beiträge zum romanischen Mittelalter, ed. K.  Baldinger, ZRP [Zeitschrift für romanische Philologie] Sonderband zum 100 jährigen Bestehen (Tübingen, 1977), pp. 217–29. Jambeck, K. L., ‘The Library of Alice Chaucer, Duchess of Suffolk: A Fifteenth-­ Century Owner of a “Boke of le Citee des Dames”’, The Profane Arts of the Middle Ages/Les arts profanes du moyen âge 7 (1998), 106–35. King, M. H., ‘The Desert Mothers: A Survey of the Feminine Anchoritic Tradition in Western Europe’, Fourteenth Century Mystics Newsletter 9 (1983), 12–25: republ. 2003 at Lambert, B. and Ormrod, W. M., ‘A Matter of Trust: The Royal Regulation of England’s French Residents during Wartime, 1294–1377’, HR 89 (2016), 1–24. Loftus, E. A. and Chettle, H. F., A History of Barking Abbey (Barking, 1954), pp. 44–6. Lopez, D. S. Jr. and McCracken, P., In Search of the Christian Buddha: How an Asian Sage became a Medieval Saint (London, 2014). Lutkin, J., ‘Isabella de Coucy, Daughter of Edward III: The Exception Who Proves the Rule’, FCE VI, ed. C. Given-Wilson (Woodbridge, 2010), pp. 131–48. Meale, C. M., ‘Reading Women’s Culture in Fifteenth-Century England: The Case of Alice Chaucer’, in Medievalitas: Reading the Middle Ages, ed. P. Boitani and A. Torti (Cambridge, 1996), pp. 81–101. Milani, C., ed., Itinerarium Antonini Placentini: un viaggio in Terra Santa, 560–570 d.C. (Milano, 1977).

264  Jocelyn Wogan-Browne Morgan, P., Felton, Sir Thomas (d. 1381), soldier and administrator, ODNB. Ormrod, W. M., Edward III (New Haven, CT and London, 2011). Ouy, G., La librairie des frères captifs: Les manuscrits de Charles d’Orléans et Jean d’Angoulême (Turnhout, 2007). Radway, J., Reading the Romance: Women, Patriarchy and Popular Literature (Chapel Hill, 1984, repr. 1991). Rice, N. R., ‘“Temples to Christ’s Indwelling”: Forms of Chastity in a Barking Abbey Manuscript [BL MS Addit. 10596]’, Journal of the History of Sexuality 19 (2010), 115–32. Rosenthal, C. L., The Vitae Patrum in Old and Middle English Literature (Philadelphia, 1936). Ross, J., ‘Seditious Activities: The Conspiracy of Maud de Vere, Countess of Oxford, 1403–4’, in The Fifteenth Century III: Authority and Subversion, ed. L. Clark (Woodbridge, 2003), pp. 25–42. Slater, L., ‘Matthew Paris, Cecilia de Sanford and the Early Readership of the Vie Saint Auban’, in Writing History in the Anglo-Norman World: Manuscripts, Makers and Readers, c. 1066–1250, ed. L. Cleaver and A. Wurm (Woodbridge, 2018), pp. 189–212. Sonet, J., Le Roman de Barlaam et Josaphat: Recherches sur la tradition manuscrite latine et francaise, 2 vols (Louvain, 1949–50). Stones, A., Gothic Manuscripts 1260–1320, 2 vols, Survey of Manuscripts Illuminated in France (London, 2013). Stratford, J. and Webber, T., ‘Bishops and Kings: Private Book Collections in Medieval England’, in The Cambridge History of the Book, III, 1400–1557, ed. L. Hellinga and J. B. Trapp (Cambridge, 1999), pp. 178–217. Tuchman, B., A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century (New York, 1978; reissued Harmondsworth, 2017). Uhlig, M., Le Prince des clercs: Barlaam et Josaphat ou l’art du recueil (Geneva, 2018). Vale, M., The Angevin Legacy and the Hundred Years War, 1250–1340 (Oxford, 1990). Vuille, J., Holy Harlots in Medieval English Religious Literature: Authority, Exemplarity and Femininity (Woodbridge, 2021). Watts, J., ‘Pole, William de la, first duke of Suffolk (1396–1450)’, ODNB. Wogan-Browne, J., Saints’ Lives and Women’s Literary Culture: Virginity and Its Authorizations (Oxford, 2001).

14 The Norman rolls of Henry V Anne Curry

To celebrate a new gallery for the nineteenth-century facsimile of the Bayeux Tapestry held by Reading Borough Council, David Bates and I organized a conference in 1992 on the relationship between England and Normandy. Mark Ormrod was the natural choice to speak on the fourteenth century. He argued that: Edward III’s assumption of the title of duke of Normandy in 1356 marked the start of a consistent and not wholly unrealistic policy pursued over the following three years and intended to bring the restoration of the duchy, along with other former Angevin dominions in northern France, to the English crown.1 But, as he added, by the end of the fourteenth century a claim to Normandy: can hardly have seemed more than …an expression of personal vanity and dynastic piety taken up at a moment of supreme confidence in the reign of England’s greatest warrior king. No one in England surely can have contemplated that they would shortly have a ruler who would make that fancy a reality and, in the process, outrank even the glorious Edward in the late medieval hierarchy of royal heroes. Mark was, of course, anticipating the coming of Henry V whose success in Normandy is indeed without parallel. There is much to suggest that even in his first campaign of 1415, Henry intended the conquest of the duchy. On that occasion, he had to make do with the capture of Harfleur alone. In the second campaign of 1417, Henry’s ambition to conquer Normandy is indisputable. Proof is found not only in a systematic siege campaign but also in direct statements of intent, the latter being the subject of my contribution to

266  Anne Curry the 1992 conference.2 Soon into his second campaign Henry began to call himself duke of Normandy, a title not used in 1415, and orchestrated various invocations of the Norman ducal inheritance of the kings of England. Although he dropped his ducal title after acceptance as heir to the French throne in the treaty of Troyes of 21 May 1420, he was careful to reserve the duchy to himself until such time as he inherited the throne at the death of Charles VI.3 Much information about Henry’s ‘Norman policy’ comes from the ten rolls of a new enrolment of the English chancery created for his conquest and occupation of the duchy – the Rotuli Normanniae (C 64/8–17). This present discussion examines the Norman rolls as a new chancery enrolment – the last new enrolment of the medieval period – considering why and how this form of record was created and by whom. The earliest entry on the first roll is dated to the day of Henry’s landing at the mouth of the River Touques on 1 August 1417.4 The last two entries on the final roll are dated 30 August 1422, the day before he died at the castle of Vincennes.5 Implicitly, the relevant clause of the treaty of Troyes meant that Henry’s control of Normandy passed to his heir as king of England, the nine-month-old Henry VI. Following Henry V’s death, the late king’s chancellor of Normandy, John Kemp, bishop of London, handed over at Rouen the seal for the duchy to John, duke of Bedford: to whom the said king the father had committed the governance of the same duchy on his death bed for a certain time for the assistance of his son and because of the need for justice to be done in the said duchy.6 Bedford was indeed referred to as governor of Normandy in documents produced during the seven weeks between the death of Henry V and the death of Charles VI. The French king’s death on 21 October 1422 triggered the implementation of the main element of the Troyes settlement: Henry VI became king of France, and Normandy was reunited with the French crown. We must assume that the relatively short time between 31 August 1422 and 21 October meant that no Norman roll was put together for these first months of Henry VI’s reign. As with other enrolments of the English royal chancery, the overriding principle of division in the Norman Rolls was by regnal year, which began at the anniversary of royal accession (in Henry V’s case, 21 March). The first roll, C 64/8, covered the period from Henry’s landing in Normandy on

The Norman rolls of Henry V  267 1 August 1417 to 20 March 1418, with entries occupying forty-seven membranes.7 The default pattern of one roll covering one regnal year is demonstrated by the ninth roll, C 64/16, which covered the year from 21 March 1421 to 20 March 1422, with seventy-nine membranes containing entries.8 The tenth roll, C 64/17, began on 21 March 1422, but was cut short by the king’s death at the end of August. It contains forty-nine membranes of entries. The remaining seven rolls from 21 March 1418 to 20 March 1421 each cover only part of a regnal year. As with other chancery enrolments such as the Patent Rolls, the usual reason for such multiple rolls was weight of business. Henry’s sixth year from 21 March 1418 to 20 March 1419 generated two rolls, C 64/9 and 10, the second of which was begun in late January 1419 after the surrender of Rouen. The extent of business is demonstrated by the size of both rolls, with entries occupying eighty-one and seventy membranes, respectively. The following year, from 21 March 1419 to 20 March 1420, also generated two rolls, reflecting an even more impressive scale of activity: C 64/11, covering 21 March to late December 1419, has 144 membranes of entries, C 64/12, covering only the first three months of 1420, 83. There are three rolls for Henry’s eighth regnal year from 21 March 1420 to 20 March 1421, but the explanation here is the impact of the treaty of Troyes. C 64/13 was begun at the accession anniversary but was made to end just before the treaty was sealed on 21 May 1420.9 During that two-month period, entries filled forty-four membranes. C 64/14 took the treaty as its point de depart; two of its fifty membranes of entries are occupied by its text.10 This roll covered the period to January 1421 when a new roll was started, C 64/15, which ran to the anniversary of 20 March 1421 and contained fifty membranes of entries. Overall, entries occupy 697 out of the 810 membranes which make up the rolls as a whole.11 The total number of entries is around 10,000, reflective of the intensity of Henry’s government of Normandy and especially of his

268  Anne Curry presence in person for most of the last five years of his reign.12 By the summer of 1419, action moved along the Seine valley towards Paris, creating an area known as the pays de conquête which was joined with the duchy in terms of English administration, as entries in the rolls show. Their geographical coverage expanded further as time went on since they were used to enrol some acts made by Henry as regent of France. On occasion, too, the rolls were used for business concerning England and Gascony. Nothing escaped Henry V’s attention;13 the Norman rolls are a strong exemplification of that situation. Further proof of the impact of the king’s presence in person can be derived from comparison with the Gascon rolls. Henry’s whole reign generated only five Gascon rolls, which together contain sixty membranes of entries.14 For the period covered by the Norman rolls, there were only two Gascon rolls, each covering multiple years and with only fifteen membranes of entries, a stark contrast with the 697 of the Norman rolls. A similar comparison can be drawn with the Treaty (or French) rolls (C 76), which have only seventy-five membranes of business for the period covered by the Norman rolls.15 The main focus of the present discussion is the Norman rolls as a new chancery enrolment, but it is appropriate to emphasize briefly their exceptional potential for the historian. Their use to date has been piecemeal because of the lack of a full edition, but they are already known as a source for the benefits of conquest for the English, especially the land grants made by Henry to his soldiers and administrators.16 Their value for the reconstruction of military actions is also substantial. Given that acts were normally enrolled at the place where the king was (although, as we shall discuss later, there is evidence of the development of a fixed chancery after the surrender of Rouen), their place-dates can be used for a narrative of events [Fig. 14.1]. Treaties of surrender were enrolled as were safe conducts for departing garrisons.17 The rolls allow us to follow Henry and his army, noting how various contingents, under commands delegated by the king, were sent into different theatres, and how garrisons were established as well as how troops were victualled.18 The rolls provide unique insights on the relationship between the Normans and the English. Henry was committed to winning over the Normans

The Norman rolls of Henry V  269 to his rule and to integrating conqueror and conquered.19 Hundreds of Englishmen are mentioned in the rolls, but for the Normans the figure is in the thousands. Military commanders and administrators were regularly given powers to accept the allegiance of inhabitants, who in return would be given a bulette to show that they had accepted Henry’s authority and which gave them immunity from future attack. We can also trace those who chose to resist or flee. Theirs were the lands which Henry redistributed, not only to his soldiers and administrators but also to loyal Normans. Henry made the day of his landing, 1 August 1417, the defining moment in law. Early land grants required beneficiaries to make a token render to him on that day. In March 1419 he ordered any legal proceedings begun before 1 August 1417 to be suspended,20 and invited Normans to seek confirmation of whatever they had held on that date; there are hundreds of such confirmations on the rolls. The rolls also demonstrate the feudal obligations which Henry sought to impose, or perhaps to resurrect from earlier practices, on both Norman and English landholders.21 An impression can also be gained of economic trends both locally and internationally, especially in towns and through the issue of trading licences, most notably for English and Breton suppliers, and there is a wealth of material on interactions with the church.22 Various phases are clearly demonstrated, from an initial state of military emergency to the settled conditions which followed the treaty of Troyes and which enabled the calling of the Norman Estates in January 1421 as well as a ‘vote’ of taxation. Particularly fascinating is Henry’s establishment of administrative structures. Early ad hoc arrangements gave way to the re- establishment of a structure wholly familiar to the Normans from the Valois past, with bailliages and vicomtés.23 Whilst Henry always appointed Englishmen as baillis, all lesser officials were local men. The rolls are replete with appointments to and confirmations of offices as lowly as the pilotage of ships passing through the bridge at Pont-de l’Arche,24 thereby providing rich insights into the social fabric of Norman petty officialdom. The Norman rolls reveal the extent to which Henry followed French practice, preserving rather than innovating, but it is important to remember that the very creation of a Norman roll is an indication of his intentions. Just as in the case of their organization by or within regnal years, so too the rolls followed the standard format of English chancery enrolments. Their appearance – a left-hand margin of around 3 cm in which a short explanatory heading of each entry is provided, with the text of the entry occupying

20 C 64/10 m. 19d. 22 Allmand, ‘The English and the Church’. 23 Curry, ‘The baillis of Lancastrian Normandy’, pp. 357–68. 24 C 64/10 m. 32d.

270  Anne Curry the rest of the membrane width – is exactly as for the other enrolments, as is the system of authorization, abbreviation, dating and so on. This distinctive system, which had no parallel in France, had its origins in the reign of John, during which time the Fine (C 60), Charter (C 53), Close (C 54) and Patent Rolls (C 66) were begun. The same format was subsequently applied to other contexts with increasing systematization.25 Thus a roll dedicated to Gascon affairs began under Henry III but took on the full form of an annual Rotulus Vasconie (C 61) from the second year of Edward I. It was also under Edward I that a Scotch Roll (Rotulus Scotie, C 71) was begun as well as a Statute Roll (C 74). All the chancery rolls so far mentioned existed under Henry V and beyond. So too did the Treaty (or French) rolls (Rotuli Francie, C 76), although these have a complex history linked to the short series of Almain rolls (Rotuli Alemanni, within C 76) which had existed from 22 Edward I (1293–1294) to 15 Edward III (1341–1342). The Welsh rolls (Rotuli Wallie, C 77) begun by Edward I in 1277 did not outlive that king’s reign, and a Roman roll (C 70) concerning papal matters was compiled only from the end of Edward I’s reign to 34 Edward III (1360–1361). In principle, therefore, there was no lack of precedent to inform a new chancery enrolment for a specific geographical context. Whilst the Norman rolls of Henry V were the first new creation since the reign of Edward I, there was continuing expertise in the chancery through the dedicated rolls for interests in Gascony, Scotland (although now limited to border areas and to military and diplomatic activity) and France. The Rotuli Francie included the business of Calais and the Channel Islands as well as international activity more generally, being the place of record of appointment of embassies as well as of letters of protection and appointments of attorneys for soldiers departing on campaign. They continued to be used for this purpose for all of Henry’s expeditionary armies, although from the late spring of 1418, we start to see the Norman rolls also being used to enrol such acts. There is an important difference, however, with the other chancery enrolments of Henry V, all of which were compiled in the chancery at Westminster, even those concerning Gascony. Henry’s Norman rolls were drawn up within Normandy itself with the direct personal involvement of the king, as the witness clause teste rege and the authority clause per ipsum regem indicates.26 The king was overseas from 1 August 1417 to 1 February 1421 and again from mid-June 1421 to his death on 31 August 1422. During his absence in England in the spring of 1421, authority in Normandy was delegated; acts continued to be enrolled on the rolls within the duchy per ipsum regem per relationem (magni) consilii. The question of seals needs further 25 Guide to the Public Record Office. Volume 1, pp. 14–26. 26 ‘When Henry V was in France the note of warranty “By K” is found frequently only on the Norman rolls written in France, and infrequently on the rolls written in England where it means that a signet letter has been sent from the chancellor from the king’ (Brown, ‘Authorization of Letters’, p. 142).

The Norman rolls of Henry V  271 investigation but, following Edward III’s practice, Henry presumably took with him in 1417 the Great Seal, leaving for use in England a slightly smaller version known as the exchequer seal.27 Exactly what seal was used in Normandy during the king’s absence in 1421 remains obscure; it seems likely that a special seal had been produced for the duchy to reflect its special status following the treaty of Troyes and that this was used both by the king when present and by those to whom he had delegated authority. This interpretation is based on the account of the transfer of seals after Henry’s death, where, as we have seen, the seal for the duchy was handed to the duke of Bedford in Rouen.28 There are no indications that Henry had plans in his 1415 invasion for a new enrolment, but given that the campaign of that year lasted little more than three months, intentions may simply have been overtaken by events. The king continued to use the French rolls for ensuing matters, such as safe conducts for Agincourt prisoners. The grant of a house in Harfleur on 28 December 1415 to Richard Bokeland was similarly enrolled,29 as was that of 29 January 1416 of the nearby lordship of Frilense to Sir John Fastolf, then in the Harfleur garrison,30 and the presentation of Jean de Bordiu to the parish church on 3 January.31 Since Harfleur was intended as a second Calais, with a treasurer appointed in January 1416 whose powers were modelled on those of the treasurer of Calais, the French roll was the appropriate place of enrolment. This situation persisted even after the Norman rolls began since the administration in Harfleur was not fully integrated into the rest of Henry’s duchy until January 1421.32 That said, lines of demarcation were soon blurred. The last entry in the French rolls concerning Harfleur dates to 9 February 1419, but the earliest entry on the Norman roll for Harfleur – the appointment of Robert Spellowe as its bailiff, with power over all nonmilitary personnel and to hold courts as at Calais – was enrolled on 16 September 1417.33

28 PROME, parliament of 1422, item 14, which speaks of a seal ‘semblant a son grant seal’ being brought back to England, implying Henry had not taken the actual great seal back to Normandy in 1421. 2 9 C 76/98 m. 6. 30 C 76/98 m. 4.

272  Anne Curry There is strong indication that the Norman rolls were begun as soon as Henry arrived in Normandy in 1417, confirming that a plan to create a dedicated new enrolment had already been devised before he left England.34 As noted, the earliest act is dated 1 August 1417, the day of the landing at the mouth of the River Touques. In all, twelve acts are dated between 1 and 10 August at what is now Bonneville-sur-Touques. There is then a gap of ten days until the next set of entries on 20 August, when the abbey of Saint Stephen at Caen is the location given. The abbey was stormed by the duke of Clarence on 15 August. The king arrived before Caen on 18 August and took up accommodation at the abbey soon afterwards. Caen was taken by assault on 4 September, but the French king was given until 19 September to send an army of relief. Entries in the Norman rolls continued to be placedated at the abbey of Saint Stephen up to and including 20 September, but from the following day the king was at the castle of Caen where he remained until 2 October. He then moved to the abbey of Saint-Pierre-sur-Dives 38 km to the south of Caen before beginning on 7 October the siege of Argentan, a further 34 km to the south. On the face of it, therefore, the writing of acts began as soon as the landing ­­ had been effected. Whilst twelve acts were dated at Bonneville-surTouques, 382 were dated at the abbey of St Stephen between 20 August and 20 September, the majority on 1 September, giving licence to the masters of ships which had transported the army to return home. From 9 September, we begin to see acts whereby the king took into his protection individual laymen and clergy as well as parishes which accepted his authority. Once he was in the castle of Caen, 500 acts were made between 20 September and 2 October, mainly similar protections but now encompassing a wide area beyond Caen. We can see that emissaries that had been sent out to negotiate but ­ communities and inhabitants had also been encouraged to approach the king directly. Bayeux surrendered to the duke of Gloucester on 19 September, following the king’s confirmation of rights and privileges of all its inhabitants who chose the allegiance of the king. On the following day, Henry made his first administrative appointment of Sir John Assheton as royal seneschal of Bayeux. The first land grant to an Englishman dates to 25 September 1417. Not until 24 December 1417, however, did Henry make his first appointment of a bailli, when he made Sir John Popham bailli of Caen, virtually all of this bailliage now being within English allegiance.35 A close study of the first Norman roll C 64/8, in which the entries discussed in the previous paragraph are found, indicates that in its make-up it follows standard chancery practice, covering the period from the landing on 34 It has been speculated that the Ordinaciones Cancellarie, a set of chancery regulations first issued in 1388–1389, were revised at royal behest ‘about the time of Henry’s second invasion’ (Richardson, Medieval Chancery, pp. 11, 13–4).

The Norman rolls of Henry V  273 1 August 1417 to the end of the regnal year on 20 March 1418. Entries were written onto individual membranes which were subsequently sewn together at the end of the regnal year. As a result, there is not a single linear chronological order to the entries. Cognate entries were entered onto one or more membranes which were placed in sequence. So the licences to shipmasters were placed on the dorse of membranes 26d and 27d, and the royal protections to Normans on membranes 21d–25d. This also indicates that face and dorse were in use simultaneously, as seems to have been common English chancery practice. That there had been considerable thought behind the entering of acts is emphasized by the way that treaties of surrender were placed onto dedicated membranes, 2–6, even though they were widely disparate in terms of the date of their making. The appointment of 1 August 1417 of the duke of Clarence as constable of the army is found on membrane 2, as is the appointment of Assheton as seneschal of Bayeux. It is also important to emphasize that the rolls both now and throughout their existence included both letters patent and letters close indiscriminately, even though the term used to describe them even at the time was as patentium.36 Two questions arise from these observations. The first is whether a formal static chancery was established by Henry in Normandy, and if so, when. The second concerns the personnel on whom Henry V relied for the formation of the Norman rolls. We know that a chambre des comptes was established at Caen by the king in November 1417,37 following the appointment, enrolled on the Norman rolls, of Sir John Tiptoft on the first day of that month as president of the scaccarius of Normandy and of other judicial bodies as well as treasurer-general within the duchy.38 Tiptoft had not participated in the 1415 campaign since the king had chosen to send him to Gascony, appointing him as seneschal on 30 April 1415.39 He continued to hold this post in absentia after his return to England in December 1415 and was one of the leading captains of the 1417 expedition.40 It is highly significant that the king consciously gave him the administrative leadership of both duchies, to hold simultaneously. Tiptoft would most certainly have been fully aware of the nature of the Gascon rolls. Henry’s chambre des comptes was in the castle of Caen. The most obvious place for a chancery would be in the same location. But the evidence of the 36 For example, as noted on membrane 30 of C 64/15. 38 C 64/8 m. 19 (RN, p. 205). Tiptoft held his post until the appointment of William Allington as treasurer-general of Normandy on 1 May 1419 (C 64/11 m. 51d), Allington’s powers being extended to cover the pays de conquête on 24 January 1420 (C 64/12 m. 41d). Tiptoft continued to serve in Normandy but remained seneschal of Gascony until 1423, being in that duchy for some of 1420–1421. 39 Roskell, ‘Sir John Tiptoft’, pp. 107–50. 40 He indented for 120 men (E 101/70/2/621) but the surviving muster lists 131 in his company (E 101/51/2 m. 39).

274  Anne Curry place-dates in the Norman rolls suggests that the vast majority of acts were enrolled wherever the king was. In other words, the chancery itinerated with the king. It was during the king’s stay at Bayeux that the appointment of Philip Morgan as chancellor was enacted on 8 April 1418.41 By this time, the first regnal year had ended and its roll was now being assembled. Another entry in the Norman roll, the appointment on 20 May 1418 of Thomas Derlyng as sergeant of the king’s cancellarie in Normandy, suggests formalization of structure and practice.42 The choice of Morgan as chancellor was prompted by both his experience and his closeness to the king. Even whilst in the service of Thomas Arundel, archbishop of Canterbury, in the first decade of the century, the Oxfordeducated cleric Morgan had received commissions to hear cases on ransoms and appeals from the court of admiralty.43 He entered royal service after Arundel’s death and had been much trusted by Henry V in negotiations with the French in 1415–1416. He had accompanied the king to France in 1417, being given licence to hear confessions in the army. We find him acting as a musterer of troops but also continuing his diplomatic activity. He was particularly active in negotiations towards the treaty of Troyes and was present with the king at the sealing of the treaty. Such service redounded to his benefit in terms of ecclesiastical preferment. Elected bishop of Worcester in April 1419, he was consecrated in Rouen Cathedral on 3 December 1419. We find some changes once Rouen was in English hands, but these were gradual. The rolls indicate that the king, along with his officials, took up residence at the castle by 21 January, and that between late March and midAugust, as the king moved on to Evreux, Vernon, Mantes and finally Pontoise, the chancery continued to itinerate with him. From mid-August 1419 onwards, however, we can detect two simultaneous strands of acts: those made at Rouen and those made wherever the king was as he progressed down the Seine Valley. It appears that his ‘secretariat’ had been divided and some form of static chancery established in Rouen Castle. This is also visible in the way the membranes of the rolls were deployed, suggesting that the two sets of documents were put together into one roll at the end of the relevant period. From mid-April 1420, a further change can be seen whereby almost all acts were once again made where the king was in person. As a result, we can follow Henry’s movements to Troyes and in the campaigns which followed as well as in his entry to Paris on Advent Sunday before he returned to Rouen at the end of 1420. Between his departure from Rouen in mid-January to cross to England and his return in mid-June, all acts were

The Norman rolls of Henry V  275 made at Rouen. After his return we find two simultaneous sequences again as in the period from August 1419 to April 1420. Morgan had returned to England with the king in January 1421, but did not come back with him in June. By at least November 1421 and probably from Henry’s return to France, John Kemp was chancellor of Normandy.44 His background was similar to that of his predecessor. Also Oxford educated and in the service of Archbishop Arundel, he had become dean of the Court of Arches in February 1414. He had crossed with the army of 1417. As Morgan, Kemp had power to hear its confessions, but he was also appointed ‘to exercise the jurisdiction of the archbishop of Canterbury overseas, which meant chiefly in those parts of France that the king was slowly acquiring by conquest’.45 Kemp’s influence on Henry’s policy towards the Norman church is therefore likely to have been considerable right from the start. Appointed as keeper of the privy seal on 3 October 1418, he returned to England but was back with Henry in France in the next year. Like Morgan, he was preferred, whilst in Normandy, to an English bishopric – that of Rochester (July 1419) – being consecrated on the same day as Morgan at Rouen Cathedral, 3 December 1419. Kemp was also heavily involved in the finalization of the terms of the treaty of Troyes and in the taking of oaths in its aftermath. His standing in the eyes of Henry V had led to his preferment to the see of Chichester in the late summer of 1420 and to his further preferment to the bishopric of London in November 1421. He remained with the king for the rest of his life and, as we have seen, was responsible for handing over to the duke of Bedford the seal for the duchy following the king’s death. We are also able to identify other officials of the Norman chancery. It is certain that clerks were drawn from the English chancery, much as men are known to have worked between the Irish and English chancery.46 John Chamberlain’s service as a chancery clerk can be traced back to the reign of Henry IV.47 It seems that he had also been intended for service in Aquitaine under Tiptoft in 1415.48 Chamberlain’s presence in Normandy is evidenced in the Norman rolls by the grant to him for his good service of three houses in Harfleur and two in Caen as well as lands near Pont-de-l’Arche.49 Richard Sturgeon is another English chancery clerk who worked in Normandy, being similarly rewarded with property in Caen – a house neighbouring the church of St Peter which lay at the foot of the castle where Sturgeon may 4 4 E 101/187/15 doc 2. He resigned as keeper of the privy seal on 25 October 1421. 45 Davies, ‘Kemp [Kempe], John (1380/1–1454)’. 46 Richardson, Medieval Chancery, p. 25.

276  Anne Curry have worked on the compilation of the rolls.50 John Stokes, an English chancery clerk of the first form (the highest grade in the chancery) much used by Henry in diplomatic missions, was in Normandy from at least April 1418, when the king requested that a ship be found to take him from England to Coutances.51 He was rewarded by a prebend at Bayeux Cathedral in August 1419 which he surrendered in the autumn of 1420, receiving instead a prebend in York.52 Since the last reference to him in the Norman rolls is December 1420, he undoubtedly returned to England with the king, receiving a new appointment in the English chancery in December 1421.53 The most striking career is that of John Stopyndon. There is no doubt that his career was made in the service of Henry in Normandy, making possible his elevation in the mid-1420s as a clerk of the first form and keeper of the hanaper of the English chancery.54 It is unclear when Stopyndon first came to Normandy, but he is found acting as a musterer in the two last months of the siege of Rouen.55 In the early months of 1420, we see his name at the end of documents for which he had been responsible.56 Considerable royal largesse came to him through a house grant in Harfleur, a pension from Glastonbury Abbey and a prebend in Rouen Cathedral.57 On 17 January 1421, as Henry prepared to leave Rouen to return to England, he committed to Stopyndon the custody of the rolls of his Norman chancery (rotulorum cancellarii sue Normannie) and made him responsible for the receipts of the hanaper.58 Henceforward, Stopyndon bore the title keeper of the hanaper of

50 C 64/8, m. 11 (RN, p. 261), dated 1 February 1418. Sturgeon received attorneys at the siege of Alençon in late September 1417 (C 64/8 m. 15, RN, p. 235), at the siege of Falaise in January 1418 (C 64/8 m. 15, RN, p. 235) and at Bayeux in March 1418 (C 64/8 m. 9; RN, p. 272). He acted as musterer during the siege of Rouen in the autumn of 1418 (C 64/ 9 m. 8d, 11d) and at Gisors in September 1419 (C 64/11 m. 20d). For his career, see Richardson, Medieval Chancery, p. 98. 51 C 64/9 m. 39d. This was probably linked to a mission to Yolande of Aragon (C 64/9 m. 9d). Stokes acted as musterer in August 1418 (C 64/9 m. 18d), October 1418 (C 64/9 m. 11d), March 1419 (C 64/11 m. 78d), July 1419 (C 64/11 m. 35d), August 1419 (C 64/11 m. 29d), May 1420 (C 64/11 m. 27) and December 1420 (C 64/14 m. 12d). 52 Grant: C 64/11 m. 27; surrender: C 64/14 m. 23 and C 64/14 m. 15; York grant: C 64/14 m. 23. 54 Ibid., p. 125. Richardson (pp. 33, 119) also suggests that John Brokholes and Nicholas Neuton were in Normandy, which I cannot substantiate. Nicholas Wymbusshe, clerk of the petty bag (p. 102) may have been at Rouen in February 1419 (C 64/10 m. 33). 56 E 101/187/14, folio 35. 57 C 64/12 m. 35; C 64/14 m. 17d (18 September 1420); C 64/16 m. 29 (22 July 1421). He was also granted a pension from Exeter Cathedral at royal command on 10 April 1420 (Calendar of Signet Letters, item 891). 58 C 64/15 m. 30d. See also a note written on the other side that this roll, ‘tercio parte patentium de anno viij’, was enrolled in the time of John Stopyndon as keeper.

The Norman rolls of Henry V  277 the Norman chancery, as we can see in an order concerning the audit of his accounts in June 1422.59 Stopyndon had been assisted in his career by association with Richard Southworth, who had served in the chancery from at least 1409. That Southworth was in Normandy is suggested by the king’s request from Bayeux on 12 March 1418 to the abbot and convent of Leicester Abbey that he should be the recipient of the allocated pension to a royal clerk.60 This act may signify his retirement from service in the duchy. Southworth’s link with Stopyndon is evidenced in a rather striking way: in his will made in 1417, Southworth, the earliest known owner of a copy of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, bequeathed the work to Stopyndon.61 Whilst we can identify some of the officials of the chancery in Normandy, there remain many gaps in our knowledge, not least on the structure and organization of personnel. It has been suggested that in the English chancery, clerks needed to produce three to seven documents a day.62 Given the quantity of entries on the Norman rolls, it would seem clerks there were no less busy. Were local men also employed? We certainly find both English and Normans working in the chambre des comptes as the occupation became established; the spring of 1418 seems to be a key turning point in this context.63 French hands are certainly apparent on the last Norman roll of 1422.64 Whilst most entries of the rolls are in Latin, the customary language of all English chancery enrolments, we also find acts in French (the French of France not Anglo-Norman), such as the treaties of surrender. There are also occasional entries in English, such as Henry V’s ratification of the agreement between the duke of Exeter and the inhabitants of Dieppe for the town’s surrender in February 1419.65 It was deemed essential that English soldiers understood fully what terms had been reached. Given the number of English settlers, it is also significant that an order of June 1421 that all persons holding land from the crown in Normandy appear before the chancellor or treasurer by midsummer was also enrolled in English, no doubt mirroring the language in which it had been publicly proclaimed.66 The quantity of business dealt with in the Norman chancery is truly remarkable, all the more so given that many of the interactions with the inhabitants of the duchy were based on individual petitions, as the entries on

60 C 64/8 m. 9 (RN, pp. 269–70). 64 For instance, in a long confirmation of the privileges of Rouen Cathedral, 15 August 1422 (C 64/17 m. 1–4). 66 C 64/16 m. 32d.

278  Anne Curry the rolls reveal.67 The Norman rolls, as indeed the chancery itself, were an essential part of Henry’s strategic plan for the duchy right from the outset, remaining key to the very end of his rule, with a wide range of business. Take, for instance, an order of 29 May 1422 that all ecclesiastics holding lands without amortization should apply for licence to the chancery of Normandy.68 There was no parallel in the Valois past to the Norman rolls, but it is important to remember that the rolls were only one element in Henry’s governance. As we have noted, he also established a chambre des comptes in Caen, another innovation since the duchy, as part of the Valois royal demesne, had been controlled in the previous regime by the chambre des comptes in Paris. Relatively little survives of the archive of Henry’s chambre des comptes, but there is enough to show that it produced orders and acts which were not enrolled in the Norman rolls. Rather, a separate archive was created which conformed to the format of the French royal chambres des comptes, always using French rather than Latin. But on occasion we can see how acts in the Norman rolls were implemented through the chambre des comptes. So, for instance, we find a copy in what is left of the chambre archive of the royal grant of 12 April 1419 to Benedict Coutellier of lands of a rebel in the bailliage of Caen.69 At the end of the text of the grant we find an order by the gens des comptes to the bailli of Caen ordering him to allow Coutellier to enter the lands. The wording makes clear Coutellier had presented the letters of his grant to the chambre des comptes whose officials had then entered it in a register. Whilst no such register is known to survive now, it existed in 1828 when Charles Vautier was able to publish extracts from it,70 and it shows clearly the procedures, administered by the baillis and reported through the chambre des comptes, which followed grants and confirmations, where the holders needed to carry out an aveu et dénombrement, a prisée and a formal act of homage. The extensive nature of the Norman rolls means that a full analysis will take some time. One question concerns a separate roll of four membranes for years 6, 7 and 8 Henry V. In 1880, this roll was included with others in the calendar of the Norman rolls published in the forty-first Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records.71 But in 1910 it was included in the calendar of patent rolls for 1416–1422, and the roll is catalogued in The

68 C 64/17 m. 20d.

Figure 14.1 Locations given for acts enrolled on the Norman Rolls of Henry V, 1417–1422. During sieges the location was given as ‘before x’ or ‘in the army before x’, but in all cases save Chartres Henry subsequently entered the town which was then given as the location of the acts.

The Norman rolls of Henry V  279

280  Anne Curry National Archives within C 66.72 Its entries range from 16 November 1417 to 12 August 1420. All bear place-dates in Normandy and France but all concern English places or business, such as pensions to be paid from county revenues. One of the entries on this roll is a grant of 5 June 1418 to Janico Dartas from the revenues of Drogheda, which is also found on the Norman roll C 64/9 covering March 1418 to January 1419. This same grant was ratified on the Patent Roll of 6 Henry V on 20 July 1418 at Dartas’ request.73 It was clearly felt by some that ratification in England was needed, yet there were many other acts concerning English or Irish revenues on the Norman rolls which do not appear on the special or any other Patent roll. Finally, we can assume the Norman rolls were kept in Normandy until after the death of Henry, since we find some entries in later rolls confirming or amending those in earlier rolls. But they were taken back to England at some point after the death of Henry V. We do not know when, but it would be logical for John Stopyndon, their keeper from 1421, to have been responsible for bringing them back, for which he deserves our gratitude given the fascinating insights they offer into Henry V’s master plan.

Bibliography Manuscript sources London, The National Archives E 101: Exchequer Accounts Various C 61: Gascon Rolls C 64: Norman Rolls C 66: Patent Rolls C 71: Scotch Rolls C 76: Treaty (or French) Rolls

Printed primary sources Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records, xli (London, 1880). Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records, xlii (London, 1881). Annual Report of the Deputy Keeper of the Public Records, xliv (London, 1883). Calendar of Signet Letters of Henry IV and Henry V, ed. J. L. Kirby (London, 1978). Carte, T., Catalogue des rolles gascons, normans et françois conservés dans les archives de la Tour de Londres (London, 1743). Foedera, conventiones, litterae et cuiuscunque generis acta publica, ed. T. Rymer, 20 vols (London, 1704–35). The Parliament Rolls of Medieval England, ed. P. Brand, A. Curry, C. Given-Wilson, R. E. Horrox, G. Martin, W. M. Ormrod and J. R. S Phillips, 16 vols (Woodbridge, 2005).

The Norman rolls of Henry V  281 ‘Rôles normands et français et autres pieces tirées des archives de Londres par Bréquigny en 1764, 1765, et 1766’, Mémoires de la Société des Antiquaires de Normandie, third series, 23 (1858), 1–264. Rotuli Normanniae in turri Londoniensi asservati Johanne et Henrico Quinto Angliae regibus, ed. T. D. Hardy (London, 1835).

Secondary sources Allmand, C. T., ‘The Lancastrian Land Settlement in Normandy 1417–1450’, Economic History Review second series 21 (1968), 461–79. Allmand, C. T., Lancastrian Normandy, 1415–1450. The History of a Medieval Occupation (Oxford, 1983). Allmand, C. T., ‘The English and the Church in Lancastrian Normandy’, in England and Normandy in the Middle Ages, ed. D. Bates and A. Curry (London, 1994), pp. 287–97. Brown, A. L., ‘The Authorization of Letters under the Great Seal’, Bulletin of the Institute of Historical Research 37 (1964), 125–56. Brown, A. L., ‘The Privy Seal Clerks in the Early Fifteenth Century’, in The Study of Medieval Records. Essays in Honour of Kathleen Major, ed. D. Bullough and R. L. Storey (Oxford, 1971), pp. 260–81. Curry, A., ‘Le service féodal en Normandie pendant l’occupation anglaise, 1417–50’, in La France anglaise au moyen âge, ed. P. Contamine (Paris, 1988), pp. 233–57. Curry, A., ‘Lancastrian Normandy: The Jewel in the Crown’, in England and Normandy in the Middle Ages, ed. D. Bates and A. Curry (London, 1994), pp. 235–52. Curry, A., ‘L’administration financière de la Normandie anglaise; continuité ou changement’, in La France des principautés. Les chambres des comptes xive-xve siècles, ed. P. Contamine and O. Mattéoni (Paris, 1996), pp. 83–103. Curry, A., ‘La chambre des comptes de Normandie sous l’occupation anglaise, 1417– 1450’, in Les chambres des comptes en France xive-xve siècles, ed. P. Contamine and O. Mattéoni (Paris, 1998), pp. 191–25. Curry, A., ‘Two Kingdoms, One King: The Treaty of Troyes (1420) and the Creation of a Double Monarchy of England and France’, in ‘The Contending Kingdoms’. France and England 1420–1700, ed. G. Richardson (London, 2008), pp. 23–41. Curry, A., ‘Harfleur under English Rule 1415–1422’, in The Hundred Years War. Part III. Further Considerations, ed. A. Villalon and D. Kagay (Brill, 2013), pp. 259–84. Curry, A., ‘Disciplinary Ordinances for English Garrisons in Normandy in the Reign of Henry V’, in Fifteenth Century England, XIV: Essays Presented to Michael Hicks, ed. L. Clark (2015), pp. 1–12. Curry, A., ‘The baillis of Lancastrian Normandy: English Men Wearing French Hats’, in The Plantagenet Empire 1259–1453, ed. P. Crooks, D. Green, and W. M. Ormrod, Harlaxton Medieval Studies XXXVI (Donington, 2016), pp. 357–68. Curry, A., ‘English Conquests in France in the Early Fifteenth Century: Henry V and Normandy 1415–1420’, in Eroberung une Inbesitznahme. Die Eroberung des Argau 1415 im europaischenVergleich, ed. C. Hesse, R. Schmid and T. Gerber (Ostfilden and Stuttgart, 2017), pp. 93–108. Davies, R. G., ‘Morgan, Philip [Philip ap Morgan] (d. 1435)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Davies, R. G., ‘Kemp [Kempe], John (1380/1–1454)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography,

282  Anne Curry Dodd, G., ‘The Spread of English in the Records of Central Government, 1400–30’, in Vernacularity in England and Wales, c. 1300–1550, ed. E. Salter and H. Wicker (Turnhout, 2011), pp. 225–66. Guide to the Public Record Office. Volume 1. Legal Records etc (London, 1963). Jenkinson, H., ‘The Great Seal of England: Deputed or Departmental Seals’, Archaeologia 85 (1936), 293–338. Jenkinson, H., ‘A New Great Seal of Henry V’, Antiquaries Journal 18 (1938), 382–90. Massey, R. A., ‘Lancastrian Rouen: Military Service and Property Holding 1419– 49’, in England and Normandy in the Middle Ages, ed. D. Bates and A. Curry (London, 1994), pp. 269–86. Newhall, R. A., The English Conquest of Normandy 1416–1424: A Study in FifteenthCentury Warfare (New Haven, 1924). Newhall, R. A., ‘Henry V’s Policy of Conciliation in Normandy, 1417–1422’, in Anniversary Essays in Medieval History of Students of C.H. Haskins, ed. C. H. Taylor (Boston, MA, 1929), pp. 205–29. Ormrod, W. M., ‘England, Normandy and the Beginnings of the Hundred Years War, 1259–1360’, in England and Normandy in the Middle Ages, ed. D. Bates and A. Curry (London, 1994), pp. 197–213. Ormrod, W. M., Edward III (New Haven, CT and London, 2011). Richardson, M., ‘The Earliest Known Authors of “Canterbury Tales” MSS and Chaucer’s Secondary Audience’, Chaucer Review 25 (1990), 17–32. Richardson, M., The Medieval Chancery under Henry V, List and Index Society, special series vol. 30 (1999). Roskell, J. S., ‘Sir John Tiptoft, Commons’ Speaker in 1406’, in Parliament and Politics in Late Medieval England, ed. J. S. Roskell, 3 vols (London, 1983), III, pp. 107–50. Schnerb, B., ‘Sauver les meubles. A propos de quelques traités de capitulation de forteresses du début du xve siècle’, in Frieden schaffen und sich verteidigen im Spätmittelalter/Faire la paix et se défendre à la fin du Moyen Âge, ed. G. Naegle (Munich, 2012), pp. 215–64. Vale, M. G. A., Henry V: The Conscience of a King (New Haven, CT and London, 2016).


15 Some afterthoughts on Edward II1 Seymour Phillips

There is no end to the writing of books. However definitive a book may try or appear to be there is always more evidence to be assessed, more interpretations to consider, errors to be corrected. Edward II is of course no exception. In the decade since my book first appeared in 2010, significant new material has come to light2 or has come to my attention, sometimes very surprising, such as the charter issued in Edward II’s name in February 1327, nearly a month after his deposition.3 A great deal has also been published on Edward II and his reign, some of it, as will appear below and notably the work of Ian Mortimer and Kathryn Warner, presenting certain conclusions very different from my own.4 What follows is not, however, a review article,

286  Seymour Phillips but rather a series of loosely connected observations, with a particular emphasis on the final years of the reign and their aftermath. When I was consulted in 2014 by David Smith, the former County Archivist for Gloucestershire and the Archivist at Berkeley Castle, who was then conducting a thorough search of the Berkeley archives for evidence relating to Edward II’s captivity there in 1327,5 I took the opportunity to revisit some of the events surrounding Edward’s flight into south Wales in the autumn of 1326, notably through an examination of the chronicle material contained in Trinity College Cambridge MS R.5.41.6 In my book I stated, on the basis of references in the chronicles of Lanercost Priory, Adam Murimuth and the Anonimalle chronicle, that Edward II and the Younger Despenser sailed from Chepstow on 20 October with the initial intention of reaching Lundy Island in the Bristol Channel and probably from there escaping to Ireland, but that contrary winds forced them back to land after four days at sea.7 However, the Trinity chronicle says that Edward put to sea on 22 October and implies that he was trying to sail in the direction of Bristol rather than Lundy.8 This would have made some sense since Bristol was believed still to be in the hands of another of his leading supporters, the Elder Despenser, earl of Winchester. Unknown to Edward, though, his estranged wife Isabella and her own supporters and army were closing in on the city of Bristol. The date of her arrival there is usually given as 18 October, but evidence from the Berkeley records and from the Trinity chronicle suggests that 22 October was the more likely date and that Bristol Castle fell on 24 October.9 The Trinity chronicle then adds the very significant details that the contrary winds which held up Edward in the Bristol Channel also allowed Isabella’s own fleet of ships to sail from Bristol in pursuit of Edward and that his ships

The Man; Warner, Hugh Despenser the Younger and Edward II; Heyam, The Reputation of Edward II, 1305–1697. Kathryn Warner’s books, in combination with her long-running blog (, provide a great deal of very useful prosopographical information on the reign of Edward II. Several other books deal in part with the reign of Edward II: Mortimer, The Greatest Traitor; Mortimer, The Perfect King; and last, but very far from least, Mark Ormrod’s fine volume in the Yale English Monarchs series, Edward III.

Some afterthoughts on Edward II  287 may even have been attacked by Isabella’s on 23 and 24 October.10 At any rate, Edward was forced to return to land at Cardiff and made his way to the Younger Despenser’s great and well-stocked fortress nearby at Caerphilly. Caerphilly could have held out against a prolonged siege (as it did under the command of the Younger Despenser’s son, from December 1326 until 20 March 1327), but much would also depend on whether Edward II’s Welsh allies, Rhys ap Gruffudd and Gruffydd Llwyd, who had been summoned, arrived in time to relieve him and so save him from his enemies, as they had done in 1322.11 Their support did not, however, materialize, and after a few days Edward and the Younger Despenser left Caerphilly and moved westwards to the Cistercian abbeys of Margam and finally Neath. Although, as I have previously argued, Edward’s movements may simply have been a sign of desperation rather than any rational plan of action, he may also have hoped as a last resort to make his escape by sea from a nearby port such as Swansea. This could be the origin of the reports that he planned to reach Lundy, at the mouth of the Bristol Channel, and much closer to South-West Wales than Chepstow, and from there to make his way to Ireland.12 Instead, of course, Edward’s fate was to be capture, deposition disguised as voluntary abdication and imprisonment. His reign formally ended on 21 January 1327 and was proclaimed in London three days later. On 1 February, his son and successor Edward III was crowned in Westminster Abbey. But in one corner of the former king’s dominions, Ireland, the news took much longer to arrive. There on 12 February 1327, the last known document in the name of Edward II, a charter confirming the liberties of the city of Dublin, was witnessed and issued by John D’Arcy, the Justiciar of the Lordship of Ireland13 (Figure 15.1). Edward was imprisoned, first in Kenilworth and then in Berkeley Castle. Despite the lurid reports of some of the chroniclers,14 and despite his lack of the personal possessions he had left behind him at Caerphilly,15 he appears to have been well treated physically. After Edward’s removal to Berkeley,

288  Seymour Phillips

Figure 15.1 Charter of Edward II, 12 February 1327, confirming the liberties of the city of Dublin: Dublin City Archives, DCA 18.

his custodians there, Thomas de Berkeley the lord of the castle and John Maltravers, were allowed £5 a day for his maintenance16; altogether they were paid £700, of which £200 came directly from the exchequer, while in May 1327 they received a further £500 in cash, equivalent to one hundred days’ maintenance.17 He was even sent two pipes of Rhenish wine by his son and successor Edward III.18 The Berkeley accounts contain references to the supply of wine, wax, spices, eggs, cheese, capons, cattle and so on for Edward’s use.19 The most recent and most thorough examination of the Berkeley records by David Smith and his colleagues has shown that Edward had his own household, which included a marshal (unnamed) to look after his horses, possibly numbering about half a dozen. Edward had his own kitchen and cook for preparing meat and poultry, but had to use the castle

Some afterthoughts on Edward II  289 kitchen for baking bread. He also had at least one personal servant, John de Wakerl’, who was in attendance in his chamber and was also the granger for the core manors of the Berkeley estate as well as having some medical role in the castle.20 While Edward’s physical needs were apparently well looked after, it is possible only to speculate on his mental condition. The chronicles are however the source of much comment and opinion upon Edward’s state of mind and suffering. The author of the Flores Historiarum, a writer who was not sympathetic to him, commented that Edward, while still technically king, spent Christmas 1326 at Kenilworth ‘in great sadness’ (in ingenti tristitia).21 The unknown author of the Brut chronicle remarked that the downfall of Edward II and the disasters of his reign were the fulfilment of the prophecies of Merlyn: ‘and ever afterwards he lived his life in much sorrow and anguish’.22 According to Geoffrey le Baker, when told of his deposition at Kenilworth on 20 January 1327, Edward was so affected by grief that he could barely stand and had to be helped by the earl of Leicester and bishop of Winchester. ‘[…….] Weeping and crying out, Edward said that he was deeply saddened that his people were so angry with him, but was pleased that his son would at least succeed him as king’.23 As is well known, there is even a source that lays claim to being Edward’s own record of his state of mind after his deposition, The Lament of Edward II, consisting of one hundred and twenty lines written in French (entitled De le Roi Edward le Fiz Roi Edward, le Chanson qe il fist mesmes) and

20 Smith, Edward II: His Last Months, pp. 29–31, 35–43 (these pages are an invaluable source since they contain photographs of all the portions of documents relating to Edward). John de Wakerl’ attended Thomas de Berkeley in September 1327 but there is no evidence that he also attended Edward.

290  Seymour Phillips supposedly composed by Edward himself while in prison. In it, Edward bemoans his fate and shows repentance for his past misdeeds24: 1. ‘In winter time harm befell me, fortune has thwarted me too much, good luck has eluded me all my life. Full often have I experienced this: there is no one on earth so fair nor so wise, so courtly nor so famed, who, if luck does not favour him, will not be proclaimed a fool. 3. ‘They make me suffer cruelly, granted that I have well deserved it. Their false faith in parliament has brought me down from the heights to the depths. Ah, Lord of salvation I repent and beg thy mercy for all my sins! May the agony which my body endures be to my soul joy and mercy. 6. ‘I give myself to thee, Lord Jesus, asking forgiveness and grace. I used to be so greatly feared, now all despise me; I am called the tumbledown king, and all the world mocks me; my most intimate friends have deceived me, too late I see it openly. 15. ‘Wise men and foolish, I beg you all, pray for me together, to Mary, mother of mercy, who nurtured Jesus the Almighty; that for the joys she had of him, she may pray him devoutly, that he have mercy on all who are betrayed and falsely condemned’.25 While the poem itself makes poignant reading, there is not the slightest evidence that it was actually written by the deposed king.26 However, BL MS Royal 20.A.II, which contains one of the known texts of the poem, is interesting in itself. The manuscript, which was made during the reign of Edward II, begins with a series of images of English kings, the last of which depicts Edward while he was still Prince of Wales. The image is preceded by a Latin couplet: Princeps Edwardus non tua lancea tarde/in Scotos mota per te sit Cambria nota, either referring to Edward’s previous experience of fighting in Scotland or expressing hope that he would wage war against the Scots without delay, and that his exploits might be noted in Wales. Originally a Latin poem in praise of Edward seems have been written below the image, but was later erased and replaced by the text of the lament, presumably expressing the disappointment which was to follow his accession. The poem is

24 The poem, which was first discovered by Paul Studer in 1921, exists in two separate fourteenth- century versions, in Longleat MS 26, fols. 76v–77r, published in Aspin, Political Songs, pp. 93–104 (text and English translation); and in BL MS Royal 20.A.II, fols. 10r–10v, published in Smallwood, ‘The Lament of Edward II’, pp. 521–9. See also Phillips, Edward II, pp. 22–3, 542. 25 The translation is taken from Aspin, Political Songs, pp. 100–2. 26 See Valente, ‘The “Lament of Edward II”, pp. 422–39; Tyson, ‘Lament for a Dead King’, pp. 359–75.

Some afterthoughts on Edward II  291

Figure 15.2 Image of Edward as Prince of Wales, followed by the beginning of the ‘Lament of Edward II’: BL MS Royal 20.A.II, fol. 10r.

then followed by Peter Langtoft’s French chronicle of English history down to 130727 (Figure 15.2). Another manuscript with connections with the reign of Edward II, although not necessarily with Edward himself, is one of the treasures of the

292  Seymour Phillips British Library, the famous Alphonso Psalter, BL Add. MS. 24686, begun for the planned marriage in 1284 of Alphonso, the elder brother of the future Edward II, and Margaret, the daughter of the count of Holland. After Alphonso’s death, it was completed and given to Edward I’s daughter Elizabeth when she married John, the heir of the count of Holland, in 1297. In 1302 the widowed Elizabeth married Humphrey de Bohun, the earl of Hereford, and died in 1316.28 On the final folio of the manuscript, a hastily written prayer for divine protection has been inserted in Anglo-Norman French.29 When the manuscript was on display in 2011 as part of the British Library exhibition of royal manuscripts, a caption suggested that the prayer was connected with the earl of Hereford, who was killed in the battle of Boroughbridge on 16 March 1322.30 However this identification no longer appears on the website and was not included in the catalogue of the exhibition.31 The Alphonso Psalter does not appear either in the earl’s will, drawn up before the Scottish campaign of 1319, or in the inventory of his possessions dated 31 March 1322.32 The prayer is in fact ‘a previously unidentified Anglo-Norman translation’ of a familiar Latin prayer Deus propicius esto asking for divine protection from his/her enemies. The mystery remains as to who felt him/herself so much in need of spiritual support as to scribble on a blank folio of an otherwise fine illuminated manuscript33 (Figure 15.3). Edward II’s stay as a prisoner in Berkeley is generally believed to have come to an end with his death on 21 September 1327. On the following day, Sir Thomas Gurney was dispatched with letters from Edward’s custodian Sir Thomas de Berkeley to inform Queen Isabella and Edward III of the former king’s demise.34 On 21 October, the body was moved to St Peter’s Abbey, Gloucester, where it lay in state until the funeral on 20 December.35

28 The death of Elizabeth is noted on fol.7r in the calendar which begins the MS. 29 The Alphonso Psalter has been digitized and can be accessed on the BL website (https:// The prayer appears on fol. 136r. At the end of the prayer two further lines were added in a different hand, in an illegible scrawl. 30 The same information appeared on the BL website when I downloaded it in 2012.

34 Smith, Edward II: His Last Months, pp. 33 and 46 (photograph of the entry in Select Roll 39, Receiver’s Account); Phillips, Edward II, pp. 548–9. 35 For details see ibid, pp. 550–5.

Some afterthoughts on Edward II  293

Figure 15.3 Anglo-Norman translation of Latin prayer Deus propicius esto inserted on the final folio of the Alphonso Psalter: BL MS Add. 24686, fol. 136r.

At the time of the funeral, there seem to have been no suspicions that Edward II’s reported death was other than natural, but soon rumours began to spread that he had met a violent end.36 The most lurid were the reports by the author of the Brut chronicle and in Ranulf Higden’s Polychronicon and Geoffrey le Baker’s Chronicon that Edward was murdered by the insertion of a red-hot iron into his bowels. While the story is generally dismissed by modern commentators, it has stuck in popular imagination to this day.37 An imaginary depiction of the scene was discovered some years ago in a

36 For a survey of the various chronicle reports on Edward’s death, see Phillips, Edward II, pp. 560–5.

294  Seymour Phillips

Figure 15.4 Image from the fifteenth-century Chronique d’Angleterre by Jean de Wavrin showing the murder of Edward II by red-hot iron: Austrian National Library, ÖNB, MS 2534, fol. 374v (online image 758).

manuscript in the Austrian National Library in Vienna of the fifteenthcentury Chronique d’Angleterre by Jean de Wavrin38 (Figure 15.4). The magnificent tomb, which still exists in the former St Peter’s Abbey, now Gloucester Cathedral, was constructed to house the former king’s remains.39 There are no extant records for its construction, for which dates of

38 ÖNB, MS 2534, fol. 374v (image 758 of the online version). I know of it through Chris Given-Wilson who was sent the details by a German colleague, Professor Dr. Klaus Oschema, of the Ruhr-Universität, Bochum. My thanks to both of them.

Some afterthoughts on Edward II  295

Figure 15.5 Image of the tomb of Edward II at Gloucester, dated between July 1338 and June 1340: BL MS Egerton 3028, fol. 63r.

c.1330 and 1336–1339 have been suggested.40 However, there is an image of the tomb in BL MS Egerton 3028, a manuscript of Wace’s Brut, which has been dated between July 1338 and June 1340, and which at least demonstrates the existence of the tomb by that date41 (Figure 15.5). 40 Phillips, Edward II, p. 558.

296  Seymour Phillips The image is accompanied by some verses which show sympathy with the former king and that his posthumous reputation for holiness was already starting to develop: And when he was dead and gone, he was carried to Gloucester; he was buried with great honour. God has greatly honoured him, for he has delivered many from the languor holding them. God for his sake has done great miracles.42 It has long been known that the tomb and the outer wooden coffin were briefly opened in 1855 in the presence of Dr Francis Jeune, then Canon in Residence (later bishop of Gloucester), and others, but that the inner lead coffin containing the body was apparently not opened. However in 2010, a letter written in 1913 by Evan Browell Jeune (1852–1936), the youngest son of Dr Jeune, came into the possession of the Gloucester Cathedral Library. This gives a different version of the events of 1855. This information had been conveyed to the younger Jeune many years before by his father, who died in 1868. His father had told him that ‘when the tomb of Edward II was being repaired, the lead coffin was opened up in his presence and the hair and the beard of the king were quite intact; “His friends could quite well have recognised him”. The coffin was resealed after a document stating the facts and the names of those present had been placed within it; “I may thus say that I have talked to a man who saw Edward II”’.43 However, the traditional narrative of Edward II’s imprisonment and death at Berkeley is hotly contested by two mutually inconsistent counternarratives, in both of which Edward was not murdered but survived and was either held in custody in Corfe Castle in Dorset by his enemies in order to ensure their control over the young Edward III or was concealed at Corfe by his friends and allies, against the possibility that he might one day be restored to his throne. In the first version, Roger Mortimer arranged for the removal of Edward from Berkeley before staging a false funeral in Gloucester. The second version of Edward’s survival, which developed after 1327 and in 1330 led to the execution of Edward’s half-brother the earl of Kent for

Some afterthoughts on Edward II  297 attempting to release him from Corfe, reached its final development in the late 1330s in the now-famous Fieschi Letter, according to which Edward had escaped from Berkeley by killing a doorkeeper who was later buried in his place, before moving to Corfe and finally leaving England altogether, pursuing a wandering life in Ireland and on the Continent, and ending his days in one or more hermitages in northern Italy. His body was then allegedly laid in a tomb at the abbey of Sant Alberto di Butrio before being transferred to the already-existing tomb at Gloucester, which Ian Mortimer argues took place in the early 1340s, possibly in 1342.44 The context of Edward’s supposed death in September 1327 was a series of increasingly determined attempts to free him from captivity, first from Kenilworth in March and April 1327, which led directly to Edward’s removal to Berkeley Castle in May. In July, a further plot culminated in an attack on the castle which may have brought about Edward’s release from his prison. Whether he remained within the walls of the castle or was temporarily freed altogether is unknown, but he was certainly swiftly recaptured.45 However, recent research by David Smith and his colleagues has shown that the castle suffered considerable damage in the attack.46 It is also likely that while the repairs were being carried out, Edward was moved for a time to another location, probably Corfe Castle, where he may have been for at least a month, before being returned to Berkeley.47 If he was indeed at Corfe,

4 4 ‘Hotly contested’ is not too strong a term for the debate, led by Dr. Ian Mortimer and expressed first in his paper ‘Death of Edward II in Berkeley Castle’, pp. 1175–214, and then, most forcefully, in his book Medieval Intrigue, which appeared a few months after my own and was in a sense ‘lying in wait’ for my book. In his book, he contributes an essay in which I am cast as one of ‘Twelve angry scholars: reactions to “The Death of Edward II”’, with himself presumably in the Henry Fonda role of ‘juror number 8’: cf. the 1957 film version of Reginald Rose’s 1954 play, ‘Twelve Angry Men’. On the supposed date of Edward’s death, see Mortimer, Medieval Intrigue, pp, 176–7, 212. The ‘Mortimer argument’ has been taken up by, among others, Kathryn Warner in her books Edward II the Unconventional King and Long Live the King and Stephen Spinks’ Edward II, The Man; and reiterated in a public lecture on the death of Edward II given by Dr. Mortimer at TNA in Kew in June 2018. For counterarguments, see Phillips, Edward II, pp. 565–74, 577–99, and Chapter 12, ‘Afterlives’; and Andy King’s recent paper, “The Death of Edward II Revisited’, pp. 1–21, especially pp. 19–21. See also Haines, ‘Roger Mortimer’s Scam’, pp. 139–56; Haines, ‘Edwardus redivivus’, pp. 65–86. 45 Phillips, Edward II, pp. 542–7. 46 ‘During the raid damage was done to doors, locks and other fixtures and fittings which is recorded in the accounts. In particular the castle had been made insecure by damage to a postern door, presumably the raiders’ means of entry, and emergency measures were needed: ten men were brought in to block it up in a single day. Some of these works were new, strengthening security rather merely repairing damage, but the accounts do not always distinguish between them. The bars, probably for windows, were new work. The broken windows of the chapel were not necessarily caused during the raid’: Smith, Edward II: His Last Months, pp. 43–4 (photographs 79, 82 of records).

298  Seymour Phillips this might help to explain some of the later stories about his survival there after 1327. The discovery in early September 1327 of yet another plan to free Edward, this time by adherents in Wales, was one conspiracy too many and was followed by his reported death on 21 September, probably at the hands of Thomas Gurney and William Ockley.48 Thomas de Berkeley was conveniently absent at his nearby manor of Bradley, either genuinely through illness, as he was to claim in 1330, or because he had been warned to stay out of the way while events unfolded, but not so far away as to be unable to report on their outcome.49 These events do not of course in themselves actually prove that Edward II did die in September 1327, but they make it highly likely. Further context is provided by the seriously disturbed state of England in the wake of the unprecedented deposition of a legitimate anointed king, however unsatisfactory a ruler he had been in practice: the growing tension between Roger Mortimer and Henry of Lancaster; the continuing war with Scotland and the danger of a renewal of war with France; and the belief among sympathizers with the former king, of whom there were many, even after his reported death and burial that he was in fact still alive.50 This culminated in the attempt in 1330 by Edmund, earl of Kent, to contact his half-brother Edward, in the belief that he was being held in custody in Corfe Castle. On the basis of the earl of Kent’s confession and a letter between the London merchant Simon Swanlond and William Melton the archbishop of York, Kathryn Warner has argued strongly that the former king was indeed alive and might be released from captivity.51 However, circumstantial as these stories are, there is no convincing evidence that Edward really was alive. Neither the earl of Kent nor the archbishop of York had direct contact with the supposed prisoner at Corfe, and depended on third parties who claimed without supporting evidence that the king was alive. In his confession, as recorded in Murimuth’s chronicle, the earl of Kent said that he had written to John Deveril, the constable of Corfe.52 According to the version of events in the Brut, which also includes a supposed letter from the earl to Edward himself, the constable had admitted that Edward was in his charge but that nobody was permitted to see him.53 In a further detail, Geoffrey le Baker claimed that a Dominican friar who was sent to Corfe by the earl of Kent to confirm that his brother was alive,

48 Phillips, Edward II, pp. 547–9. 49 Smith, Edward II: His Last Months, pp. 33, 41 (photo 75); Phillips, Edward II, pp. 572–3, 577–81. 50 See Phillips, Edward II, pp. 542–50, 565–71.

Some afterthoughts on Edward II  299 bribed a doorkeeper, made his way inside in layman’s dress and saw Edward dining splendidly.54 The truth will probably never be known. It was most likely a product of wishful thinking and hope on the part of friars and others who had participated in the plots to free Edward II from captivity while he was certainly still alive, current enemies of Roger Mortimer and agents provocateurs (probably including John Deveril and William de Kingsclere) acting on Mortimer’s behalf.55 There is little doubt that Mortimer knew much about the plot well before the earl of Kent and the archbishop of York were arrested and questioned. For example, it is possible that a messenger from the earl of Kent was deliberately allowed into Corfe and did indeed see someone ‘dining splendidly’ but without being allowed close enough to see whether it really was the former king.56 The crux of the debate lies in how we interpret the record of the interrogation of Edward II’s jailor Thomas de Berkeley during the November 1330 parliament, in which he said that he did not know about Edward II’s death until the present parliament (nec unquam scivit de morte sua usque in presenti parliamento isto).57 This could mean, as Ian Mortimer argues, Berkeley claimed ‘that he had not at any time heard of the death’, that is, he had only just become aware of Edward II’s death, as a result of the recent trial of Roger Mortimer and his associates,58 or, as I would argue, it can also, and probably does, mean that he did not know about the circumstances of the death until 1330. Bear in mind that Berkeley is also recorded as claiming that ‘he was never an accomplice, a helper or a procurer in his death’ (ipse nuncquam fuit consentiens, auxilians, seu procurans, ad mortem suam), which surely means that Berkeley knew that the death had occurred but that he claimed he had no part in it.59 Bear in mind too that he had written to Edward III under his own seal in September 1327 to announce the former king’s death. It is doubly unfortunate that the text of this letter, presumably

54 ‘Nocte introducitur in aulam, iussus induere habitum secularem, ne perciperetur, videbaturque sibi ipsum videre Edwardum patrem regis cene splendide assidentem’: Le Baker, ed. Thompson, p. 44.


300  Seymour Phillips written in Norman French, has not survived, and that the report in the 1330 parliament roll of Berkeley’s words is a summary in Latin of an interrogation which was presumably also conducted in Norman French.60 Which brings me finally to the Fieschi Letter, which I have discussed elsewhere, addressed to Edward III between 1336 and 1338 by the papal notary Manuel Fieschi, containing the confession of someone claiming to be the former Edward II and detailing his wanderings through England, Ireland, France, Germany, the Low Countries and Italy as well as visiting the pope in Avignon. The letter has been the object of fascination and controversy since its discovery in the 1870s by the French scholar Alexandre Germain among the records of the diocese of Maguelone preserved in Montpellier. Manuel Fieschi had close links to the English crown and held several valuable benefices in England; while a near relative of his, Nicolino Fieschi, acted as a confidential agent for Edward III in the 1330s and 1340s.61 Neither of them had met the real Edward II, but another near relative, cardinal Luke Fieschi, who had been a papal envoy in England in 1317–1318 at a particularly delicate time in English politics and knew Edward well, was at Avignon until his death in 1336. The Fieschi were certainly aware of the difficulties which might be caused to the English crown by someone genuinely or even falsely claiming to be the former Edward II, especially at a time when England and France were moving inexorably towards war. It is likely that with the prior involvement and approval of the pope, and perhaps even of Edward III, Manuel and Nicolino de Fieschi then ensured that ‘Edward’ was held in safe custody in places in northern Italy that were under the control or influence of the Fieschi family. Their motivation was probably, as I have suggested, to avoid embarrassment to Edward III. Manuel’s letter to Edward III would thus in effect bring him up to date with events.62 However, the letter could also, as both Ian Mortimer and David Smith have argued, have been used, if it suited the interests of the papacy, in order to disrupt Edward III’s claim 60 Although there are no surviving parliament rolls for the six parliaments held between September 1327 and March 1330, there is no evidence as Mortimer argues that they were destroyed in case they (and other records) contained any evidence ‘that might cast doubt upon his regnal legitimacy’: Mortimer, Medieval Intrigue, pp. 175–6. The records of the following six parliaments between November 1330 and January 1333 are contained in a single composite parliament roll (C 65/2). If a similar pattern was followed for the six earlier parliaments, the accidental loss of such a roll at a later date is all too possible. For comparison, of the twenty-six assemblies held during Edward II’s reign, a parliament roll survives for only eight and some of those (notably 1312, 1318 and 1321) are fragmentary. See PROME and Phillips, ‘Parliament in the Reign of Edward II’, p. 27. 61 In 1997, I visited the Archives départementales de l’Hérault in Montpellier to examine the text of the Fieschi letter in Series G 1123: Cartulaire de Maguelone, Register A, fol. 86r. I also did considerable research on the Fieschi and their relations with the English crown. In 1999, I was also able to visit the sites in Northern Italy associated with ‘Edward’, notably Cecima and Sant’Alberto di Butrio. For a detailed discussion of the subject see Phillips, Edward II, pp. 582–96. See also Ian Mortimer’s essay, ‘Edward III, his Father and the Fieschi’ in Medieval Intrigue, pp. 175–233; and King, ‘The Death of Edward II Revisited’, pp. 17–9. 62 Phillips, Edward II, pp. 591–3. See also Mortimer, Medieval Intrigue, pp. 182–9, 197–206.

Some afterthoughts on Edward II  301 to the French throne by throwing doubt on his own legitimacy as king or to try to disrupt Edward III’s alliance with the Emperor Ludwig IV.63 It is also possible that the letter was no more than a draft which was never actually sent or employed, for whatever purpose. This is strongly suggested by the fact that the clerk who copied the Fieschi letter into the register of the diocese of Maguelone added the word vacat (‘it is vacant’ or ‘it is cancelled’) alongside the transcript, while the contemporary index volume of the registers of the diocese omits any mention of the letter.64 My own opinion is that, if the wanderer really was the former king, it is surprising that he was initially allowed to continue his travels after leaving Avignon, even if he was accompanied by a minder, especially since he also visited places such as Brabant, where his sister Margaret was the widow of Duke John II, and Paris which he had visited several times as king. There was a considerable risk that a deposed king, however diminished in status and however humble in appearance, would attract attention both from those who knew or guessed his identity and from foreign enemies who might find ways to use him against the kingdom of England. If the French monarchy, in particular, had picked up any hint of Edward’s possible existence, or even that of a wandering imposter, it would certainly have exploited the information. Some such suspicion may have lain behind the seizure of Nicolino Fieschi in Avignon in April 1340 by French agents who had crossed the Rhône.65 However Ian Mortimer argues forcefully that the wanderer really was the former Edward II. He also argues that ‘Edward’ had been taken from Berkeley to Corfe and released from custody to begin his wanderings dressed as a hermit after the fall of Roger Mortimer in November 1330.66 This raises another question. If ‘Edward’ was released from custody, by whom was he released? It is difficult to believe that if the new regime of Edward III knew or suspected that the former king was alive in Corfe Castle, they would simply have allowed him to leave the country, with all the risks that would have entailed, or that they had not checked to discover who, if anyone, was living in Corfe. Like myself, Mortimer emphasizes the role of the Fieschi and the pope in ‘Edward’s’ custody in Italy.67 We are also in agreement that the man calling himself William le Galeys, who was brought to meet Edward III in Germany in 1338, was the same as the man detained in Italy, although we disagree on

64 Phillips, Edward II, p. 584. I have modified my view of the letter, which I previously argued had been sent to Edward III.

302  Seymour Phillips William’s identity.68 In conclusion, while I am still of the opinion that Edward II did die at Berkeley in September 1327, there is room for debate as to his ultimate fate. Research (and controversy) will no doubt continue.69

Bibliography Manuscript sources Berkeley Castle Muniments Select Rolls 39, 41, 42 Cambridge, Trinity College Library MS R.5.41 Dublin City Archives DCA 18 France, Archives départementales de l’Hérault, Montpellier Series G 1123, Cartulaire de Maguelone, Register A London, The National Archives C 65: Chancery, Parliament Rolls DL 27: Duchy of Lancaster, Deeds, Series LS E 175: Exchequer, King’s Remembrancer and Treasury of the Receipt, Parliament and Council Proceedings, Series II E 352: Exchequer, Pipe Office, Chancellor’s Rolls London, British Library (BL) MS Additional 24686 MS Cotton Titus A XIX MS Egerton 3028 MS. Royal 20.A.II London, Inner Temple Library MS Petyt 511 Oxford, Bodleian Library MS Rawlinson D. 329 Vienna, Austrian National Library ÖNB, MS 2534 Wiltshire, Longleat House (Marquess of Bath) Longleat MS 26

68 Ibid., pp. 178–82; Phillips, Edward II, pp. 594–6. Contrary to Mortimer’s assertion that the appearance of William le Galeys at Koblenz in 1338 came as a surprise to Edward III, I think it was prearranged. Even if Edward III knew that William was not his father, it would be perfectly understandable for him to be curious to know more.

Some afterthoughts on Edward II  303 Printed primary sources Adae Murimuth Continuatio Chronicarum, ed. E. M. Thompson, Rolls Series (London, 1889). Anglo-Norman Political Songs, Anglo-Norman Texts, ed. I. S. T. Aspin, AngloNorman Text Society 9 (Oxford, 1953). The Brut or the Chronicle of England, ed. F. W. D. Brie, EETS OS 131 (London, 1906). Calendar of Close Rolls (CCR) Calendar of Patent Rolls (CPR) Chronicon Galfridi le Baker de Swynebroke, ed. E. M. Thompson (Oxford, 1889). Flores Historiarum, ed. H.R. Luard, Rolls Series, 3 vols (London, 1890). The Parliament Rolls of Medieval England, ed. P. Brand, A. Curry, C. Given-Wilson, R. E. Horrox, G. Martin, W. M. Ormrod and J. R. S. Phillips, 16 vols (Woodbridge, 2005) –and online edition (PROME).

Secondary sources Bigelow, M. M., ‘The Bohun Wills’, American Historical Review 1 (1896), 414–35. Chrimes, S. B. and Brown, A. L., Select Documents of English Constitutional History, 1307–1485 (London, 1961). Duffy, E., The Stripping of the Altars (New Haven, CT and London, 1992). Given-Wilson, C., Edward II: The Terrors of Kingship (London, 2016). Haines, R. M., ‘Edwardus redivivus: the ‘afterlife’ of Edward of Caernarvon’, Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society 114 (1997), 65–86. Haines, R. M., ‘Roger Mortimer’s Scam’, Transactions of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society 126 (2008), 139–56. Heyam, K., The Reputation of Edward II, 1305-1697: A Literary Transformation of History (Amsterdam, 2020). King, A., ‘The Death of Edward II Revisited’, in FCE IX, ed. G. Dodd & J. Bothwell (Woodbridge, 2016), pp. 1–21. Marvin, J., The Construction of Vernacular History in the Anglo-Norman Prose Brut Chronicle (Woodbridge, 2017). McKendrick, S., Lowden, J. and Doyle, K., ed., Royal Manuscripts: The Genius of Illumination (London, 2011). Mortimer, I., The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, Ruler of England, 1327–1330 (London, 2003). Mortimer, I., ‘The Death of Edward II in Berkeley Castle’, EHR 120 (2005), 1175–214. Mortimer, I., The Perfect King: The Life of Edward III, Father of the English Nation (London, 2006). Mortimer, I., Medieval Intrigue: Decoding Royal Conspiracies (London, 2010). Mortimer, I., ‘Documentary Enlightenment: The Death of Edward II and the Principles of Historical Methodology’, public lecture given at TNA, Kew in June 2018. Ormrod, W. M., Edward III (New Haven, CT and London, 2011). Phillips, S., ‘Edward II and the Prophets’, in England in the Fourteenth Century: Proceedings of the 1985 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. W. M. Ormrod (Woodbridge, 1986), pp. 189–201. Phillips, S., Edward II (New Haven, CT and London, 2010).

304  Seymour Phillips Phillips, S., ‘Kings in Captivity: The Case of Edward II of England, ‘The Island King’, Quaestiones Medii Aevi Novae, 18, Kings in Captivity (2013), 37–58. Phillips, S., ‘Parliament in the Reign of Edward II’, FCE X, ed. G. Dodd (Woodbridge, 2018), pp. 25–46. Phillips, S., ‘Tout and the Reign of Edward II’, in Thomas Frederick Tout: Refashioning History for the Twentieth Century, ed. C. M. Barron and J. T. Rosenthal, Institute of Historical Research Conference Series (London, 2019), pp. 107–22. Rees, W., Caerphilly Castle and Its Place in Annals of Glamorgan (Caerphilly, 1974). Smallwood, T., ‘The Lament of Edward II’, Modern Language Review 68 (1973), 521–9. Smith, D., Barlow, J., Bryant, R., Heighway, C. and Jeens, C., Edward II: His Last Months and His Monument (King’s Stanley, 2015). Smyth, J., of Nibley, The Lives of the Berkeleys, ed. Sir J. Maclean (Gloucester, 1883). Spinks, S., Edward II, The Man: A Doomed Inheritance (Stroud, 2017). Stanton, A. R., ‘Design, Devotion and Durability in Gothic Prayerbooks’, in Manuscripta Illuminata: Approaches to Understanding Medieval and Renaissance Manuscripts, ed. C. Hourihane (Princeton, NJ, 2014), pp. 87–107. Stones, A., ‘The Egerton Brut and its Illustrations’, in ‘Maistre Wace”: A Celebration, ed. G. S. Burgess and J. Weiss (St Helier, 2006), pp. 167–76. Turner, T. H., ‘The Will of Humphrey de Bohun earl of Hereford and Essex, with extracts from the inventory of his effects, 1319–1322’, Archaeological Journal 2 (1845), 339–49. Tyson, D., ‘Lament for a Dead King’, JMH 30 (2004), 359–75. Valente, C., ‘The “Lament of Edward II”: Religious Lyric, Political Propaganda’, Speculum 67 (2002), 422–39. Warner, K., ‘The Adherents of Edmund of Woodstock, Earl of Kent, in March 1330’, EHR 76 (2011), 789–805. Warner, K., Edward II the Unconventional King (Stroud, 2014). Warner, K., Isabella of France: The Rebel Queen (Stroud, 2016). Warner, K., Long Live the King: The Mysterious Fate of Edward II (Stroud, 2017). Warner, K., Hugh Despenser the Younger and Edward II: Downfall of a King’s Favourite (Barnsley, 2018).

Internet resources The Auramala Project: Warner, K., Blog on Edward II:

16 ‘A woman given to slippery ways’? The reputation of Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent David Green

The reputation of Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent (c. 1328–1385), was at best mixed during her lifetime and it has remained so ever since. She remains (in)famous for her marital entanglements with Thomas Holland (d. 1360), William Montague (d. 1397) and finally Edward the Black Prince (d. 1376). Impressions of her character and appearance have been coloured by Jean Froissart’s well-worn description of her as a woman more beautiful and amorous (or possibly ‘loving’) than any in the realm (la plus belle… et plus amoreuse),1 and other authors, perhaps in a similar fashion, suggest Joan was often at the mercy of her various bodily ‘appetites’.2 Contrasting evidence, however, suggests the Fair Maid to have been a diplomatic woman, blessed with political acumen and dedicated to the good of the realm. The disjunction between these images is striking. Together, of course, they reflect the typical manner in which medieval women were stereotyped and, in the case of the former, the defamation most of those suffered who stepped, willingly or otherwise, into the political arena. Nonetheless, the dichotomy may be seen in other evidence less prone to such obvious partiality. It appears, for example, to be reflected in Joan’s domestic circumstances and in the character and composition of her household. It is apparent that the court Joan and Edward established at Bordeaux and Angoulême during the period of the principality of Aquitaine (1362–1370) was lavish, perhaps excessively so, as was her personal expenditure on clothing and jewellery.3 Yet she also surrounded herself with individuals who had serious cultural and literary interests as well as austere religious leanings. Indeed, her later household became home to a number of people suspected of having Lollard sympathies and she was closely involved in efforts to protect John Wyclif from persecution. There is, of course, no reason to believe Joan was as one-dimensional as either of these extremes suggests, nor why we should not accept that her

306  David Green character changed and developed as she aged and took on greater responsibilities. As a result of her marriage to the heir apparent (in 1361) and later through her position as the king’s mother (from 1377), the domestic (household) sphere over which she could have expected a degree of control became extended into the kingdom at large, where influence wielded by a woman was commonly distrusted. It is in this context that Joan’s reputation was of particular significance. It is clear that towards the end of her life, she did much to ameliorate the febrile political conditions that surrounded the accession and first years of the reign of her last-born child Richard II (b. 1367), and yet her reputation would prove one of the factors that led to or, at least, excused his deposition. Joan’s reputation, conflicted during her lifetime, remains divided because of the nature of the available sources and the character of those (near-)contemporaries who detailed her life. Archival evidence from Joan’s household as countess of Kent, princess of Wales and Aquitaine or as the King’s Mother is sparse at best. Monastic authorities such as Thomas Walsingham, Adam Usk and Henry Knighton were wary of the authority she might wield, especially after her support for Wyclif became apparent, while authors of chivalric works such as Froissart and Chandos Herald tended to view her in simplistic, ‘romantic’ terms as a beautiful adjunct standing radiantly and quietly in support of her menfolk. In recent years, Penny Lawne and Tony Goodman have filled the lacunae in certain aspects of Joan’s life and career with two popular biographies. In spite of these works, however, the issue of Joan’s reputation remains worthy of discussion. This paper is less concerned with the veracity of contradictory evidence than with what that evidence suggests about the relationship between Joan’s liminal position in the English political hierarchy and her personal reputation, and it will consider how each influenced the other. In so doing, it will touch on just a few of the themes and issues Mark Ormrod explored to such good effect in his numerous publications as well as other areas of research he inspired in his students, colleagues and friends. Mark’s own work on Joan, her sexual reputation and her experiences during the Peasants’ Revolt (1381) will be evident throughout.4 This paper also seeks to take advantage of the wealth of scholarship, recently published and ongoing, concerning queenship and the position of elite women in late medieval society. This provides a different methodology and a new lens through which to consider the Fair Maid as well as a series of archetypes that can be used to evaluate her career and influence. Even with these in mind, however, it is not easy to find an entirely suitable comparison for Joan. She spent nearly fifteen years expecting to become queen and yet was never crowned. It is difficult to think of any woman with a similar experience in England. As the king’s mother during her son’s minority, certain aspects of Joan’s career bear comparison with those of Isabella of

Reputation of Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent  307 5

Angoulême (d. 1246), Isabella of France (d. 1358)6 and Katherine de Valois (d. 1437).7 Other resemblances may be seen with Elizabeth Woodville (d. 1492) who was a widowed mother when she married in 1464 and whose children would also have their legitimacy called into question.8 Had she lived rather longer, Blanche of Lancaster (d. 1368), given her cultural interests and her rise from the peerage into the ranks of royalty, could have provided some parallels.9 As a woman of influence with a reputation questioned by many, Joan’s contemporary Alice Perrers (d. 1401/1402) offers a different model, even if the match is very far from perfect.10 Similarly, although the comparison is by no means exact and certain differences profound, the career and reputation of Katherine Swynford (d. 1403), especially in the years after Henry IV’s accession, also offers interesting parallels.11 What most of these women did share with Joan were the questions raised about their reputation – their ‘honour’. The latter concept is a slippery one and highly gendered in its application.12 As Christine de Pizan wrote in the Le livre du Trésor de la Cité des Dames (1405): there is nothing that is so becoming to a noble [woman] as honour…If she does not lead a life by which she acquires praise, honour and a good reputation by doing good, she entirely lacks honour.13 In connection with this issue, Mary Flannery has noted that: later medieval English texts depict the practice of shamefastness as essential for the preservation of female honour…Shamefastness is not an emotion, but is rather a disposition towards and susceptibility to shame: a state of vigilance that simultaneously guards one against shame and makes one more sensitive to it.14

308  David Green This was perhaps a disposition Joan could not cultivate, or because of force of circumstances, she became particularly susceptible to accusations that called her honour into question. Many of the praiseworthy deeds she performed later in life would be called into question on account of events that took place in her childhood and adolescence.

Births, marriages and deaths The political aftershocks from Edward II’s deposition determined the direction of Joan’s early life. In 1330, her father, Edmund of Woodstock, earl of Kent, was executed for treason when she was only two years of age. Soon after, she was taken into the royal household and into the care of Queen Philippa (d. 1369), whose influence on Joan’s life should not be underestimated. The queen, however, had nothing to do with the clandestine marriage Joan undertook in late 1339 or early 1340 when aged only twelve to Thomas Holand. The union, although consummated, remained secret and because of this and perhaps also believing erroneously that Holand had died while campaigning in Prussia, Joan was convinced or compelled in the winter of 1340–1341 to marry the rather more suitable William Montague, son of the earl of Salisbury. It was only in 1347 that Holand found himself in a position, financially and politically, to begin proceedings at the papal court to reclaim his bride. After a protracted case, on 13 November 1349 the pope declared the marriage to Montague void, and Thomas and Joan could live as husband and wife.15 The decade that followed appears to have been a happy one for the couple, although Holand was absent, campaigning in France, for much of the later 1350s. Indeed, it was while serving in Normandy that he died late in 1360. Joan, however, did not remain unwed for long – less than a year afterwards she married the Black Prince. If Joan’s marriage to Holand had been inappropriate for her, then that contracted with Edward of Woodstock was deeply unsuitable for him. It was remarkable enough that the prince had not yet married, given that by this time he was thirty-one years of age, but marriage to a woman with such a colourful past was extraordinary.16 Edward III appears to have been frustrated by his son’s actions, although it seems unlikely that his anger and embarrassment was as extreme as is sometimes suggested. Indeed, the king assisted the couple in securing the necessary licences from the papacy. A dispensation was required, given that the parties involved were cousins and related within the third and prohibited degree.17 Successive Angevin

Reputation of Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent  309 and Plantagenet kings had sought political advantage in marrying foreign brides, especially from France and the Iberian peninsula. Given this policy, the marriage to Joan should be considered a lost opportunity, but it is noteworthy that contemporaries made no complaints of the sort engendered by Richard II’s marriage to Anne of Bohemia, the impoverished ‘little scrap of humanity’.18 Rather, the king, it seems, tried to turn the prince’s marriage to Joan to his advantage by making it a display of English independence. If Valois rulers might take brides from their own nation, why should the Plantagenet heir be denied the same opportunity?19 Such a statement of confidence was not insignificant, given that the marriage took place during the lull in the Hundred Years War brought about by the treaty of Brétigny (1360). This agreement appended very considerable territories to the English duchy of Gascony and the prince was dispatched to take charge of these. It may be significant that he seems to have moved more quickly to ensure the presence in Bordeaux of his goldsmith and two embroiderers than to ensure his administrators had enough money for their own expenses.20 The court Edward and Joan established would become characterized by display and conspicuous consumption.21 This was most evident in a tournament held to commemorate Joan’s churching and to celebrate the birth of their first child Edward of Angoulême in 1365. The Chronicle of the Grey Friars of Lynn suggests that on this occasion, Joan’s retinue consisted of twenty-four knights and twenty-four lords, while a further 154 lords and 706 knights attended the festivities. The prince is said to have stabled 18,000 horses at his own expense and the celebrations lasted for ten days. The cost of the candles alone is said to have exceeded £400.22 Such excesses delighted some and scandalized others. In a similar fashion, so too did Joan’s personal style and choice of clothing. She is said to have favoured tight-fitting garments of silk and ermine with low-cut necklines

22 Gransden, ‘A Fourteenth Century Chronicle’, p. 271.

310  David Green and wore pearls and precious stones in her hair.23 While many sought to emulate her, others were appalled. A Breton lord, Jean de Beaumanoir, noted that he expected his wife to dress as an ‘honest women’ and not to adopt the ‘fashions of the mistresses of the English or the Free Companies’. He was ‘disgusted by those women who follow such a bad example, particularly the princess of Wales’.24 The comparison suggested between Joan and a mercenary’s mistress indicates that by this point and even in France the Fair Maid’s reputation had been sullied.25 Regardless of this, by comparison with her mother-in-law, Joan may be considered rather parsimonious. Payments of £715 13s. 6d. to Giles Davynell, an embroiderer, for work for the prince, Joan and her daughters, and of £200 for jewelled buttons for the princess may seem exorbitant, especially since 2,000 marks were set aside annually for the expenses of her chamber.26 However, the stolid Philippa of Hainault spent around £20,000 on clothing and jewellery over the last ten years of her life. It was after all ‘expected of a queen that she should…use her appearance for the purpose of enhancing the regal image’.27 To a lesser degree, this must also be true of a queen-in-waiting.

Lollardy and the stain of heresy It was, however, from the household of the prince and princess of Wales that evidence emerges of an apparently anomalous aspect of Joan’s character and reputation. In the later fourteenth century, anti-papalism, anti- clericalism and the fear of sudden death brought by plague and war encouraged many among the English secular elite to seek out different foci for their religious patronage and more austere forms of worship.28 In most cases, this encouraged support for thoroughly orthodox, albeit somewhat ascetic, monastic orders such as the Carthusians. Soon after his marriage, Edward began making modest grants to the Selwood charterhouse (five marks a year) as well as the prior and order of Hinton near Bath (ten marks a year) and the

23 Emerson, Black Prince, p. 171; Sherborne, ‘Aspects of English Court Culture’, pp. 14–6; Barber, Edward III and the Triumph of England, pp. 89–95. 24 Cited by Dupuy, Le Prince Noir, p. 200. 25 See also Chronique des quatre premiers Valois, ed. Luce, pp. 123–5, in which the author suggests Joan seduced the prince when he visited her to ask if she would consider the suit of one of his knights, Bernard Brocas. The concerns expressed with clothing were, of course, far from new, nor were they restricted to female attire. The author of the Brut blamed the garments worn by Queen Philippa’s Hainaulters for ‘many of the evils and misfortunes that have beset the kingdom’; cited by Newton, Fashion in the Age of the Black Prince, p. 9. 26 BPR, IV, pp. 427–8, 476, 500. 27 Sekules, ‘Dynasty and Patrimony in the Self-Construction of an English Queen’, p. 167; Stafford, Queens, Concubines and Dowagers, pp. 108–9. 28 Thomson, ‘Orthodox Religion and the Origins of Lollardy’, pp. 39–55; Swanson, ‘Problems of the Priesthood’, pp. 845–69; Harper-Bill, ‘English Church and English Religion’, pp. 79–123.

Reputation of Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent  311 prior of Witham (five marks a year).29 Joan maintained some of these payments after Edward’s death, and in 1383 she made a further grant to Michael de la Pole (d. 1389), a former retainer of the prince and by that time chancellor, to support the Maison Dieu in Myton (the Carthusian hospital at Kingston-upon-Hull), which he had founded.30 In some cases, however, a demand for ecclesiastical reform and a search for personal salvation led to the explorations of less orthodox and perhaps even heretical alternatives.31 Although eventually shunned by the ‘Establishment’, John Wyclif initially found favour with a number of the royal family, including the princess of Wales. In addition to its anti-clerical and anti-papal connotations, his demand for a general reformatio Ecclesiae to be overseen by the lay powers accorded with the Crown’s wish to extend its authority in the spiritual sphere.32 As a result of this, he has been seen as a spokesman and propagandist for the court and accordingly, he was protected by the royal family, certainly in the years prior to the Peasants’ Revolt. Joan appears to have played a significant role in orchestrating Wyclif’s defence against prosecution in 1378. In the previous year, Pope Gregory XI (1370–1378) had issued five bulls condemning Wyclif’s ideas. When the authorities at Oxford failed to act against him, Wyclif was commanded to appear before an episcopal tribunal at Lambeth. According to Walsingham, Joan despatched Lewis Clifford to demand that the bishops take no action against Wyclif and they submitted meekly to her will. Whether this truly explains what transpired must remain open to question. It may be that Walsingham simply wished to provide an explanation for Wyclif’s escape from censure and punishment that suited him. In actuality, it may be that the actions of the citizens of London who disrupted the meeting were significant in swaying opinion, while John of Gaunt may also have brought his influence to bear. There also seems little doubt that Wyclif responded to the charges brought against him with considerable skill – a fact Walsingham acknowledged but may not have wished to prioritize. In any event, it is either the case that Joan’s authority was very considerable at this point and she influenced matters herself or that Walsingham considered her authority to have been such that she might have been able to do so.33 It is also of interest that many of the so-called Lollard Knights, identified by Henry Knighton and Thomas Walsingham, first came to prominence in the households of

29 BPR, IV, pp. 423, 462, 488. See also Tuck, ‘Carthusian Monks and Lollard Knights’, pp. 149–61; Hogg, ‘Life in an English Charterhouse’, pp. 19–60. 30 E.g. BL Ch 2130; Tuck, ‘Pole, Michael de la, first earl of Suffolk’.

312  David Green the prince and princess of Wales.34 Indeed, four of their number John Clanvowe (d. 1391), the aforementioned Lewis Clifford (d. 1404), William Neville (d. 1391) and Richard Stury (d. 1395) were among the executors of Joan’s will, while another, William Beauchamp (d. 1411), may also have held somewhat unorthodox beliefs.35 However, it is far from certain that these men were staunch Wyclifites in reality. The attitudes of Sir John Clanvowe may be broadly representative of the ‘group’ as a whole. While his treatise The Two Ways (c. 1390) may be seen as somewhat ‘puritanical’ and with certain Lollard sympathies, it was far from a direct endorsement of Wyclif’s ideas.36 Furthermore, even if the princess’ household did harbour individuals whose attitudes were a little unconventional, perhaps inhabiting some ‘noman’s land’ a little beyond the orthodox but not yet clearly heretical, others connected with it had no such qualms about the state of the Church.37 Among Joan’s other executors were Robert Braybroke (d. 1404) and William of Wickham (d. 1404), bishops of London and Winchester, respectively.38 Evidence for Wyclifite sympathies is sometimes said to be found in requests for simple, austere funerals, although there are a number of problems with this approach and individuals who were in other ways entirely orthodox might leave instructions for ascetic ceremonies or even call for the denigration of their body after death.39 There is no such suggestion in Joan’s will. She asked to be buried alongside Thomas Holand at the now lost Grey Friars house in Stamford (Lincolnshire). In many ways this seems an odd rather remote choice, although the foundation was certainly of considerable antiquity and the burial place of her kinswoman Blanche Wake (d. 1380) as well as her ‘first’ husband.40 Perhaps, like Queen Isabella, Joan may also have seen advantages, spiritual and political, in such a public association with the Franciscans.41 It has been suggested that the princess originally intended to be buried in one of chantries she and Edward had founded at 34 Kightly, ‘Lollard Knights’.

38 Joan petitioned the papacy on Braybroke’s behalf for a canonry and prebendary of York; Calendar of Papal Letters, Petitions, I, p. 397.

Reputation of Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent  313 Canterbury in return for the papal dispensation to marry.42 It is tempting to speculate whether her decision changed when it was decided to relocate the prince’s tomb from this same location to the much more splendid surroundings of the Trinity Chapel alongside Becket’s shrine. If so, the Stamford Grey Friars might be seen as a somewhat austere setting by comparison.43 There is certainly no reason to believe that Joan’s choice of burial site was the result of a difficult relationship with Edward. Indeed, such evidence as we have suggests quite the contrary. Chandos Herald painted a rather touching portrait of their reunion on the prince’s return from the Spanish campaign in 1368. He wrote: The princess came to meet him [Edward], and everyone rejoiced. They embraced tenderly when they met: the prince kissed his wife and son, and went on foot to his lodging, holding them by the hand.44 While we should not necessarily accept this as an accurate reflection of their relationship, it is noteworthy that the only personal letter the prince composed which remains was addressed to Joan, his Trescher et tresentier coer, bien ame compaigne.45 This, of course, was a letter recounting the battle of Nájera (1367) and designed for public consumption as part of an organized propaganda programme rather than a deeply personal communiqué. It is also the case that such letters, with the exception of those addressed to members of the clergy, were often effusive in their initial greetings. In missives composed during the 1355–1356 chevauchée, John Wingfield addressed Richard Stafford as ‘Most dear lord and most trustworthy friend’, and the Black Prince described the mayor, aldermen and commons of London as ‘Most dear and well beloved’.46 However, the salutation and expression of goodwill in the prince’s message to Joan appear heartfelt and perhaps rather more ardent than epistolary formulae used commonly. It was also, of course, unusual for such letters to be sent to women.47 Regardless of the reasons underpinning Joan’s decision to be buried in Stamford, her tomb certainly seems to have been a far less imposing and politically charged

46 Life and Campaigns of the Black Prince, ed. and trans. Barber, pp. 55, 57. 47 Williams, ‘English Vernacular Letters’, pp. 206–21; Kong, Lettering the Self, pp. 1–11.

314  David Green memorial than many of those chosen by her near-contemporaries. Queens Isabella and Philippa, for example, both made detailed plans for their own commemorations at the Grey Friars in London and at Westminster, respectively.48 Joan, of course, was not a queen, although as the king’s mother and prior to Richard’s marriage to Anne of Bohemia, she was the pre-eminent lady at court. The king’s mother Between July 1377 and January 1382, Joan occupied a powerful yet liminal position in the English political hierarchy: she was the king’s mother but had never herself been a queen. Her status was further confused by the circumstances of Richard II’s minority in which the pretence was maintained that he was fully competent to govern. In reality, the daily business of the realm was in the hands of a series of ‘continual councils’, the membership of which was comprised in no small part of men drawn from the households of the king’s mother and late father.49 While her influence over these councillors, men such as Richard Stafford (d. 1380), Hugh Segrave (d. c. 1387) and John Devereux (d. 1393) as well as Simon Burley (d. 1388) and John Fordham (d. 1425), who became, respectively, vice-chamberlain and keeper of the privy seal, cannot be easily assessed, neither should it be discounted. John of Gaunt’s absence from the ‘continual councils’ has often been noted and, in this context, his wish to maintain close links to his sister-in-law at this time may be significant.50 While her status remained uncertain, Joan nonetheless played many of the roles traditionally ascribed to queens, including as an intercessor and most obviously as a mother, which was ‘perhaps, the most important of all the queen’s responsibilities’.51 While Joan’s reputation became a political burden for Richard in his later years, there seems little doubt that he benefitted from her influence during her lifetime. The nature of their personal relationship is difficult to judge, but the king’s apparent fondness for his mother can perhaps be seen in his adoption of the White Hart as a personal device,52 while her grief at the estrangement between Richard and his stepbrother John Holand suggests a deep personal bond.53 Royal mothers were, of course, often encouraged to follow heavenly models. Given her 48 Ormrod, ‘Queenship, Death and Agency’, pp. 87–103. 49 Saul, Richard II, pp. 27–31. 50 Collette, ‘Joan of Kent’, pp. 351, 353–5; Goodman, John of Gaunt, pp. 275, 295 nn. 3–4.

Reputation of Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent  315 reputation, links between Mary and Joan are not to be found. Rather, references to her as the Fair Maid or even ‘the Virgin of Kent’ were most likely sarcastic.54 It is a further example of her conflicted reputation. Among her other ‘queenly’ duties, Joan served as an intercessor on several occasions.55 Of particular significance were her actions in 1377 and 1385, when she helped resolve conflicts between Gaunt and the city of London, and between Gaunt and the king. On this latter occasion, according to the Westminster Chronicler, a dispute among members of the royal council over policy regarding the Low Countries led to ‘grave dissension’ and the author suggested that a plot may even have been hatched to assassinate Gaunt, which the king approved. Joan’s actions, in this instance, appear to have been deeply significant in bridging the rift between the two men.56 Indeed, she appears to have developed such a reputation as a mediatrix that Adam Usk imagined she played a role in resolving, albeit temporarily, a dispute between Richard and the Lords Appellant which actually took place after her death.57 While there is no evidence that Joan sought to exercise the rights of a queen consort or the privileges of the ‘king’s mother’ in the manner of Margaret Beaufort, for example, there is no question that she was politically active and astute and the number of requests she made for pardons increased markedly after Richard’s accession.58 Even after the king’s marriage to Anne of Bohemia, Joan continued to receive petitions, if in smaller numbers than previously. Even though uncertain, Joan’s political influence was clearly recognized and she was often petitioned to request pardons, bequests or grants from the king and, on occasion, the papacy – some of these, incidentally, suggest her essential orthodoxy.59 Joan’s communications with the papacy included requests that her damsel Margery Mere be permitted to eat milk, cheese and eggs during Lent. This rather touching petition was granted, although only if it could be proven that pottage was ‘insufficient for her weakness’. Joan also made requests that her friends, Andrew and Elizabeth Lutterel, might have a portable altar and the right to choose their own confessor. She requested similarly that Marion Louches be permitted to have a portable altar, and that Johanetta Peverel and Walter Bary (her butler) receive

54 Barber, ‘Joan, suo jure countess of Kent’; Benz St John, Three Medieval Queens, pp. 12–3, 20–2.

316  David Green plenary remission of their sins. Joan also made a personal petition for plenary remission of sins at the hour of her death and permission to choose her own confessor who would have authority to commute her vows, with the exception of those of continence and pilgrimage. Such petitions contrast somewhat with those made by the Black Prince, which focused chiefly on securing benefices for members of his retinue. Although Joan’s reputation does not seem to have much inhibited her political activities in this period, she appears to have been a subject of gossip nonetheless, and this became a weapon with which to attack the king. A good reputation was an essential tool for a woman with any sort of role on the political stage of late medieval England. Maintaining one’s reputation – one’s honour – was vital. It has been suggested that noble women needed to ‘take particular care always to perform [i.e. demonstrate they had] a controlled personality in a controlled body, in highly controlled social circumstances’.60 Many authors were deeply concerned with the public implications of private (im)morality, and from this perspective, given her reputation, Joan suffered.61 According to such measures, Joan’s life had been far from controlled. Her marriage to Holand could be seen as headstrong and disobedient or even devious and undutiful, while that to the Black Prince has been described as ‘wilful, heedless and outrageous’. Indeed, it could be considered ‘sinful and invalid, since they were within forbidden degrees of kinship’.62 Even Knighton’s restrained account of her early marital strife suggested she wielded a certain sexual power – he wrote, ‘having secured a divorce from [Montague she] married Sir Thomas Holland, for whose desire for her [my italics] it was said the divorce had been made’.63 Joan’s sexual reputation may also have coloured accounts of the assaults said to have been inflicted on her during the Peasants’ Revolt. Indeed, some of these may be fictitious, designed to emphasize the inversion of society and the extent to which behavioural norms were transgressed in 1381, at least in the opinion of many who discussed the events. According to Walsingham, the rebels entered Joan’s chambers in the Tower displaying their ‘vile staves’ (baculis…uilissimis), rolled around on her bed and made lewd suggestions to her.64 Joan’s reputation may have made her a suitable character for Walsingham’s lurid description.

60 Colette, Performing Polity, pp. 31–2, 45. 61 See, for example, Lewis, ‘Women and Power’, pp. 323–50. 62 Goodman, Joan, the Fair Maid, pp. 23, 69. 64 The rebels ‘dared to enter the king’s chamber, and even his mother’s, with their vile staves… some of them invited the king’s mother to kiss them’; Walsingham, St Albans Chronicle, I, pp. 424–5; Ormrod, ‘In Bed with Joan of Kent’, pp. 279–83; Federico, ‘The Imaginary Society’, pp. 179–80.

Reputation of Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent  317 That carnal reputation would follow Joan into posterity. It can be seen in blatant terms in a case of treason brought early in 1388 against one Thomas Austin. His wife was said to have alleged that the ‘kynge [Richard II] was nevere the prynses sone and also … that his moder [Joan] was nevere but a strong hore’.65 Such accusations would continue to plague Richard. Although the 1399 deposition charges made no mention of the king’s supposed illegitimacy, Froissart suggested a conversation took place between Richard and Bolingbroke just prior to the king’s resignation of the throne in which Henry stated that Richard was ‘not the son of the prince of Wales, but of a priest or a canon’, and that the prince had been ‘jealous of the princess’ conduct…[although] she knew well how to keep [him] in her chains through subtlety’.66 Paul Strohm has noted that later medieval women tend to be portrayed in ‘such superficially different incarnations as mother, mediatrix, sorceress, whore’.67 Joan of Kent was no sorceress, but otherwise these conflicting stereotypes can all be found in accounts of her life. Often, they sit uncomfortably alongside one another as when Walsingham discussed Joan’s mediation in the dispute between Gaunt and the Londoners. On this occasion, her reputation and status were said to be such that ‘the citizens replied [to her entreaties] with all respect that out of regard for her they would do whatever she commanded’. And yet, during the events of 1381 she was treated as if she were a ‘common wench’.68 Similarly, when describing the quarrel between Gaunt and Richard in 1385, Walsingham emphasizes Joan’s gluttony and love of luxury while at the same time commending her wish to work for the good of the realm: Lady Joan, the king’s mother, refused to put up with the troubles of the kingdom, and though not strong and used to luxury, and hardly able to move about because she was so fat, nevertheless neglected her tranquil way of life, and gladly took upon herself the troublesome journey first to the king, and then to the duke, sparing no expense whatsoever and pleading with them humbly until she achieved her desire to restore peace and concord between the two men.69 In a comparable fashion, Adam Usk attributed to her remarkable political skill and foresight in an imagined incident in which Joan mediated between

66 Froissart, Chronicles of England, ed. Johnes, II, pp. 696–7.

318  David Green Richard and the Appellants, and yet, on the occasion of the king’s deposition, he wrote that: many unsavoury things were commonly said [concerning Richard’s birth], namely that he was not born of a father of the royal line, but of a mother given to slippery ways [ex matre lubrice vite dedita] – to say nothing of many other things I have heard.70 Perhaps the dichotomy is inevitable given the misogyny intrinsic to so many clerical commentators when faced with a woman of considerable skill and influence. Yet, Joan suffered not only on account of the reputation created through her various marriages but also because of her uncertain position in the political hierarchy. Although fulfilling many of the roles expected of queens, she lacked the precise status as well as some of the limited protections available to an anointed consort. If a queen may be said to have an official body, one created by unction and coronation, then her physical body remained a ‘site of sin and pollution’.71 Joan underwent no such transfiguration, and given her reputation this only made the charges against her more damaging. As with her supposed links to Lollardy, the princess appears to have often been found guilty by association rather than commission. Indeed, many of the comments that shaped and continue to shape her reputation may be mere fabrications. They serve nonetheless as instructive narratives which reflect the anxieties and agendas of their (male) authors.72 If we accept, as surely, we should, that ‘reginal activity is essential in reconstructing the dynamics of family structure, kingship and statecraft’ in the later medieval period, then although not a queen, the example of Joan of Kent adds significantly to our understanding of such issues.73 Her career provides instructive examples of many of those activities which have driven and continue to shape the direction of queenship studies, including patronage, political agency, household dynamics and diplomatic activity as well as issues of representation and reputation.74 It is, however, her liminal position and uncertain status, the fact that she stood both on the fringes of the royal family and at its centre, was both the victim of circumstance yet did much to shape the political character of a nation that made and continue to make her such a compelling figure.


Reputation of Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent  319

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320  David Green Barber, R., Edward III and the Triumph of England: The Battle of Crécy and the Company of the Garter (London, 2013). Benz St John, L., Three Medieval Queens: Queenship and the Crown in FourteenthCentury England (New York, 2012). Catto, J., ‘Sir William Beauchamp between Chivalry and Lollardy’, in The Ideals and Practices of Medieval Knighthood III, ed. C. Harper-Bill and R. Harvey (Woodbridge, 1990), pp. 39–48. Catto, J., ‘Fellows and Helpers: The Religious Identity of the Followers of Wyclif’, Studies in Church History Subsidia 11 (1999), pp. 141–61. Clarke, J. G., ‘Selling the Holy Places: Monastic Efforts to Win Back the People in Fifteenth-Century England’, in Social Attitudes and Political Structures in the Fifteenth Century, ed. T. Thornton (Stroud, 2000), pp. 13–32. Clarke, J. G., ‘Mare, Thomas de la (c.1309–1396)’, ODNB. Colette, C. P., Performing Polity: Women and Agency in the Anglo-French Tradition, 1385–1620 (Turnhout, 2006). Collette, C. P., ‘Joan of Kent and Noble Women’s Roles in Chaucer’s World’, The Chaucer Review 33 (1999), 350–62. Déprez, E., ‘La bataille de Najera (3 avril 1367): le communiqué du Prince Noir’, Revue historique 136 (1921), 37–59. Dupuy, M., Le Prince Noir: Edouard seigneur d’Aquitaine (Paris, 1970). Earenfight, T., Queenship in Medieval Europe (Houndmills, 2013). Emerson, B., The Black Prince (London, 1976). Federico, S., ‘The Imaginary Society: Women in 1381’, Journal of British Studies 40 (2001), 159–83. Finn, K. M., The Last Plantagenet Consorts: Gender, Genre, and Historiography, 1440–1627 (Houndmills, 2012). Fisher, S., ‘“Margaret R”: Lady Margaret Beaufort’s Self-Fashioning and Female Ambition’, in Virtuous or Villainess? The Image of the Royal Mother from the Early Medieval to the Early Modern Era, ed. C. Fleiner and E. Woodacre (Basingstoke, 2016), pp. 151–72. Flannery, M. C., Practising Shame: Female Honour in Later Medieval England (Manchester, 2019). Fleming, P., ‘Clifford, Sir Lewis (c.1330–1404)’, ODNB. Fowler, K. A., ‘News from the Front: Letters and Despatches of the Fourteenth Century’, in Guerre et société en France, en Angleterre et en Bourgogne, XIVe-XVe siècles, ed. P. Contamine, C. Giry-Deloison and M. Keen (Lille, 1991), pp. 63–92. Goodman, A., Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent: A Fourteenth-Century Princess and Her World (Woodbridge, 2017). Goodman, A., Katherine Swynford (Lincoln, 1994). Goodman, A., John of Gaunt: The Exercise of Princely Power in Fourteenth-Century Europe (Harlow, 1992). Gransden, A., ‘A Fourteenth Century Chronicle of the Grey Friars of Lynn’, EHR 72 (1957), 270–8. Green, D., ‘Edward the Black Prince: Lordship and Administration in the Plantagenet Empire’, in Ruling Fourteenth-Century England: Essays in Honour of Christopher Given-Wilson, ed. R. Ambühl, J. Bothwell and L. Tompkins (Woodbridge, 2019), pp. 185–204. Green, D., ‘The Tomb of Edward the Black Prince: Contexts and Incongruities’, Church Monuments 30 (2015), 106–23.

Reputation of Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent  321 Griffiths, R. A., ‘The Crown and the Royal Family in Later Medieval England’, in King and Country: England and Wales in the Fifteenth Century, ed. R. A. Griffiths (London, 1991), pp. 1–10. Hardman, P., ‘The “Book of the Duchess” as a Memorial Monument’, The Chaucer Review 28 (1994), 205–15. Harper-Bill, C., ‘The English Church and English Religion after the Black Death’, in The Black Death in England, ed. W. M. Ormrod and P. Lindley (Stamford, 1996), pp. 79–123. Hogg, J., ‘Life in an English Charterhouse in the Fifteenth Century: Discipline and Daily Affairs’, in Studies in Carthusian Monasticism in the Late Middle Ages, ed. J. Luxford (Turnhout, 2009), pp. 19–60. Huneycutt, L. L., ‘Queenship Studies Comes of Age’, Medieval Feminist Forum: A Journal of Gender and Sexuality 51 (2016), 9–16. Jones, M. K. and Underwood, M. G., The King’s Mother: Lady Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby (Cambridge, 1992). Kightly, C., ‘Lollard Knights (act. c.1380–c.1414)’, ODNB. Kong, K., Lettering the Self in Medieval and Early Modern France (Cambridge, 2010). Labarge, M. W., Gascony: England’s First Colony, 1204–1453 (London, 1980). Lacey, H., The Royal Pardon: Access to Mercy in Fourteenth-Century England (York, 2009). Lawne, P., Joan of Kent, the First Princess of Wales (Stroud, 2015). Laynesmith, J., ‘Telling Tales of Adulterous Queens in Medieval England: From Olympias of Macedonia to Elizabeth Woodville’, in Every Inch a King: Comparative Studies on Kings and Kingship in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds, ed. L. Mitchell and C. Melville (Leiden, 2013), pp. 195–214. Lewis, K. J., ‘Women and Power’, in Historians on John Gower, ed. S. H. Rigby with S. Echard (Cambridge, 2019), pp. 323–50. Maurer, H., Margaret of Anjou: Queenship and Power in Late Medieval England (Woodbridge, 2003). McFarlane, K. B., Lancastrian Kings and Lollard Knights (Oxford, 1972). McHardy, A. K., ‘Richard II: A Personal Portrait’, in The Reign of Richard II, ed. G. Dodd (Stroud, 2000), pp. 11–32. Monnas, L., ‘Fit for a King: Figured Silks Shown in the Wilton Diptych’, in The Regal Image of Richard II and the Wilton Diptych, ed. D. Gordon, L. Monnas and C. Elam (London, 1997), pp. 165–77. Musson, A., ‘Queenship, Lordship and Petitioning in Late Medieval England’, in Medieval Petitions: Grace and Grievance, ed. W. M. Ormrod, G. Dodd and A. Musson (York, 2009), pp. 156–72. Newton, S. M., Fashion in the Age of the Black Prince: A Study of the Years 1340– 1365 (Woodbridge, 1980). Ormrod, W. M., ‘Edward III and his Family’, Journal of British Studies 26 (1987), 398–422. Ormrod, W. M., ‘In Bed with Joan of Kent: The King’s Mother and the Peasants’ Revolt’, in Medieval Women: Texts and Contexts in Late Medieval Britain, ed. J. Wogan-Browne et al. (Turnhout, 2000), pp. 277–92. Ormrod, W. M., The Reign of Edward III: Crown and Political Society in England, 1327–1377 (Stroud, updated ed. 2000). Ormrod, W. M., ‘Who was Alice Perrers?’, The Chaucer Review 40 (2006), 219–29.

322  David Green Ormrod, W. M., ‘Queenship, Death and Agency: The Commemorations of Isabella of France and Philippa of Hainault’, in Memory and Commemoration in Medieval England, ed. C. Barron and C. Burgess (Donington, 2010), pp. 87–103. Ormrod, W. M., Edward III (New Haven and London, 2011). Parsons, J. C., ‘“Never was a body buried in England with such solemnity and honour”: The Burials and Posthumous Commemorations of English Queens to 1500’, in Queens and Queenship in Medieval Europe, ed. A. Duggan (Woodbridge, 1997), pp. 317–37. Prescott, A. J., ‘The Accusations Against Thomas Austin’, in Hochon’s Arrow: The Social Imagination of Fourteenth-Century Texts (Princeton, NJ, 1992), pp. 161–77. Ross, C., Edward IV (New Haven, CT and London, new ed. 1997). Saul, N., Richard II (New Haven, CT and London, 1997). Scattergood, V. J., ‘The Date of Sir John Canvowe’s “The Two Ways” and the Reinvention of Lollardy’, Medium Ævum 79 (2010), 116–20. Sekules, V., ‘Dynasty and Patrimony in the Self-Construction of an English Queen: Philippa of Hainault and her Image’, in England and the Continent in the Middle Ages: Studies in Memory of Andrew Martindale, ed. J. Mitchell (Stamford, CT, 2000), pp. 157–74. Sherborne, J. W., ‘Aspects of English Court Culture in the Later Fourteenth Century’, in English Court Culture in the Later Middle Ages, ed. V. J. Scattergood and J. W. Sherborne (London, 1983), pp. 1–27. Stafford, P., Queens, Concubines and Dowagers: The King’s Wife in the Early Middle Ages (Leicester, 1998). Staley, L., ‘Anne of Bohemia and the Objects of Ricardian Kingship’, in Medieval Women and their Objects, ed. J. Adams and N. M. Bradbury (Ann Arbor, MI, 2017), pp. 97–122. Strohm, P., Hochon’s Arrow: The Social Imagination of Fourteenth-Century Texts (Princeton, NJ, 1992). Strohm, P., England’s Empty Throne: Usurpation and the Language of Legitimation 1399–1422 (New Haven, CT, 1998). Swanson, R. N., ‘Problems of the Priesthood in Pre-Reformation England’, EHR 105 (1990), 845–69. Taylor, C., ‘The Salic Law, French Queenship, and the Defense of Women in the Late Middle Ages’, French Historical Studies 29 (2006), 543–64. Taylor, C., Chivalry and the Ideals of Knighthood in France during the Hundred Years War (Cambridge, 2013). Thomson, J. A. F., ‘Knightly Piety and the Margins of Lollardy’, in Lollardy and the Gentry in the Later Middle Ages, ed. M. Aston and C. Richmond (Stroud, 1997), pp. 95–111. Thomson, J. A. F., ‘Orthodox Religion and the Origins of Lollardy’, History 74 (1989), 39–55. Tompkins, L., ‘Alice Perrers and the Goldsmiths’ Mistery: New Evidence Concerning the Identity of the Mistress of Edward III’, EHR 130 (2015), 1361–91. Tuck, A., ‘Carthusian Monks and Lollard Knights: Religious Attitudes at the Court of Richard II’, in Studies in the Age of Chaucer, Proceedings I: Reconstructing Chaucer, ed. P. Strohm and T. J. Heffernan (Knoxville, TN, 1984), pp. 149–61. Tuck, A., ‘Pole, Michael de la, first earl of Suffolk (c. 1330–1389)’, ODNB. Waugh, W. T., ‘The Lollard Knights’, Scottish Historical Review 11 (1913–14), 55–92.

Reputation of Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent  323 Wentersdorf, K. P., ‘The Clandestine Marriages of the Fair Maid of Kent’, Journal of Medieval History 5 (1979), 203–31. Wilkinson, L., ‘Queenship in Medieval England: A Changing Dynamic?’, The Historian 9 (2013), 6–11. Wilkinson, L., ‘Maternal Abandonment and Surrogate Caregivers: Isabella of Angoulême and Her Children by King John’, in Virtuous or Villainess? The Image of the Royal Mother from the Early Medieval to the Early Modern Era, ed. C. Fleiner and E. Woodacre (Basingstoke, 2016), pp. 101–24. Wilks, M., ‘Royal Priesthood: The Origins of Lollardy’, in Wyclif: Political Ideas and Practice: Papers by Michael Wilks, ed. A. Hudson (Exeter, 2000), pp. 101–16. Wilks, M., ‘Wyclif and Hus as Leaders of Religious Protest Movements’, in Schism, Heresy and Protest, ed. D. Baker (Cambridge, 1972), pp. 109–30. Williams, S. R., ‘English Vernacular Letters, c. 1400–c. 1600: Language, Literature and Culture’ (unpublished D.Phil thesis, University of York, 2001). Woodacre, E., ‘Introduction: Placing Queenship into a Global Context’, in A Companion to Global Queenship, ed. E. Woodacre (Amsterdam, 2018), pp. 1–9. Woodacre, E., ‘The Perils of Promotion: Maternal Ambition and Sacrifice in the Life of Joan of Navarre, Duchess of Brittany, and Queen of England’, in Virtuous or Villainess? The Image of the Royal Mother from the Early Medieval to the Early Modern Era, ed. C. Fleiner and E. Woodacre (Basingstoke, 2016), pp. 125–48.

17 John Talbot, John Fastolf and the death of chivalry Craig Taylor

John Lord Talbot (c. 1387–1453) and Sir John Fastolf (1380–1459) are perhaps the best known English captains of the fifteenth century. The two men were bound together forever by their involvement in the disastrous defeat at Patay on 18 June 1429.1 But both played much larger roles in the final stages of the war in France. Fastolf fought at Agincourt in 1415, took part in the sieges of Caen and Rouen between 1417 and 1419, captured the duke of Alençon at the battle of Verneuil in 1424 and led the successful English forces at the battle of the Herrings near Rouvray in February 1429.2 Talbot made his name during the recovery of Maine and serving alongside the earl of Salisbury in 1427 and 1428, took part in the siege of Orléans in 1429, led the defence of Paris in 1434 and 1435 and was appointed marshal of France in 1436. As English military fortunes steadily declined, Talbot still managed to win a number of small but noteworthy victories such as the capture of Pontoise in 1437, and was created earl of Shrewsbury in 1442. His career ended in failure when he became a hostage when the French captured Rouen in 1449, and then led the Anglo-Gascon army that was destroyed at Castillon on 17 July 1453.3 The dramatic manner of this defeat at the hands of French artillery has led to Talbot being remembered as ‘the last chivalric hero’, with his death seen as symbolically drawing the curtain upon the age of chivalry.4 Talbot and Fastolf were also linked by their unusual efforts to shape and define their reputations and legacies through their patronage of two of the most well-known cultural enterprises of the Hundred Years War, the Shrewsbury Book and the Boke of Noblesse. Talbot commissioned the Shrewsbury Book as a wedding present for Queen Margaret of Anjou in 1445, drawing together into one elaborate manuscript a remarkable collection of chivalric romances and texts that showcased his knowledge of the latest French debates about knighthood and his personal engagement with the English

Talbot, Fastolf and the death of chivalry  325 5

enterprise in France. Meanwhile, the retired Fastolf gathered together a number of scholars at Caister in Norfolk, including William Worcester who wrote the Boke of Noblesse. This was probably drafted around 1451 and revised for Edward IV in 1475, and offered an analysis of the military failures in France together with proposals for future action. As such, it also served as a defence of the military skill and judgement of Fastolf.6 Talbot and Fastolf have carved themselves unique places in English history, but less attention has been paid to their reputations across the Channel in France. Given their prominent role in so many English military campaigns, it would be reasonable to imagine that the French would have held both men in disdain or even fear. But in reality, they enjoyed more complex reputations in France, and were remembered in fascinating ways across a range of chivalric texts that are little known to English historians. Stories told about Talbot and Fastolf by their enemies reveal much about the complexities of aristocratic culture and identity at the end of the Middle Ages, not to mention the inadequacy of the romantic notion that chivalry died on the battlefield at Castillon in 1453. *** The lives and reputations of Sir John Fastolf and John Talbot, earl of Shrewsbury, were both shaped by the battle of Patay on 18 June 1429.7 French forces had successfully broken the siege of Orléans on 8 May 1429 and had then quickly taken Jargeau, Meung-Sur-Loire and Beaugency in quick succession, forcing the English into a desperate retreat. Pursued by an aggressive French army, Talbot had set up an ambush at Patay, hoping to catch the pursuing force unawares. But the enemy vanguard spotted the English troops and Talbot’s forces were quickly overwhelmed. Many leading Englishmen were taken prisoner, including Sir Thomas Rempston, Thomas Lord Scales and Talbot himself, who reportedly told the duke of Alençon and Joan of Arc when he was brought before them immediately after the battle that the unexpected defeat had simply been the fortune of war.8 Fastolf had fought alongside Talbot at Patay, but managed to escape. When he reached Paris, the duke of Bedford suspended him from the Order of the Garter for withdrawing from the battlefield, before reinstating him

326  Craig Taylor and absolving him of blame.9 Despite Bedford’s vote of confidence, Fastolf was never able to escape the shadow of Patay. On 11 February 1435, Thomas Overton publicly denounced him as ‘a fugitive knight which is the gravest charge that one can level against a knight’.10 This charge was levelled in the context of a legal dispute between Fastolf and his servant Overton, part of a much wider story of financial scandals and abuse of prisoners committed by Fastolf during his service in France.11 But it was Talbot who most aggressively pursued the charge of cowardice against Fastolf, ultimately forcing a tribunal chaired by Henry VI that probably took place in February 1442. This tribunal ruled in favour of Fastolf, according to William Worcester, which may explain why there is almost no evidence regarding what actually happened in that courtroom. But it is reasonable to assume that the most serious charge levelled against Fastolf was that he had acted at Patay in a manner unbecoming of a Garter knight.12 It is no surprise then that Worcester paused in the Boke of Noblesse to defend his master’s view that the manly man who acted with caution and good sense was better than the ‘hardy’ man who was rash, foolhardy and acted against discretion and good advice.13 French chroniclers were well aware of the accusations against Fastolf. The Burgundian Jean de Wavrin had a clear incentive to defend the English captain, given that he himself had fought under Fastolf’s command at Patay and had retreated from the battlefield alongside him.14 Wavrin claimed that Fastolf had refused to retreat when the Valois forces overwhelmed the English line, preferring to die or be captured rather than abandon his men, but that Jean, Bastard of Thiau, and the other captains persuaded him to withdraw with ‘the greatest grief that I ever saw shown by a man’.15 Wavrin admitted that Bedford had reproached Fastolf and suspended him from the Order of the Garter after the battle, but emphasized that the duke had quickly overturned that judgement following an inquiry, particularly when he heard that Fastolf had voiced his disagreements with Talbot and the other English

Talbot, Fastolf and the death of chivalry  327 captains before the battle had even begun.16 Indeed, Wavrin had already incorporated Fastolf’s remonstrances into his narrative, describing how the Englishman had urged caution three times and on each occasion was overruled by Talbot. So, for example, Wavrin reported that Fastolf advised a council of war held at Janville on 16 June 1429 that they should withdraw and wait for reinforcements rather than attempt to relieve Beaugency, but Talbot had rejected that plan.17 Wavrin claimed that Fastolf repeated his call for caution the following day, and then on the eve of the battle, the two captains had argued about tactics shortly before Talbot implemented his disastrous plan to ambush the French vanguard.18 Other Burgundian chroniclers were less certain about the rectitude of Fastolf’s actions, even as they echoed Wavrin’s narrative of the events.19 Monstrelet offered an abbreviated account of Fastolf’s retreat from the battlefield, merely stating that he had galloped off to save his life and had fled without striking a blow.20 Monstrelet also reported the subsequent inquiry by Bedford, and it was in this context that the chronicler offered a very abbreviated account of Fastolf’s disagreements with Talbot over strategy. But presenting this in the context of the desperate attempt by Fastolf to defend his actions rather than embedded in the narrative of the campaign itself invited scepticism, especially when Monstrelet concluded by referencing the feud that subsequently developed between Fastolf and Talbot.21 Jean Le Fèvre offered an even more abbreviated account, in which he simply stated that all the English captains at Patay were captured except for ‘Jehan Bascot’ who left the battlefield, for which he was later reproached because he was a knight of the Garter, but defended himself by saying that he was not responsible for what had happened.22 Valois chroniclers were presumably less informed about the disagreements between Fastolf and Talbot, and certainly had less reason to defend Fastolf. The official historiographer Jean Chartier merely reported that Fastolf and the other Englishmen who were able to escape the battlefield at Patay retired to Corbeil, and made no reference to his suspension from the Order of the Garter or the subsequent feud with Talbot.23 Guillaume Gruel and the Berry Herald were equally brief, simply stating that Sir John Fastolf fled the battlefield.24 Guillaume Tringant merely noted that Talbot had been

20 Monstrelet, La chronique, IV, pp. 328–30. 22 Lefèvre de Saint-Rémy, Chronique, II, p. 145. 23 Chartier, Chronique, I, p. 87. 24 Gruel, Chronique d’Arthur de Richemont, p. 74; and Le Bouvier, Les chroniques, p. 138.

328  Craig Taylor captured at Patay and that ‘Sir John Fastolf led a company of Englishmen to Janville and saved them by his good leadership’, in a commentary appended to Le Jouvencel, written by Jean de Bueil in the mid-1460s.25 Writing between 1471 and 1472, Thomas Basin went much further in reporting that ‘Jean Fascot’ succeeded in fleeing from the battle of Patay for which he was regarded as very dishonourable and shameful by the English.26 Yet some French writers were still willing to pay respect to Fastolf, whatever suspicions attached to his name across the Channel. For example, the English captain was the direct inspiration for one of the characters in Jean de Bueil’s chivalric romance Le Jouvencel. According to the commentary offered by Tringant, Jean Helphy, lieutenant-general of the duke of At, was modelled upon Fastolf.27 Helphy appeared late in the story, when the young hero known as the Jouvencel had travelled to the kingdom of Amydoine to fight for its king against a rebellion in support of the duke of At. During a skirmish outside the walls of a town held by Helphy, the Jouvencel accepted the offer of a safe conduct to pass alone through enemy lines in order to meet his counterpart. While they were speaking, Helphy’s forces were pushed back into town and the Jouvencel initially thought to take advantage of this opportunity to capture the enemy captain. But after a conversation about the importance of integrity, good faith and trust, the two captains inspected one another’s troops and allowed them to meet and to share a meal before going their separate ways. The narrator commented that some reproached the Jouvencel for not capturing his enemy, but others argued that the two captains had acted honourably and shown the importance that they placed upon integrity.28 Like many of the stories in Le Jouvencel, this episode served a didactic function, emphasizing the importance of good faith in negotiations. But according to Tringant, this incident had been inspired by a real event that may well have happened in 1434.29 It certainly showcased a more noble side of Fastolf than the supposed cowardice that he had displayed at Patay. Jean de Bueil and Guillaume Tringant were far less complimentary about John Talbot. Bueil had fought against Talbot at both Patay and Castillon, and so was ideally placed to offer an assessment of the English captain.30 He directly discussed the battle of Castillon early in the narrative, but merely stated that Talbot had been one of the English commanders killed there.31 25 Bueil, Le Jouvencel, ed. Szkilnik, p. 702. 26 Basin, Histoire de Charles, VII, I, p. 142. 27 Bueil, Le Jouvencel, ed. Szkilnik, p. 708. For the complex manner in which Jean de Bueil drew upon real history in creating the apparently fictional events and people in this text, see Bueil, Le Jouvencel, trans. Taylor and Taylor, pp. 1–14. 28 Bueil, Le Jouvencel, ed. Szkilnik, pp. 454–7. 29 Bueil, Le Jouvencel, ed. Favre and Lecestre, I, pp. lxviii–lxx. 30 For the life and career of Bueil, see Bueil, Le Jouvencel, ed. Favre and Lecestre, I, pp. i– cclxxxvii, and Famiglietti, Recherches sur la maison de Bueil. 31 Bueil, Le Jouvencel, ed. Szkilnik, p. 155.

Talbot, Fastolf and the death of chivalry  329 There is no evidence that Bueil modelled any character in Le Jouvencel upon Talbot, though Guillaume Tringant did claim that Talbot’s relief of the castle of Le Mans from a French siege on 27 May 1428 had inspired the account of the siege of Catre in Le Jouvencel, where the hero of the story was drawn out into the field to face his enemies but they used the opportunity to slip into the town and slam the gates shut against him.32 Tringant’s commentary also mentioned Talbot’s unsuccessful attempt to seize Louviers in 1439, and offered a more detailed account of the Castillon campaign in which he argued that the English defeat had been caused by Talbot’s strategic error in attacking the French infantry south of the Garonne rather than their cavalry that was north of the river.33 So it is striking that for Jean de Bueil and Gulllaume Tringant, Talbot was a much less impressive enemy than Fastolf or indeed many of his fellow captains such as Matthew Gough. Bueil’s lack of regard for Talbot was undoubtedly a consequence of his first-hand view of the ignominious end to the Englishman’s military career. Other French commentators were unimpressed by Talbot at the end of his career. Robert Blondel was most dismissive of Talbot in his account of the French campaign to recover Normandy, offering a lengthy invective against the aged English captain for refusing to take the field against the army led by the count of Dunois in 1449.34 Blondel also described how Talbot surrendered himself as a hostage during the French capture of Rouen in November 1449, adding that Charles VII was unconcerned that if released, Talbot’s skill and courage might rally the English troops and turn the course of the war; the French king boldly declared that there was no reason to fear just one man, and that his troops would certainly defeat Talbot and kill him in battle, prophesizing the events at Castillon.35 Yet it is important to remember that earlier in his career, Talbot had built a reputation amongst the French as an aggressive captain, thanks to stunning actions like the daring recapture of the town of Laval in 1428 and the capture of Pontoise in 1437. Talbot had also been known as a cruel and brutal soldier: as Pollard has argued, his ‘tenacity in the English cause had won him respect, while his reputation for cruelty had made him feared and hated’.36 The anonymous clerical author of the Journal d’un bourgeois de Paris reported that Talbot beheaded townsmen of Le Mans who had helped Valois troops to seize the town in 1428.37 Enguerrand de Monstrelet was

330  Craig Taylor more matter of fact about Talbot’s decision to execute the garrison of Joigny when he captured that fortress through a surprise attack in 1434.38 But he was deeply upset by ‘cruelties’ committed by Talbot and Somerset at Lihons in the Burgundian county of Amiens in 1440: three hundred men, women and children had taken refuge in a church and refused to surrender, so the Englishmen burned the church to the ground and the people sheltering inside were ‘most piteously killed and burned’.39 Writing around 1471–1472, Thomas Basin, bishop of Lisieux, described how Talbot killed an unarmed French prisoner during the siege of Pontoise in 1441, personally striking him with an axe in a manner that Basin condemned as barbaric and contrary to divine and human law.40 This story was not confirmed by any other sources and is suspicious, given that it served in the narrative to justify the brutal treatment of Englishmen after the end of the siege. But the fact that the story was plausible enough for Basin to include it in his account is revealing.41 Another factor in French hostility to Talbot was a longstanding tradition that presented the Englishman as the arch-enemy of Joan of Arc, despite the fact that he had been captured at Patay some two years before she was burned at the stake.42 The most famous example is the Mistère du siège d’Orléans, a mystery play that was probably performed during the celebrations that commemorated the deliverance of the city on 8 May 1429.43 In this version of the story, Talbot swore to enact vengeance upon Orléans for the death of the earl of Salisbury, and was an angry and brutal man intent upon stopping Joan and her divine mission to save the city and France.44 When Joan’s herald delivered to Talbot her famous letter demanding that the English raise the siege of Orléans, he rejected it as idle chatter and took the messenger prisoner.45 Following her arrival at the city, Joan met with Talbot and again insisted that she had been sent by God and that the English should return to England. In response, Talbot angrily insulted her, calling her a shepherdess, a strumpet and whore, a witch and a madwoman, and threatened to hang her. Joan responded by calling Talbot a liar and prophesized that he would die at the hands of the soldiers of Charles VII.46 In the fighting that followed, Talbot lost many soldiers and swore vengeance against Joan and the French for their treachery, denouncing her as a whore 38 Monstrelet, La chronique, V, p. 91.

40 Basin, Histoire de Charles VII, I, p. 274. 4 4 Ibid., pp. 201–4. 45 Ibid., pp. 465–70. 46 Ibid., pp. 492–6.

Talbot, Fastolf and the death of chivalry  331 before uttering a cry that was more usually associated in French mystery plays with Herod and other damned souls.47 Later there were French celebrations of the defeat of Talbot and the English at Castillon. Four processions were held in Compiègne immediately after the battle to mark the defeat of Talbot and the English, for example, and ‘mystères patriotiques’ such as La déconfiture de Talebot advenue en Bordelais were subsequently performed during the annual commemoration of the deliverance of the city from the English.48 One anonymous short chronicle of the battle was entitled La destrousse de Talbot.49 A longer account of the battle was presented by Thomas Basin, who gleefully blamed the English defeat upon the rashness and overconfidence of Talbot. According to Basin, Sir Thomas Evringham had desperately warned Talbot against attacking the French siege camp outside of Castillon, pleading with him to wait for the arrival of his infantry and artillery and then to establish their own fortified camp nearby. But Talbot had ignored the advice of his standard-bearer, confident that the Frenchmen would be terrified by his arrival and therefore simply flee. For Basin, this was not true courage but mere audacity and temerity.50 He also reported that Talbot was wounded in the leg by the will of divine providence and then dragged from his horse by the French archers and killed. At the end, Talbot desperately begged for his life, but his offers of gold were ignored because he had been so hard and cruel to the French. Basin’s conclusion was that Talbot had perished by the sword just as he had lived by it, echoing the words of Christ (Matthew, 26: 52); citing the apostle Saint James, he declared that Talbot had been judged without mercy just as he himself had judged others without mercy.51 Yet alongside this hostility towards Talbot, there was also a more sympathetic response and even grudging respect for him voiced within French aristocratic circles. The earliest chivalric account of the battle of Castillon was written immediately after the event by Berry Herald, Gilles Le Bouvier, and offered a factual and unsentimental account of the defeat of the English and the death of Talbot.52 But a few years later, Jean Chartier was far more generous, noting that Talbot had been an old man when he had ridden into his last battle and offering a mixed epitaph for him:

50 Ibid., II, pp. 194–6. 51 Ibid., pp. 196–8. 52 Le Bouvier, Les chroniques, p. 390.

332  Craig Taylor And such was the end of this famous and renowned English leader, who for such a long time had been one of the most formidable scourges and sworn enemies of France, for whom he had proved to be a dread and a terror.53 The chronicler Mathieu d’Escouchy described Talbot as the most prudent and valiant English knight in his continuation of the chivalric narrative written by Monstrelet.54 So it is no surprise that the Burgundian writer offered the most positive French account of Talbot’s actions at Castillon. He defended the English captain’s error in attacking the enemy camp by saying that Talbot had been motivated to be aggressive by his desire to serve his king and to respond to the intense pressure that the citizens of Bordeaux had put upon him to act.55 Escouchy insisted that Talbot had been blessed with as much natural sense and courage as any knight who could bear arms in those times.56 His only error was to believe a report that the French were abandoning their camp outside of Castillon, and so Escouchy advised princes, lords and captains to learn from this only to trust the reports of loyal officers, knights and gentlemen.57 Escouchy also emphasized the bravery of Talbot, reporting that one veteran had advised his captain to abandon the attack because of the strength of the French position, but that Talbot had refused to change course and may have even struck the soldier across the face with his sword.58 This French chivalric tradition of respect for Talbot culminated in the praise given to him by André Thevet in Les vrais portaits des hommes illustres in 1584, who testified to the regard in which Talbot had been held by his enemies: ‘If there was ever an English captain who became immortal amongst those of his country, it was John Talbot’.59 Chroniclers offered conflicting accounts of precisely how Talbot died at the hands of French archers. The Berry Herald and Jean Chartier reported that his throat was cut after he had been knocked from his horse, while Escouchy claimed that Talbot was killed by a blow to the head, and recounted a pitiful story in which Talbot’s herald searched the battlefield and identified the brutally disfigured body of his master.60 But there was a clear contrast between the brutal way that Talbot had been treated by the ordinary French soldiers and the respect that was afforded to his mortal remains by

56 Ibid., p. 35.

Talbot, Fastolf and the death of chivalry  333 his aristocratic enemies. It is commonly believed that his body was prepared for burial by the local Carmelites and that he was interred on the site of the battle at Notre Dame de Talbot, also known as the Chapelle de Talbot, which was probably synonymous with the nearby Chapelle de NotreDame de Colles that was destroyed in the eighteenth century.61 Jacques de Chabannes sent Talbot’s gorgerette to Charles VII who was at La Rochefoucauld, and the king reportedly declared ‘May God have mercy upon a good knight’.62 The brigandine that Talbot had worn during the battle was listed in an inventory of the arms and armour held at the castle of Amboise in 1499, alongside other military relics such as the swords of Lancelot of the Lake, Philip the Fair, Jean II and Charles VII, daggers that had belonged to Charlemagne and Louis XI, axes of Saint Louis and Bertrand Du Guesclin and the armour of Joan of Arc.63 The English captain’s sword, engraved with the motto Sum Talboti pro vincere inimico meo, was found in the river Gironde many years later according to André Thevet, who compared it to the sword of Joan of Arc.64 It is not hard to imagine that this culture of respect for Talbot was influenced by his chivalric courage at Castillon, a man in his mid-sixties riding into battle with such bravery. It was logical to treat him as a worthy opponent in order to magnify the significance of that final French victory. But it is also important to remember that Talbot was well known to Charles VII and the members of his court, having been held prisoner with all due honour and respect just a few years before Castillon.65 Talbot was one of eight English hostages who surrendered to the French in order to guarantee compliance with the agreement to surrender Rouen on 2 November 1449. Talbot had witnessed the French king’s ceremonial entry into Rouen on 10 November 1449, his presence was recorded by most of the chivalric chroniclers, and he was depicted in a miniature of this event in Martial d’Auvergne’s Les vigiles de la mort de Charles VII, composed after 1472.66 The English captain had then become a prisoner of war when Richard Curson failed to hand over Honfleur by 15 November as promised in the original surrender

334  Craig Taylor agreement. Talbot remained a prisoner of Charles VII until 10 July 1450, when the king released him upon the condition that he take a vow to go on pilgrimage to Rome for the papal jubilee.67 As Ambühl has noted, this was an honourable way for Charles to free his prisoner without needing to worry that the English captain would immediately rejoin the war. It also highlighted Talbot’s piety, and served as a fitting conclusion to a story of shared chivalric honour and respect.68 The moment of Talbot’s release was commemorated in a lengthy passage and miniature in Martial d’Auvergne’s Les vigiles de la mort de Charles VII, a verse account of the reign that also included an account of the Englishman’s daring capture of Avranches in 1439, but made no mention of his death at Castillon.69 Of course, Talbot also had long-standing relationships with many French noblemen, most notably the Burgundians alongside whom he had fought before their duke’s reconciliation with Charles VII in 1435.70 This may explain his role in two important chivalric texts associated with the Burgundian ducal court. Les cent nouvelles nouvelles was a collection of prose stories that was probably composed between 1456 and 1461 and dedicated to Duke Philip the Good.71 The fifth of the tales was attributed to a squire named Philippe de Loan and recounted the story of two judgements passed by Talbot against soldiers in his service.72 In the first case, the English captain had issued a safe conduct to a French prisoner to allow him to travel to secure his ransom, but the document had been ignored by an English soldier on the specious grounds that the Frenchman had breached his promise not to carry any instruments of war because he was wearing buckle straps (les aguilletes). Angry at this infringement of his safe conduct, Talbot humiliated the English soldier and released the Frenchman. In the second example, Talbot punished another soldier for stealing a silver-coated and enamelled chalice and made the man promise never to set foot again in another church. At the time that Les cent nouvelles nouvelles was written, there was a great deal of debate about the law of arms, both in the courtroom and in the pages of didactic works by authors like Honorat Bovet and Jean de Bueil

Talbot, Fastolf and the death of chivalry  335 who often used similar kinds of stories to reveal wider legal and ethical principles.73 But it is hard to read the tale attributed to Philippe de Loan as another didactic lesson to encourage debate about technical, legal matters, not just because it would have been out of character with the wider nature of Les cent nouvelles nouvelles, but also because there was little controversy or debate about the specific judgements issued by Talbot in these two situations. It seems more likely that the tale served to commemorate a man who was described as ‘the most bold, valiant and fortunate of English captains at arms, as everyone knows’.74 The narrator did not deny that Talbot had had flaws: he had been ‘a hot-headed man, with an unpredictable temper, and he was very displeased when things were done other than correctly, especially in matter of war’.75 Furthermore, the Englishman was described as ‘terrifyingly brutal and cruel’, and said to have committed many crimes during war, though the narrator did claim that Talbot had never permitted any of his soldiers to set fire to a church or to pillage, perhaps aware of the irony given the events at Lihons in 1440.76 But this tale did echo the genuine importance that Talbot had placed upon military discipline and obedience.77 A more enigmatic Burgundian response to Talbot is recorded in the chivalric romance Olivier de Castille that was written by Philippe Camus before 1467 at the request of Jean II de Croÿ, count of Chimay.78 The story recounted the adventures of a Castillian prince named Olivier who was forced to leave the court of his father, the king, when his stepmother made unwanted advances upon him. During a voyage to England, he befriended a knight named Jehan de Talbot who died soon afterwards. As a mark of chivalric respect, Olivier organized Talbot’s funeral and also paid off the debts that he owed to a burgess, before himself being robbed. Walking through some woods, he encountered a ghostly figure, the Blanc Chevalier, who offered to lend Olivier the equipment that he needed to take part in a tournament in London in return for half of his winnings. When Olivier was victorious, winning the hand of the princess Elaine, the Blanc Chevalier initially demanded his share of his prize before relenting and admitting that he was actually the spirit of Talbot and had just been testing his friend. As a piece of literature, Olivier de Castille offers a fascinating exploration of the power of chivalric friendship and brotherhood, together with a dramatic example of the pious motif of the ‘Grateful Dead’.79 But it is far from

336  Craig Taylor clear why the author chose to identify the English knight as John Talbot and to offer such a fictionalized account of his death and betrayal by his family who refused to pay for his burial or to honour his debts. It might simply be that Camus was simply invoking the name of a famous Englishman: he certainly demonstrated very little accurate knowledge of England beyond a few place names.80 It does not help that the text cannot be dated precisely and might have been written as early as 1430, long before the real John Talbot had died. But Olivier de Castille does at least testify to a level of chivalric caché attached to the name Talbot in Burgundian aristocratic circles. *** The modern memory of Fastolf and Talbot owes the most to William Shakespeare. Henry VI part one reimagined the events following the death of Henry V in 1422 and presented Talbot as a central figure in the story, leading the fight against Joan of Arc at the siege of Orléans and dying heroically in battle against her soon afterwards, some twenty years before Castillon. Shakespeare’s Talbot was described as an English Achilles and the terror of the French, and served as the direct counterpart to Joan: his heroism, honour and loyalty contrasted with her witchcraft, lies and unchivalric approach to war.81 Meanwhile Shakespeare’s Fastolf was a base coward who betrayed the crown, his fellow soldiers and his duty. In this version of events, Fastolf fled from the battlefield at Orléans, leaving Talbot to be captured by the enemy.82 Once free, Talbot had denounced him as a coward and had him thrown out of the Order of the Garter: ‘I vow’d base knight, when I did meet thee next, / To tear the Garter from thy craven’s leg’ (Henry VI, Part One, IV.1, lines 13–29)’. This distillation of their stories and identities into such simplistic but compelling tropes reveal a great deal about the preoccupations of Shakespeare and his audiences, and the continuing power of chivalric ideals in his day.83 Above all, it marked the final triumph of Talbot in his personal feud with Fastolf following the battle of Patay. Shakespeare derived most of his history from Edward Hall’s The Union of the Two Noble and Illustre Families of Lancaster and York, including the claim that Talbot had been the terror of the French.84 Woodcock has identified some evidence to support the notion that Talbot was remembered with fear in sixteenth-century France.85 On 14 July 1512, a Venetian consul

80 Visser-Fuchs, History as Pastime, pp. 229–30. 81 See, for example, 1 Henry VI, II.3 lines 14–6, IV.2 line 16, IV.7 lines 60 and 77–8, and also see Woodcock, ‘John Talbot, Terror of the French’, pp. 249–51. 82 1 Henry VI, I.1 lines 131–4.

Talbot, Fastolf and the death of chivalry  337 named Lorenzo Pasqualigo wrote a report on the muster of English troops en route to Calais; he identified the commander as George Talbot, fourth earl of Shrewsbury (1468–1538), and noted that he came from a family who were ‘always accustomed to beat the French’.86 A week later, Andrea Badoer sent a related report to the Venetian senate, commenting that the French were still in the habit of quietening ‘their babies by threatening them with the cry of the coming of the Talbots’.87 Such comments testify to the lasting impact of Talbot’s reputation as an aggressive and brutal military commander long after his death. But there was another tradition of respect for Talbot amongst French aristocratic chroniclers and chivalric writers who refused to be swept away by the patriotic hostility voiced in more popular sources like mystery plays, and echoed by chroniclers like the author of the Journal d’un bourgeois de Paris and Thomas Basin. In part, this reflects the continuing importance of personal chivalric ties formed when Talbot fought alongside Burgundian knights early in his career or was held prisoner at the French royal court. It also reveals a lack of deep concern about brutal actions committed by Talbot that were not regarded as illegal or unchivalric at the time, and which were certainly matched by many of his opponents throughout the war. Meanwhile, Fastolf might have been forever marked in England by his actions at Patay, but he too could be respected by his French opponents. In short, Talbot and Fastolf symbolize the continued importance and impact of chivalric values across national lines at the very end of the Hundred Years War, and their stories and legacies raise new questions to replace the old chestnut that the battle of Castillon marked the end of the age of chivalry.

Bibliography Manuscript sources BL, MS Royal 15 E VI BL, MS Royal 18 B XXII London, Lambeth Palace Library, Register of John Stafford and John Kemp Oxford, Magdalen College, Fastolf Paper 72, m 8 Paris, Bibliothèque de Sainte-Geneviève, MS 1155 Paris, Bibliothèque Nationale de France, MS 5054

Printed primary sources Basin, T., Histoire de Charles VII, ed. C. Samaran and H. de Surirey de Saint-Remy, 2 vols (Paris, 1933–44). Basin, T., Histoire des règnes de Charles VII et de Louis XI par Thomas Basin, ed. J. Quicherat, 4 vols (Paris, 1855–9).

86 The Calendar of State Papers and Manuscripts, ed. Brown, pp. 72–3.

338  Craig Taylor Biu, H., ‘L’Arbre des batailles d’Honorat Bovet: étude de l’oeuvre et édition critique des textes français et occitan’, 3 vols (unpublished PhD dissertation, Université Paris IV, 2004). Blondel, R., Oeuvres de Robert Blondel, ed. A. Héron, 2 vols (Rouen, 1891–3). Bueil, J. de, Le Jouvencel par Jean de Bueil, suivi du commentaire de Guillaume Tringant, ed. C. Favre and L. Lecestre, 2 vols (Paris, 1887–9). Bueil, J. de, Le Jouvencel, suivi du commentaire de Guillaume Tringant, ed. M. Szkilnik (Paris, 2018). Bueil, J. de, Le Jouvencel, trans. C. Taylor and J. Taylor (Woodbridge, 2020). The Calendar of State Papers and Manuscripts Existing in the Archives and Collections of Venice, and in Other Libraries of Northern Italy, Vol. II, 1509–1519, ed. R. Brown (London, 1867). Les cent nouvelles nouvelles, ed. F. P. Sweetser (Geneva and Paris, 1966). Les cent nouvelles nouvelles, ed. R. Dubuis (Paris, 2005). Chartier, J., Chronique de Charles VII, roi de France, ed. A. Valet de Viriville, 3 vols (Paris, 1858). Le débat des hérauts d’armes de France et d’Angleterre, suivi de ‘The Debate Between the Heralds of England and France’ by John Coke, ed. L. Pannier and P. Meyer (Paris, 1887). English Suits before the Parlement of Paris, 1420–1436, ed. C. T. Allmand and C. A. J. Armstrong, Camden Society, 4th series, 26 (London, 1982). Escouchy, M. d’, Chronique de Mathieu d’Escouchy, ed. G. du Fresne de Beaucourt, 3 vols (Paris, 1863–4). Gruel, G., Chronique d’Arthur de Richemont, connétable de France, duc de Bretagne, 1393–1458, ed. A. Le Vavasseur (Paris, 1890). Journal d’un bourgeois de Paris, 1405 a 1449, publié d’après les manuscrits de Rome et de Paris, ed. A. Tuetey (Paris, 1881). Le Bouvier, G., ‘Le recouvrement de Normandie, par Berry, herault du roy’, in Narratives of the English expulsion from Normandy, 1449–1450, ed. J. Stevenson (London, 1863), pp. 239–376. Le Bouvier, G., Les chroniques du roi Charles VII par Gilles Le Bouvier dit le Héraut Berry, ed. H. C. Courteault and L. Celier (Paris, 1979). Lefèvre de Saint-Rémy, J., Chronique de Jean Le Févre, seigneur de Saint-Remy, ed. F. Morand, 2 vols (Paris, 1866–81). ‘Lettre sur la bataille de Castillon en Périgord, 19 juillet 1453’, Bibliothèque de l’École des Chartes 8 (1847), 245–7. Letters and Papers Illustrative of the Wars of the English in France during the Reign of Henry VI, ed. J. Stevenson, 2 vols in 3 (London, 1861–4). Le mistere du siège d’Orléans, ed. V. L. Hamblin (Geneva, 2002). Monstrelet, E. de, La chronique d’Enguerran de Monstrelet en deux livres avec pièces justicatives (1400–44), ed. L. Douët d’Arcq, 6 vols (Paris, 1857–62). Narrative and Dramatic Sources of Shakespeare, ed. G. Bullough, 8 vols (London, 1957–75). Nashe, T., The Works of Thomas Nashe, ed. R. B. McKerrow, rev. ed. F. P. Wilson, 5 vols (Oxford, 1958–66). Procès en nullité de la condamnation de Jeanne d’Arc, ed. P. Duparc, 5 vols (Paris 1977–89). Régnier-Bohler, D., ‘Édition et étude critique de L’histoire d’Olivier de Castille et Artus d’Algarbe’ (unpublished PhD dissertation, Doctorat, Université de Paris IV-Sorbonne, 1994).

Talbot, Fastolf and the death of chivalry  339 Thevet, A., Les vrais portaits des hommes illustres (Paris, 1584). Waurin [Wavrin], J. de, Recueil des croniques et anchiennes istories de la Grant Bretaigne, a present nommé Engleterre par Jehan de Waurin, seigneur du Forestel, ed. W. Hardy and E. L. C. P. Hardy, 5 vols (London, 1864–91). Worcester, W., The Boke of Noblesse Addressed to King Edward the Fourth on his Invasion of France in 1475, ed. J. G. Nichols (London, 1860).

Secondary sources Allmand, C. T., ‘Le Boke of noblesse de William Worcester’, in La ‘France anglaise’ au moyen âge. Actes du IIIe Congres National des Sociétés Savantes (Paris, 1988), pp. 101–11. Allmand, C. T. and Keen, M. H., ‘History and the Literature of War. The Boke of Noblesse of William Worcester’, in War, Government and Power in Late Medieval France, ed. C. T. Allmand (Liverpool, 2000), pp. 92–105. Ambühl, R., ‘Hostages and the Laws of War: The Surrender of the Castle and Palace of Rouen (1449–68)’, in Medieval Hostageship, c.700–c.1500, ed. M. Bennett and K. Weikert (Abingdon, 2017), pp. 88–205. Armstrong, C. A. J., ‘Sir John Fastolf and the Law of Arms’, in War, Literature and Politics in the Late Middle Ages, ed. C. T. Allmand (Liverpool, 1976), pp. 46–56. Bapst, G., Essai sur l’histoire du théâtre. La mise en scène, le décor, le costume, l’architecture, l’éclairage, l’hygiène (Paris, 1893). Brill, R., ‘An English Captain of the Later Hundred Years War: John, Lord Talbot, c. 1388–1444’ (unpublished PhD dissertation, Princeton University, 1966). Brown-Grant, R., French Romance of the Later Middle Ages: Gender, Morality and Desire (Oxford, 2008). Collins, H., ‘Sir John Fastolf, John Lord Talbot and the Dispute over Patay: Ambition and Chivalry in the Fifteenth Century’, in War and Society in Medieval and Early Modern Britain, ed. D. Dunn (Liverpool, 2000), pp. 114–40. De Blieck, E., ‘The Cent nouvelles nouvelles, Text and Context: Literature and History at the Court of Burgundy in the Fifteenth Century’ (unpublished PhD dissertation, University of Glasgow, 2004). Du Fresne de Beaucourt, G., Histoire de Charles VII, 6 vols (Paris, 1881–91). Egerton, W. H., ‘Talbot’s Tomb’, Transactions of the Shropshire Archaeological and Natural History Society 8 (1885), 413–40. Famiglietti, R. C., Recherches sur la maison de Bueil (Providence, 2018). Harriss, G. L., ‘Fastolf, Sir John (1380–1459)’, in ODNB, online version. Hillman, R., ‘La Pucelle, and the Godons in the Mistère du siège d’Orléans’, in Les Mystères. Studies in Genre, Text and Theatricality, ed. P. Happé and W. Hüsken (Amsterdam, 2012), pp. 167–88. Jones, M. K, ‘The Relief of Avranches (1439): An English Feat of Arms at the End of the Hundred Years War’, in England in the Fifteenth Century. Proceedings of the 1992 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. N. Rogers (Stamford, CT, 1994), pp. 42–55. L’Épinois, H. de, ‘Notes extraites des archives communales de Compiègne’, Bibliothèque de l’École des Chartes 24 (1863), 471–99. Lambin, G., ‘Here Lyeth Iohn Talbot’, Etudes anglaises 24 (1971), 361–78. Le Roux De Lincy, A., ‘Inventaire des vieilles armes conservées dans le château d’Amboise du temps de Louis XII (septembre 1499)’, Bibliothèque de l’École des Chartes 9 (1848), 412–22.

340  Craig Taylor McFarlane, K. B., ‘William Worcester. A Preliminary Survey’, in idem, England in the Fifteenth Century. Collected Essays, ed. G. L. Harriss (London, 1981), pp. 199–224. Pollard, A. J., ‘Talbot, John, First Earl of Shrewsbury and First Earl of Waterford (c.1387–1453)’, ODNB, online version. Pollard, A. J., John Talbot and the War in France, 1427–1453 (London, 1983). Sorel, A., ‘Les mystères représentés à Compiègne au Moyen-Âge’, Bulletin de la Société Historique de Compiègne 2 (1875), 35–55. Taylor, A., ‘The French Self-Presentation of an English Mastiff: John Talbot’s Book of Chivalry’, in Language and Culture in Medieval Britain. The French of England, c.1100–c.1500, ed. J. Wogan-Browne, C. Collette, M. Kowaleski, L. Mooney, A. Putter and D. Trotter (Woodbridge, 2009), pp. 444–56. Taylor, C. D., ‘The Treatise Cycle of the Shrewsbury Book, BL MS Royal 15 E. vi’, in Collections in Context. The Organization of Knowledge and Community in Europe (14th–17th centuries), ed. K. Fresco and A. D. Hedeman (Columbus, 2011), pp. 134–50. Visser-Fuchs, L., History as Pastime. Jean de Wavrin and His Collection of Chronicles of England (Donington, 2018). Woodcock, M., ‘John Talbot, Terror of the French: A Continuing Tradition’, Notes and Queries 51 (2004), 249–51.

A bibliography of the major writings of W. Mark Ormrod

1985 Editor, England in the Thirteenth Century: Proceedings of the 1984 Harlaxton Symposium (Woodbridge, 1985).

1986 Editor, England in the Fourteenth Century: Proceedings of the 1985 Harlaxton Symposium (Woodbridge, 1986). ‘The English Government and the Black Death of 1348–49’, in England in the Fourteenth Century: Proceedings of the 1985 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. W. M. Ormrod (Woodbridge, 1986), pp. 175–88.

1987 ‘The Protecolla Rolls and English Government Finance, 1353–64’, English Historical Review 102 (1987), 622–32. ‘The English Crown and the Customs, 1349–63’, Economic History Review, 2nd series 40 (1987), 27–40. ‘Edward III and the Recovery of Royal Authority in England, 1340–60’, History 72 (1987), 4–19. ‘Edward III and his Family’, Journal of British Studies 26 (1987), 398–422.

1988 ‘The Origins of the Sub Pena Writ’, Historical Research 61 (1988), 11–20. ‘An Experiment in Taxation: The English Parish Subsidy of 1371’, Speculum 63 (1988), 59–82.

1989 ‘The Personal Religion of Edward III’, Speculum 64 (1989), 849–77.

342  The major writings of W. Mark Ormrod

1990 The Reign of Edward III: Crown and Political Society in England, 1327–1377 (London and New Haven, 1990) [re-published, Stroud, 2000, 2005]. ‘The Peasants’ Revolt and the Government of England’, Journal of British Studies 29 (1990), 1–30. ‘Agenda for Legislation, 1322-c. 1340’, English Historical Review 105 (1990), 1–33.

1991 Editor, England in the Thirteenth Century: Proceedings of the 1989 Harlaxton Symposium (Stamford, CT, 1991). ‘State-Building and State Finance in the Reign of Edward I’, in England in the Thirteenth Century: Proceedings of the 1989 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. W. M. Ormrod (Stamford, CT, 1991), pp. 15–35. ‘Political Theory in Practice: The Forced Loan on English Overseas Trade of 1317– 18’, Historical Research 64 (1991), 204–15. ‘The Double Monarchy of Edward III’, Medieval History 1 (1991), 68–80. ‘The Crown and the English Economy, 1290–1348’, in Before the Black Death: Studies in the Crisis of the Early Fourteenth Century, ed. B. M. S. Campbell (Manchester, 1991), pp. 149–83.

1992 ‘Katharine Mortimer’s Death at Soutra’, in Sharp Practice, 4: Fourth Report on Researches into the Medieval Hospital at Soutra, Lothian/Borders Region, Scotland, Edinburgh, Soutra Hospital Archaeoethnopharmacological Research Project, ed. B. Moffat (Edinburgh, 1992), pp. 110–20.

1993 ‘St Maurus Wind: The Weather in Medieval England’, Medieval History 3 (1993), 59–63.

1994 ‘England, Normandy and the Beginnings of the Hundred Years War, 1259–1360’, in England and Normandy in the Middle Ages, ed. D. Bates and A. Curry (London, 1994), pp. 197–213. ‘The Domestic Response to the Hundred Years War’, in Arms, Armies and Fortifications in the Hundred Years War, ed. A. Curry and M. Hughes (Woodbridge, 1994), pp. 83–101.

1995 Political Life in Medieval England, 1300–1450 (Basingstoke and New York, 1995). ‘Royal Finance in Thirteenth-Century England’, in Thirteenth Century England V, ed. P. R. Coss and S. D. Lloyd (Woodbridge, 1995), pp. 141–64.

The major writings of W. Mark Ormrod  343 With J. Barta, ‘The Feudal Structure and the Beginnings of State Finance’, in Economic Systems and State Finance, ed. R. Bonney (Oxford, 1995), pp. 53–79 [translated as ‘La Structure Féodale et les Débuts des Finances Publiques’, in Systèmes Économiques et Finances Publiques, ed. R. Bonney (Paris, 1996), pp. 37–66]. ‘The West European Monarchies in the Later Middle Ages’, in Economic Systems and State Finance, ed. R. Bonney (Oxford, 1995), pp. 123–60 [translated as ‘Les Monarchies d’Europe Occidentale à la fin du Moyen Age’, in Systèmes Économiques et Finances Publiques, ed. R. Bonney (Paris, 1996), pp. 111–50]

1996 Editor, with P. G. Lindley, The Black Death in England (Stamford, 1996). ‘The Politics of Pestilence: Government in England after the Black Death’, in The Black Death in England, ed. W. M. Ormrod and P. G. Lindley (Stamford, CT, 1996), pp. 147–81. ‘Government by Commission: The Continual Council of 1386 and the English Royal Administration’, Peritia 10 (1996), 303–21.

1997 ‘York and the Crown Under the First Three Edwards’, in The Government of Medieval York: Essays in Commemoration of the 1396 Royal Charter, ed. S. Rees Jones (York, 1997), pp. 14–33. ‘Urban Communities and Royal Finance in England During the Later Middle Ages’, in Actes Colloqui Corona, Minicipis I Fiscalitat a la baixa Edat Mitjana, ed. M. Sánchez and A. Furió (Lleida, 1997), pp. 45–60. ‘Accountability and Collegiality: The English Royal Secretariat in the MidFourteenth Century’, in Ecrit et Pouvoir dans les Chancelleries Médiévales, ed. K. Fianu and D. J. Guth (Louvain la Neuve, 1997), pp. 54–85.

1999 With A. Musson, The Evolution of English Justice: Law, Politics and Society in the Fourteenth Century (Basingstoke and New York, 1999). ‘Finance and Trade Under Richard II’, in Richard II: The Art of Kingship, ed. A. Goodman and J. L. Gillespie (Oxford, 1999), pp. 155–86. Editor, with M. Bonney and R. Bonney, Crises, Revolutions and Self-Sustained Growth: Essays in European Fiscal History, 1130–1830 (Stamford, CT, 1999). With M. Bonney, ‘Crises, Revolutions and Self-Sustained Growth: Towards a Conceptual Model of Change in Fiscal History’, in Crises, Revolutions and Self- Sustained Growth: Essays in European Fiscal History, 1130–1830, ed. W. M. Ormrod, M. Bonney and R. Bonney (Stamford, CT, 1999), pp. 1–21. ‘England in the Middle Ages’, in The Rise of the Fiscal State in Europe, c. 1200–1815, ed. R. Bonney (Oxford, 1999), pp. 19–52.

2000 Editor, with J. Bothwell and P. J. P. Goldberg, The Problem of Labour in FourteenthCentury England (Woodbridge, 2000).

344  The major writings of W. Mark Ormrod ‘England: Edward II and Edward III’, in The New Cambridge Medieval History VI (c. 1300-c. 1415), ed. M. Jones (Cambridge, 2000), pp. 273–96. ‘Competing Capitals? York and London in the Fourteenth Century’, in Courts and Regions in Medieval Europe, ed. S. Rees Jones, R. Marks and A. J. Minnis (Woodbridge, 2000), pp. 75–98. ‘The English State and the Plantagenet Empire, 1259–1360: A Fiscal Perspective’, in The Medieval State: Essays Presented to James Campbell, ed. J. R. Maddicott and D. M. Palliser (London, 2000), pp. 197–214. ‘In Bed with Joan of Kent: The King’s Mother and the Peasants’ Revolt’, in Medieval Women: Texts and Contexts in Late Medieval Britain. Essays for Felicity Riddy, ed. J. Wogan-Browne, R. Voaden, A. Diamond, A. Hutchison, C. M. Meale and L. Johnson (Turnhout, 2000), pp. 277–92. ‘Richard II’s Sense of English History’, in The Reign of Richard II, ed. G. Dodd (Stroud, 2000), pp. 97–110.

2001 Editor, with C. Humphrey, Time in the Medieval World (Woodbridge, 2001). ‘A Problem of Precedence: Edward III, the Double Monarchy, and the Royal Style’, in The Age of Edward III, ed. J. S. Bothwell (Woodbridge, 2001), pp. 133–54. ‘Love and War in 1294’, in Thirteenth Century England VIII, ed. M. Prestwich, R. Britnell, and R. Frame (Woodbridge, 2001), pp. 143–52.

2002 ‘Fifty Glorious Years: Edward III and the First English Royal Jubilee’, Medieval History, new series 1 (2002), 13–20.

2003 ‘The Use of English: Language, Law, and Political Culture in Fourteenth-Century England’, Speculum 78 (2003), 750–787.

2004 Editor, Fourteenth Century England III (Woodbridge, 2004). Editor, with N. F. McDonald, Rites of Passage: Cultures of Transition in the Fourteenth Century (Woodbridge, 2004). ‘Coming to Kingship: Boy Kings and the Passage to Power in Fourteenth-Century England’, in Rites of Passage: Cultures of Transition in the Fourteenth Century, ed. W. M. Ormrod and N. F. McDonald (Woodbridge, 2004), pp. 31–49. ‘Knights of Venus’, Medium Aevum 73 (2004), 290–305. ‘On – and off – the Record: The Rolls of Parliament, 1337–1377’, in Parchment and People: Parliament in the Middle Ages, ed. L. Clark (Edinburgh, 2004), 39–56. ‘Monarchy, Martyrdom and Masculinity: England in the Later Middle Ages’, in Holiness and Masculinity in the Middle Ages, ed. P. Cullum and K. Lewis (Cardiff, 2004), pp. 174–91.

The major writings of W. Mark Ormrod  345

2005 Editor, with P. Brand, A. Curry, C. Given-Wilson, R. Horrox, G. H. Martin and J. R. S. Phillips, The Parliament Rolls of Medieval England (Woodbridge, 2005), 16 vols, Ormrod as co-author of vol. 1, pp. 1–21, sole author of vol. 4, pp. 231–461, and sole author of vol. 5, pp. 1–428. ‘The Royal Nursery: A Household for the Children of Edward III’, English Historical Review 120 (2005), 398–415. ‘For Arthur and St George: Edward III, Windsor Castle and the Order of the Garter’, in St George’s Chapel Windsor in the Fourteenth Century, ed. N. Saul (Woodbridge, 2005), pp. 13–34. ‘Law in the Landscape: Criminality, Outlawry and Regional Identity in Later Medieval England’, in The Boundaries of the Law: Geography, Gender and Jurisdiction in Medieval and Early Modern Europe, ed. A. Musson (Aldershot, 2005), pp. 7–20.

2006 Editor, with R. Horrox, A Social History of England, 1200–1500 (Cambridge, 2006). ‘Robin Hood and Public Record: The Authority of Writing in the Medieval Outlaw Tradition’, in Medieval Cultural Studies: Essays in Honour of Stephen Knight, ed. R. Evans, H. Fulton and D. Matthews (Cardiff, 2006), pp. 57–74. ‘Who was Alice Perrers?’, Chaucer Review 40 (2006), 219–29. ‘The Sexualities of Edward II’, in The Reign of Edward II: New Perspectives, ed. G. Dodd and A. Musson (York, 2006), pp. 22–47.

2007 ‘An Archbishop in Revolt: Richard Scrope and the Yorkshire Rising of 1405’, in Richard Scrope: Archbishop, Rebel, Martyr, ed. P. J. P. Goldberg (Donington, 2007), pp. 28–44.

2008 ‘The King’s Secrets: Richard de Bury and the Monarchy of Edward III’, in War, Government and Aristocracy in the British Isles, c. 1150–1500: Essays in Honour of Michael Prestwich, ed. A. Kettle, C. Given Wilson and L. E. Scales (Woodbridge, 2008), pp. 163–78. ‘The Rebellion of Archbishop Scrope and the Tradition of Opposition to Royal Taxation’, in The Reign of Henry IV: Rebellion and Survival, 1403–1413, ed. G. Dodd and D. Biggs (Woodbridge, 2008), pp. 162–79. ‘The Road to Boroughbridge: The Civil War of 1321–2 in the Ancient Petitions’, in Foundations of Medieval Scholarship: Records Edited in Honour of David Crook, ed. P. Brand and S. Cunningham (York, 2008), pp. 77–88. ‘The Trials of Alice Perrers’, Speculum 83 (2008), 366–96. ‘Alice Perrers and John Salisbury’, English Historical Review 123 (2008), 379–93. ‘Poverty and Privilege: The Fiscal Burden in England (XIIIth–XVth centuries)’, in La Fiscalità Nell’Economia Europea Secc. XIII-XVIII, ed. S. Cavaciocchi, 2 vols (Prato, 2008), II, 637–56.

346  The major writings of W. Mark Ormrod

2009 Editor, with G. Dodd and A. Musson, Medieval Petitions: Grace and Grievance (Woodbridge, 2009). ‘Introduction: Medieval Petitions in Context’, in Medieval Petitions: Grace and Grievance, ed. W. M. Ormrod, G. Dodd and A. Musson (Woodbridge, 2009), pp. 1–11. ‘Murmur, Clamour and Noise: Voicing Complaint and Remedy in Petitions to the English Crown, c. 1300–c. 1460’, in Medieval Petitions: Grace and Grievance, ed. W. M. Ormrod, G. Dodd and A. Musson (Woodbridge, 2009), pp. 135–55. ‘The Language of Complaint: Multilingualism and Petitioning in Later Medieval England’, in Language and Culture in Medieval Britain: The French of England, c. 1100–1500, ed. J. Wogan-Browne, C. Collette, M. Kowaleski, L. Mooney, A. D. Putter, and D. Trotter (York, 2009), pp. 31–43. ‘The Origins of Tunnage and Poundage: Parliament and the Estate of Merchants in the Fourteenth Century’, Parliamentary History 28 (2009), 209–27. ‘The New Political History: Recent Trends in the Historiography of Later Medieval England’, in New Approaches to the History of Late Medieval and Early Modern Europe: Selected Proceedings of Two International Conferences at the Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters in Copenhagen in 1997 and 1999, ed. T. Dahlerup and P. Ingesman (Copenhagen, 2009), pp. 37–59.

2010 ‘Parliament, Political Economy and State Formation in Later Medieval England’, in Power and Persuasion: Essays on the Art of State Building in Honour of W. P. Blockmans, ed. P. Hoppenbrouwers, A. Janse and R. Stein (Turnhout, 2010), pp. 123–39. ‘Queenship, Death and Agency: The Commemorations of Isabella of France and Philippa of Hainault’, in Memory and Commemoration in Medieval England: Proceedings of the 2008 Harlaxton Symposium, ed. C. M. Barron and C. Burgess (Donington, 2010), pp. 87–103.

2011 Edward III (New Haven, CT/London, 2011). ‘Government Records: Fiscality, Archives and the Economic Historian’, in Dove va la Storia Economica?/Where is Economic History Going? Methods and Prospects from the 13th to the 18th Centuries, ed. F. Ammannati (Prato, 2011), pp. 197–224.

2012 Editor, Fourteenth Century England VII (Woodbridge, 2012). ‘Hatfield the Politician’, in Thomas Hatfield: Bishop, Soldier and Politician, ed. A. Bash (Toronto, 2012), pp. 21–34. ‘The Good Parliament of 1376: Commons, Communes, and “Common Profit” in Fourteenth-Century English Politics’, in Comparative Perspectives on History and

The major writings of W. Mark Ormrod  347 Historians: Essays in Memory of Bryce Lyon (1920–2007), ed. D. Nicholas, B. S. Bachrach and J. M. Murray (Kalamazoo, MI, 2012), pp. 169–88. ‘Needy Knights and Wealthy Widows: The Encounters of John Cornewall and Lettice Kirriel, 1378–1382’, in The Medieval Python: The Purposive and Provocative Work of Terry Jones, ed. R. F. Yeager and T. Takamiya (New York/Basingstoke, 2012), pp. 137–49. ‘John Mandeville, Edward III, and the King of Inde’, Chaucer Review 46 (2012), 314–39.

2013 ‘Parliamentary Scrutiny of Royal Ministers and Courtiers in Fourteenth-Century England: The Disgrace of Sir John Atte Lee (1368)’, in Law, Governance and Justice: New Views on Medieval Constitutionalism, ed. R. W. Kaeuper (Leiden, 2013), pp. 161–88. ‘The English Monarchy and the Promotion of Religion in the Fourteenth Century’, in Religion and Politics in the Middle Ages: Germany and England by Comparison, ed. L. Körntgen and D. Waßenhoven, Prince Albert Studies 29 (Berlin, 2013), pp. 205–18. ‘Henry V and the English Taxpayer’, in Henry V: New Interpretations, ed. G. Dodd (York, 2013), pp. 187–216. ‘Afterword’, in Clergy, Church and Society in England and Wales, c. 1200–1800, ed. R. C. E. Hayes and W. J. Sheils (York, 2013), pp. 175–8.

2014 ‘Friend of Foe? Foreigners in England in the Later Middle Ages’, The Historian 124 (2014), 12–17.

2015 ‘Man under the Montacutes’, in A New History of the Isle of Man, III: The Medieval Period, 1000–1406, ed. S. Duffy and H. Mytum (Liverpool, 2015), pp. 151–69. With B. Lambert, ‘Friendly Foreigners: International Warfare, Resident Aliens and the Early History of Denization in England, c. 1250-c. 1400’, English Historical Review 130 (2015), 1–24. ‘The King’s Mercy: An Attribute of Later Medieval English Monarchy’, in La Légitimité Implicite: Le Pouvoir Symbolique en Occident (1300–1640), ed. J.-P. Genet. 2 vols (Paris, 2015), II, 321–35. ‘“Common Profit” and “The Profit of the King and Kingdom”: Parliament and the Development of Political Language in England, 1250–1450’, Viator 46 (2015), 219–52.

2016 Editor, with P. Crooks and D. Green, The Plantagenet Empire, 1259–1453, Harlaxton Medieval Studies XXVI (Donington, 2016).

348  The major writings of W. Mark Ormrod With P. Crooks and D. Green, ‘The Plantagenets and Empire in the Later Middle Ages’, in The Plantagenet Empire, 1259–1453, Harlaxton Medieval Studies XXVI, ed. W. M. Ormrod, P. Crooks and D. Green (Donington, 2016), pp. 1–34. ‘The Foundation and Early Development of the Order of the Garter in England, 1348–1399’, Frühmittelalterliche Studien 50 (2016), 361–92. ‘The DNA of Richard III: False Paternity and the Royal Succession in Later Medieval England’, Nottingham Medieval Studies 60 (2016), 197–236. With B. Lambert, ‘A Matter of Trust: The Royal Regulation of England’s French Residents During Wartime, 1294–1377’, Historical Research 89 (2016), 208–26.

2017 Editor, with N. McDonald and C. Taylor, Resident Aliens in Later Medieval England, Studies in European Urban History (1100–1800), 42 (Turnhout, 2017). With J. Mackman, ‘Resident Aliens in Later Medieval England: Sources, Contexts, and Debates’, in Resident Aliens in Later Medieval England, Studies in European Urban History (1100–1800), 42, ed. W. M. Ormrod, N. McDonald and C. Taylor (Turnhout, 2017), pp. 3–31. With H. Killick and P. Bradford, Early Common Petitions in the English Parliament, c. 1290-c. 1420, Royal Historical Society Camden Series, 5th series 52 (2017). ‘Pardon, Parliament and Political Performance in Later Medieval England’, in Prowess, Piety and Public Order in Medieval Society: Studies in Honour of Richard W. Kaeuper, ed. C. M. Nakashian and D. P. Franke (Leiden, 2017), pp. 301–20. ‘French Residents in England at the Start of the Hundred Years War: Learning English, Speaking English and Becoming English in 1346’, in The French of Medieval England: Essays in Honour of Jocelyn Wogan-Browne, ed. T. Fenster and C. P. Collette (Woodbridge, 2017), pp. 190–205.

2019 With B. Lambert and J. Mackman, Immigrant England, 1300–1550 (Manchester, 2019). ‘How Do We Find Out About Immigrants in Later Medieval England?’, in Whose Middle Ages? Teachable Moments for an Ill-Used Past, ed. A. Albin, M. C. Ehler, T. O’Donnell, L. P. Nicholas and N. Rowe (New York, 2019), pp. 69–79. ‘Memory, Genealogy and Nationality in Plantagenet England: The Plugenet and Walerand Estates, 1265–1368’, in Fourteenth Century England XI, ed. D. Green and C. Given-Wilson (Woodbridge, 2019), pp. 77–107.

2020 Women and Parliament in Later Medieval England (London, 2020). Editor, with J. Story and E. M. Tyler, Migrants in Medieval England, c. 500–c. 1500 (Oxford, 2020). With J. Story and E. M. Tyler, ‘Framing Migration in Medieval England’, in Migrants in Medieval England, c. 500–c. 1500, ed. W. M. Ormrod, J. Story and E. M. Tyler (Oxford, 2020), pp. 1–18.

The major writings of W. Mark Ormrod  349 With B. Lambert, ‘The State and the Immigrant: Negotiating Nationalities in Later Medieval England’, in Migrants in Medieval England, c. 500–c. 1500, ed. W. M. Ormrod, J. Story and E. M. Tyler (Oxford, 2020), pp. 298–325. ‘England’s Immigrants, 1330–1550: Aliens in Later Medieval and Early Tudor England’, Journal of British Studies 59 (2020), 1–19. ‘Enmity or Amity? The Status of French Immigrants to England during an Age of War, c. 1290–c. 1540’, History 105 (2020), 28–59.

2021 Winner and Waster and its Contexts: Chivalry, Law and Economics in FourteenthCentury England (Woodbridge, 2021).


Note: Bold page numbers refer to tables; italic page numbers refer to figures and page numbers followed by ‘n’ denote footnotes. Abberford, Laurence de 160 abbeys of, Bath 162; Battle 163, 168; Margam 287; Crowland 30, 165; Glastonbury 276; Kirkstall 313n43; Melrose 79; Quarr 161; Ramsey 163, 167–9; Rufford 27, 28n21; St Albans 167; Gloucester 292, 294; Caen 272; Welbeck 166; Westminster 75, 77, 78, 80–4, 161n27, 197, 241, 287 Acta de Houke 142, 143, 147 Aers, David 68 AHRC see Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Alençon, duke of; John II 324, 325 Alexander III, see Scotland, king of Almain rolls 270 Alphonso Psalter 292, 292n29, 292n31, 292n32 Ambühl, Rémy 334 ‘Ancient Petitions’ 11, 14, 23, 37 Andrewe, William 98, 100 Anglesey 159 Angoulême, Edward of 309 Angoulême, Isabella of see England, queen of Angularia, Sibylla de 181 Anonimalle Chronicle 212, 213, 213n24, 214, 215n36, 216–17, 219, 286 Appellant, Lords 81, 86, 87, 163, 233, 238, 239, 315, 318 Aquitaine 96, 97, 205, 240, 250, 275, 305, 305n3, 306 Aragon, Isabella of see Portugal, queen of

Aragon, king of James II 177–83, 185–8, 190–2 Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) 3, 11, 17 Arundel, earl of Richard 80, 86, 141, 237, 238, 239 Arundel, Thomas see York, archbishop of Assheton, Sir John 272 Audinges, Gregory de 165 Audley, Thomas 108 Aune, William 45 Austin, Thomas 317 Aylesham, Robert de 158 Badlesmere, Bartholomew de 41 Badoer, Andrea 337 Bagot, Sir William 239 Baker, Geoffrey le 293 Baldwin, James 230, 230n6 Balearic Islands 177 Balliol, John see Scotland, king of Banham, Alan de 159 Bardfeld, John 94, 100 Bardney, John Hainton of 169 Barker, Henry 106 Barker, Nicholas, of Worksop 48 Barlaam et Josaphat 248n4, 252, 257, 257n31, 258–9 Barlings, Robert le Somter of 50 Barron, Caroline 58 Barton-upon-Humber 23–34 Bary, Walter 315 Basin, Thomas 328, 330, 331, 337 Bates, David 265 Bath and Wells, bishop of John Droxford 231

352 Index Batour, John 142 battles of, Boroughbridge 40, 292; Castillon 325, 328, 331, 337; Crécy 211, 211n12, 221–3, 232; Nájera 313; Nicopolis 260; Patay 325, 328, 336; Verneuil 324 Bavaria, Louis of 185, 189–91 Bayeux Tapestry 265, 272–4, 276, 277 Beauchamp, Roger 217 Beauchamp, Thomas see Warwick, earl of Beauchamp, William 312 Beaufort, Henry see Winchester, bishop of Beaufort, Margaret 315 Beaumanoir, Jean de 310 Beaumont, Henry de 28, 28n21 Bedale, John de 199, 200n31 Bedford, countess of Isabella of Woodstock 250 Bedford, duke of John I 266, 271, 275, 325, 326, 326n14, 327 Bedford, John 169 Beerbrewer, Edmund 94, 99 Belagh, Adam de 163 Belhus, Thomas de 202 Bellamy, John 48 Benedictine Order 157, 162, 163, 171, 212 Bennett, Judith 66 Bennett, Michael 218 Berkeley, Sir Thomas de 286–9, 289n20, 292, 296–300, 302 Bishops Waltham 31 Black Death 9, 12, 33 Black Prince, see Woodstock, Edward of Blacwell, John de 48 Blaston, Thomas de 167, 168 Blondel, Robert 329 Blundel, Richard 165 Blyborough, William 200, 201 Bodmyn, Vincentius de 160 Bohemia, Anne of see England, queen of Bohemia, king of John 190 Bohun, Humphrey de see Hereford, earl of Bokeland, Richard 271 Bolingbroke, Henry see England, king of Boor, John 83

Bordeaux, Richard of see England, king of Bordiu, Jean de 271 Boulogne, Declaration of 202 Boun, Rauf de 204 Bouvier, Gilles Le 331 Bovet, Honorat 334 Brabant, duke of John II 301 Brabant, Margaret of 180 Brabazon, Roger 200 Brantingham, Thomas 239 Braybrooke, Robert 239, 312 Brayton, Thomas de 167, 168 Brembre, Nicholas 79, 80, 81, 86 Brétigny, treaty of 232, 309 Breton, Joan 124, 125 Breton, Nicholas 126 Breton, Philip 123 Bristol Channel 286, 287 Brocas, Sir Bernard 239, 310n25 Brokholes, John 276n54 Brok, Robert de 158 Brown, Thomas 102 Bruce, Robert see Scotland, king of Bueil, Jean de 328–9, 334 Burgess, Clive 93, 100, 105 Burgh, Elizabeth de 166 Burghersh, Henry see Lincoln, bishop of Burgh, Philip de 28 Burgundy, duke of Philip the Bold 236n35 Philip the Good 334, 334n70 Burley, Sir Simon 79, 81, 86, 314 Burton, Robert de 24–5, 38 Bury, Richard de 16 Bury, Thomas 161 Bushy, Sir John 239 Byrmyngham, Roger de 159 Byzantium 179 Cadeby, Richera of 39, 40 Cadeby, William of 37–9, 41–3, 45, 46n50, 47–52 Caen 272, 273, 275, 278, 324 Caillou, Foious de 38 Cake, William 142–5, 146n37, 147, 150, 153 Calabria, Charles of 185 Calderiis, Blanca de 184, 186–9 Calveley, Sir Hugh 140, 141, 149 Campbell, James 2 Camus, Philippe 335

Index  353 Canterbury 67, 68, 78, 84, 85, 87, 160, 286n6, 313 Canterbury, archbishop of John Pecham 164 John Stratford 231 Simon Sudbury 217 Thomas Arundel see York, archbishop of The Canterbury Tales see Chaucer, Geoffrey Cardona, Bonanat 186, 188 Carlisle 159, 166, 198, 215 Carnwath, Julia 103 Carpenter, Edmund 101 Carthusians 310 Castelton, Simon 167 Castile 177, 181, 232 Castillon 324, 325, 328, 329, 331–4, 336, 337 castle of, Bristol 286; Conwy 88; Corfe 78, 296–8, 301; Dublin 88; Nottingham 84, 85, 86, 86, 87; Pontefract 88; Raby 213; Windsor 80, 82, 85, 221 Cateby, William de 50 Caunton, John 160 Chabannes, Jacques de 333 Chamberlain, John 275 Chambre des comptes 273, 277, 278 Champion, Hugh 153 chancery 12, 25, 38, 39, 97, 168, 234, 236, 266–70, 272–8 Channel Islands 270 Charlemagne 333 Charles, duke of Orléans 259–60 Charles V see France, king of Charles VI see France, king of Charles VII see France, king of charter of liberties 65 Chartier, Jean 327, 331–2 Chaucer, Geoffrey The Canterbury Tales 58, 68, 277 Chaworth, Laurence de 38 Chestan, Robert 161 Chester, Richard de 167, 168 Chillenden, Walter 164 Chronica Maiora (Paris) 213, 214 Chronicle of the Grey Friars of Lynn 309 Chronicon Angliae 213–14, 293 Chronique d’Angleterre 294 Clanvowe, Sir John 312, 312n36 Clarence, duke of Thomas of Lancaster 273 Clark, Peter 66 Clement V see Pope

Clere, Roger de 24–6, 33 Clèves, Marie de 259, 260 Clifford, Lewis 311, 312 Clif, John de 47 Cligés (Troyes) 253 Clok, Richard 138 Clopham, William Tabellere of 142 Colchester 62, 92, 94–104, 106–8, 110, 111; siege of 92 Coldingham (Berwickshire) 165, 169 Colley, John de 48 Colley, William de 39, 47 Collyns, Gilles 124 Constance, John of 186, 191 continual councils 80, 85, 314 Copanford, Nicholas de 166 Copledyke, Alan de 39 Cornwall 30, 115, 117, 118, 118n16, 119–23, 125, 127, 128, 128n66, 129, 138n16, 166 Cornwall, earl of Piers Gaveston 41, 194, 201, 203, 203n50, 231 Coucy, Enguerrand de 251, 252n18 Coucy, Sire de 250 Coupegorge, John 123 Cretyng, Hugh de 165 Crist, Thomas 158 Crook, David 39 Curson, Richard 333 Cyprus 260 Dalton, Adam de 160 Darcy, John 38 D’Arcy, John 287 d’Aubigny, William 26 d’Auvergne, Martial 333, 334 Davynell, Giles 310 Dax, John de 166 Dentença, Gombald 179 Derlyng, Thomas 274 Despenser, Edward Lord 138 Despenser, Hugh see Winchester, earl of Devereux, John 314 Deveril, John 298 Devon 115–17, 117n7, 117n8, 118, 118n16, 119, 120, 124–9, 138n16 Dodd, Gwilym 84, 240 Doig, James A. 64 Doncaster, John de 38, 38n6 Droxford, John 203, 231 Dru, Lawrence 240 Dryer, Robert 163 Du Guesclin, Bertrand 333

354 Index Dunois, Jean de 329 Dunstable Chronicler 65 Durant, John 126 Durham 79, 124, 159, 164–6, 169 Thomas Rome of 169 Edenham (Lincolnshire) 27, 28 Edward I see England, king of Edward II see England, king of Edward III see England, king of Edward IV see England, king of EIDB see England’s Immigrants database (EIDB) Ellesmere, Hamo Lestrange of 195, 195n7 Ellis, William 216 Eltham, John of 231 Emperor, Frederick III 177, 180, 181, 183–7, 189–91 Leopold of Austria 185, 189–91 Ludwig IV 301 England, king of Edward I 15, 16, 45, 194, 196, 196n11, 196n12, 197–9, 201–3, 203n55, 205, 221, 223n66, 232, 270, 299, 310, 312 Edward II 194–206, 224, 231, 270, 285–302, 285n2, 286, 286n6, 287, 289, 290, 292, 293, 294, 295, 295n41, 296, 296n42, 297n44, 298, 299, 302, 308 Edward III 2, 209, 211, 211n9, 218, 220, 221, 224, 229, 231, 234, 235, 238, 239, 247, 251, 261, 265, 270, 271, 288, 292, 296, 299–301, 308, 309n19 Edward IV 325 Henry III 194–6 Henry IV 9, 81, 123, 230n8, 240, 275, 307, 317 Henry V 265–79, 336 Henry VI 326, 335n77 Henry VII 183–5 Richard I 221 Richard II 63, 75–88, 213, 214, 229–36, 236n35, 240, 242, 251, 296n42, 306, 309, 314 England, queen of Anne of Bohemia 77, 78, 83, 251, 309, 314, 315 Eleanor of Castile 196n12, 197, 200 Elizabeth Woodville 307 Isabella of Angoulême 306–7 Isabella of France 198, 292, 307, 312, 314

Margaret of Anjou 324 Philippa of Hainault 308, 309n19, 310, 314 England’s Immigrants database (EIDB) 115–17 Eseby, John 166 Essex 59, 61–2, 67, 94, 96, 107, 108, 240, 250, 251 Evesham, Thomas de 167 Evringham, Sir Thomas 331 exchequer 8, 23, 33, 168, 169, 199, 204, 205, 236, 237, 288; attorneys at the 158–60; seal 271 Exeter, duke of John Holand 314 Thomas Beaufort 277 Farthing, William 138 Fastolf, Sir John 271, 324–37, 326n9, 326n12 Felton, Sibyl de 249, 249n5, 250–51, 259, 260 Felton, Sir Thomas 250 Feribrigg, Hugh 160 Ferre, Guy 200 Ferrers, Robert de 195, 196, 196n10 Fieschi, Luke 300 Fieschi, Manuel de 300 Fieschi, Nicolino de 300, 301 Finke, Heinrich 179 FitzAlan, Brian 203 FitzHugh, John 201 Flamstede, Nicholas de 167 Flanders 232 Flannery, Mary 307 Flores Historiarum (Paris) 286n6, 289 Folkingham (Lincolnshire) 27, 28 Fordham, John 314 Ford, Judy Ann 98 France, Isabella of see England, queen of France, king of Charles V 251 Charles VI 266 Charles VII 329, 330, 333, 334 Louis XI 333 Philip IV 183, 196, 205, 333 France, queen of Blanche of Navarre 252, 252n21, 253n25, 257n29 Franciscans 84, 312 Frederick III of Austria see Emperor Frederick III of Sicily see Sicily, king of Freeman, Robert 101

Index  355 French, Katherine 103 French rolls 268, 270, 271 Froissart, Jean 211n12, 251, 305, 306, 317 Galeys, William le 301 Gallifa, Bertrand de 187 Gand, Gilbert de 27, 28 Garcesius, John 182 Gascon rolls 268, 273 Gascony 309 Gaunt, John of see Lancaster, duke of Gaveston, Piers see Cornwall, earl of Gelham, Robert de 166 Gerard, Simon 104 Germain, Alexandre 300 Gerston, William de 27 Given-Wilson, Chris 17, 241, 294n38 Gloucester 77, 292, 294, 295, 296, 297 Gloucester, duke of Humphrey, 272 Thomas of Woodstock 80, 86, 233, 236n35, 238, 239, 240 Gloucester, earl of Gilbert de Clare 196, 199 Gloucester, William of 239 Godeshalue, John de 48 Godolphin, Sir William 123, 123n43 Goodman, Anthony 224, 224n72, 306 Gough, Matthew 329 Grandison, Sir Otto de 206 Grantham, John Kygge of 42 Greatrex, Joan 162 Great Seal 230, 234, 271, 287n12 Gregory XI see Pope Gretford, John 167, 169 Grey, Reginald de 195 Grossel, M.-G. 253n23, 257n29 Gruel, Guillaume 327 Gruffydd, David ap 205 Gruffydd, Llewelyn ap 205 Gruffudd, Rhys ap 287 Gunnild, Robert 48 Gurney, Sir Thomas 292, 298 Guyn, Maurice 234 Hainault, Philippa of see England, queen of Haliden, Robert de 164 Hall, Edward 336 Halle, Henry 123 Hallum, Robert 146

Halton, John de 160 Hampshire 30, 75, 78, 116, 117, 150, 165, 239 Hanna, Ralph 66 Hanseatic merchants 96 Haralt, Philip 160 Harfleur 265, 271, 275, 276 Harleton, Richard 163 Hasele, John 163 Haverford 160 Heale, Martin 171 Helphy, Jean 328 Henry III see England, king of Henry IV see England, king of Henry V see England, king of Henry VI see England, king of Henry VII see England, king of Herald, Berry 327, 331, 332 Herald, Chandos 306, 313 Hereford, earl of Humphrey de Bohun 44, 45, 202, 292, 292n32 Hermanson, Edmund 92–111 Hermanson, Elizabeth 107 Hetirsete, Richard de 167 Higden, Ranulf 293 Hillary, Roger 167, 168 Hindolveston, Nicholas de 158 Hine, T. C. 85 Holand, John see Exeter, duke of Holand, Robert de 46 Holand, Thomas 308, 312 Holland, John 79 Holland, Sir Thomas 88, 305, 316 Hook (Hampshire) 137–54 Hook Mortimer 137 Hook Valence 137 Hotham, Thomas de 42 Houton, Robert de 28 Humber 23, 24, 26, 30, 166 Hundred Years War 119, 232, 309, 324, 337 Hyde, John Chaworth of 169 Inge, William 201 Ingham, Oliver of 200 Ireland, duchess of Philippa de Vere 247–61 Ireland, duke of Robert de Vere 78–82, 250, 252n19 Isle of Axholme 50 Isle of Wight 161

356 Index Joan of Arc 308, 312n38, 313, 314, 314n53, 315, 316, 325, 330, 333, 336 Joce, John 234 Johnson, Adrian 108 Johnstone, Hilda 200, 201 Justice, Steven 57 Kelsey, Robert de 24, 25 Kemp, John 266, 275 Kempe, Margery 148 Kent 61 Kent, Joan of 14, 77, 317, 318 Kent, earl of Edmund of Woodstock 308 Killick, Helen 11 King’s Bench 24, 25, 32, 33, 48, 168, 200 Kingston 164 Knighton, Henry 56n1, 305n2, 306, 311 Knowles, David 171 Knyvet, John 215 Lacy, Henry de see Lincoln, earl of Lakenheath (Suffolk) 164 The Lament of Edward II 289 Lancaster, Blanche of 307, 309n19, 312 Lancaster, duchess of Katherine Swynford 307 Lancaster, duke of John of Gaunt 67, 138–40, 149, 209n4, 212–14, 214n34, 215–18, 222, 224, 232, 233, 235, 236n35, 238, 240, 242, 309n19, 311, 314, 315, 317 Lancaster, earl of Edmund Crouchback 194, 197, 205–6, 252n21 Henry, 3rd earl 298 Thomas, 2nd earl 41, 44, 88, 196n10, 201, 203, 204, 206 Lancecrona, Agnes 251 Langley, Edmund of see York, duke of Langrish, John 139 Langtoft, Peter 291 La Rochelle 232 Latimer, Lord 216, 217 Lawne, Penny 306 Legassie, Shane 61, 67 Leicester 79, 82 Lellay, Ralph de 31 Le Mans 329 Leopold of Austria see Emperor Leure, Thomas 52 Leverton, John de 159, 160 Levingthorp, Simon de 165

Lincoln 25, 26, 39, 41–3, 50–2, 80, 160, 163, 195, 195n5, 196, 196n12, 198, 198n26, 199–205, 203n50, 203n56, 204, 205 Lincoln, bishop of Henry Burghersh 41 Lincoln, earl of Henry de Lacy 42, 194–206, 195n5 Lincolnshire 25–8, 30, 31, 39–43, 45, 46, 46n50, 50–2, 166, 239 Llull, Peter 179–82, 184, 187 Llwyd, Gruffydd 287 Loan, Philippe de 334, 335 Longchamp, Henry de 28 Loose, John Cote of 67 Louches, Marion 315 Louis XI see France, king of Lusceby, Nicholas de 164 Lutterel, Andrew 315 Lutterel, Elizabeth 315 Lydford, John 139 Lyons, Richard 216 Madden, Sir Frederick 204 Male, Margaret de 232 Maltravers, John 288 Malvern, John de 163 Manyturn, John 103 Maple, William 138, 139, 144, 149, 150, 153 March, earl of Edmund Mortimer 138, 149 Roger Mortimer 75, 296, 298–9, 301 Mare, Thomas de la 218, 219 Maredudd, Rhys ap 205 Marney, Henry 106 Marney, John 106 Maulay, Peter III de 27 McDonald, Nicola 14 Melton, William see York, archbishop of Mepeham II, John de 159 Mere, Margery 315 Meung-Sur-Loire 325 Michol, John 142, 143, 149–51 Middleton, Thomas 236 Mitford, Richard 237 Monstrelet, Enguerrand de 327, 329, 332, 334n70 Montague, John see Salisbury, earl of Montague, William see Salisbury, earl of Montfort, John de 123 Monthermer, Ralph de 199, 199n27 Montier-en-Der, Adso of 259 Mora, John de 48

Index  357 Mora, Peter de 48 Morgan, Philip 274, 275 Morley, Sir Thomas 250 Mortimer, Edmund see March, earl of Mortimer, Ian 216, 218, 285, 297, 297n44, 299, 299n55, 300, 300n60, 301, 301n63 Mortimer, Roger see March, earl of Morys, Philip 124, 126 Mosdale, John de 234 Mowbray, John de 42 Mowbray, Thomas see Norfolk, duke of Murimuth, Adam 286, 288n16, 298 Mynster, Ambrosius 98, 98n37 Naples, king of Robert 185, 190 Navarre, Blanche de see France, queen of Neville, William 312 Nichols, Sir Nicholas 230 Norfolk, duke of Thomas Mowbray 78, 81, 238 Norman Conquest 75 Normandy 196, 265–7, 270–9, 308, 329 Norman rolls 265–79 Northamptonshire 46 Northumberland, earl of Henry Percy 62, 143, 166, 215, 217, 236, 237, 239 Norwich 163, 164 Nottinghamshire 38, 39, 42, 45, 46, 48, 51, 59, 166 Nouny, William de 199 Ockley, William 298 Olney, John 160 Osbern, William 138 Oseney 162, 163 Overton, Thomas 326 Owmby, Thomas of 37–9, 41–3, 45, 46n50, 47–50, 52 Owmby, Walter of 40, 41, 47 Owyng, Thomas de 159 Oxford, countess of Maud de Vere 251, 252n18 Oxford, earl of Aubrey de Vere 236 Oysel, Richard 23–8, 28n19, 29, 31–3, 201 Padua, Marsilius of 222 Palterton, John of 38–9, 47, 48 Pantin, William 162

Paris, Matthew: Chronica Maiora 213, 214; Flores Historiarum 286n6, 289 parliament 13, 15, 33, 41, 77, 80, 81, 82, 84, 86, 108, 140, 160–2, 167, 169, 200, 202, 209–14, 216, 218, 223, 224, 230–2, 236, 238–42, 290, 299, 300n60; at Northampton 47, 203; at York 37, 40 Commons 10–12, 63, 145, 209–20, 223, 224, 231, 239, 240, 242 common petitions 210, 219, 224, 240 parliamentary proctors 160 Labourers, Statute of 1352 33, 60 Pleading, Statute of 1362 11 Parving, Robert 167, 168 Pasqualigo, Lorenzo 337 Patay 325–8, 330, 336 Payn, John, of Warsop 48 Payn, William, of Warsop 48 Peasants’ Revolt 12, 14, 306, 311, 316 Pecche, Sir John 216, 299n55 Peel, Clipstone 47 Perrers, Alice 14, 40, 42, 194, 195n7, 196n10, 197, 209n2, 216, 219, 307 Pembroke 206, 231 Pembroke, earl of Aymer de Valence 231 Penec, Peter le 123 Percy, Henry see Northumberland, earl of Percy, Sir Thomas 140 Perient, John 123 Peverel, Johanetta 315 Philip the Fair see France, king of Phillips, Seymour 40, 202 Piper, Alan 162 Pizan, Christine de 307 Plymner, Alan 124 Poke, John 126 Pole, Alice de la see Suffolk, duchess of Pole, Katherine de la 259, 260 Pole, Michael de la see Suffolk, earl of Pole, William la see Suffolk, duke of Polwycke, Lambert 102 Pontoise 274, 324, 329, 330 Popes Boniface IX 145, 149, 234 Clement V 183 Gregory XI 138, 139, 140, 311 Urban V 138 Urban VI 83 Popham, Sir John 272 Portugal, queen of Isabella of Aragon 177, 178n6

358 Index Postan, Michael 29 Prescott, Andrew 66 Pyke, John 167 Pyriton, William de 159 Raddington, Sir Baldwin 82, 86 Radway, Janice 260 Rempston, Sir Thomas 325 Retford 38, 42, 43, 51 Reyersh, William de 158 Reynolds, Walter 200, 201 Ricehas, Nicole 250 Richard I see England, king of Richard II see England, king of Richardson, H. G. 210 Robertson, Kellie 60 Roman roll 270 Romsey, John de 141 Roskell, J. S. 210, 211n10 Rouclife, Peter de 165 Rouen 266, 267, 271, 274–6, 276n50, 324, 329, 333, 333n61 Rudyng, Thomas de 165 Rumbold, Edmund 98 Rushook, Thomas 79 Russel, Robert 38 Rus, William de 26 Rymer, T. 267 Sadington, Robert 167, 168 Saluzzo, Philip of 183, 184 Savoy, Amadeus of 185 Selby, Geoffrey Gaddesby of 161 St Albans, Richard Hethersett of 161 St David 215 St Edmund 77 St Eulales 255 St James 331 St Leonard 164 St Leonard-at-the-Hythe 98–105 St Louis 333 St Syncletica 254 St Thomas 257 St Thomas the Martyr 160 Salisbury, bishop of John Waltham 75, 82, 83 Salisbury, earl of John Montague 141, 149 William Montague 239, 305, 308 Sancto Andrea, Roger de 38 Sant Alberto di Butrio 297 Sapera, Alamanda 185–8, 188n42 Saul, Nigel 75

Saunder, Hugo 143 Sayles, G. O. 210 Scales, Thomas Lord 325 Scarle, John 236 Scotland, king of Alexander III 205 Balliol, John 205 Bruce, Robert 45n44, 205, 285n2 Scrope, Richard 9, 10 Scrope, Sir Henry 215 Scrope, Sir William 83, 86, 87 Secheville, Ralph de 28 Segrave, Sir Hugh 314 Selby 161, 165, 166 Shareshull, William de 167, 168 Shirle, John 61, 66 Shropshire 46, 333n61 Sicily 177, 185, 260 Sicily, king of Frederick III 179 Smith, David 286, 288, 297, 300 Smyth, William 109 Somery, John de 43–7, 47n57 Southworth, Richard 277 Spellowe, Robert 271 Staffordshire 43, 46 Stafford, Sir Richard 138, 215, 313, 314 Stapleton, John de 201 Stapleton, Miles de 200n31, 201 Stavelay, Walter 167 Stenton, F. M. 58 Stokes, John 276 Stopyndon, John 276, 276n58, 277, 279 Stowe, William de 167, 168 Strohm, Paul 64, 68, 317 Sturgeon, Richard 275, 276n50 Stury, Richard 312 Suffolk, duchess of Alice de la Pole 259, 260 Suffolk, duke of William de la Pole 259 Suffolk, earl of Michael de la Pole 79–80, 138, 311 Summerson, Henry 49, 50, 51n80 Sutton, John de 43, 43n36 Swaffham (Norfolk) 164 Swanlond, Simon 298 Swillington, Adam of 50 Swynford, Katherine see Lancaster, duchess of Swynton, Thomas 166

Index  359 Talbot, George 337 Talbot, Jehan de 335 Talbot, John 324–37, 334n70, 334n72, 336n83 Tattersall, Robert de 28 Tebbit, Alistair 45 Teutonic Order 180 The National Archives (TNA) 11, 23, 158, 161 Thevet, André 332, 333 Thokerington, Nicholas de 165 Thorney, Alan Kirkton of 161 Thorney, John de 139 Thynford, John de 159 Tickhill 45 Tideman, Robert 83 Tintern, John, of Malmesbury 161 Tiptoft, Sir John 273, 273n38 Titchfield 75, 82, 137–42, 144–8, 150, 151–4 Titchfield, abbot of Richard Aubrey 148 TNA see The National Archives (TNA) Torksey 43 Tothby, Gilbert of 27, 28, 40–1 Tout, T. F. 210, 229, 230 Tresilian, Robert 80 Trethak, Thomas 163 Tringant, Guillaume 327–9 Trokelowe, John 206 Troyes, Chrétien de 253n25; Cligés 253 Troyes, treaty of 266, 267, 269, 271, 271n27, 274, 275 Turri, Bartholomew de 187 Usk, Adam 305n2, 306, 315, 317 Valence, Aymer de see Pembroke, earl of Valente, Claire 63 Valois, Katherine de 307 Vangilesburgh, William 97 Vautier, Charles 278 Veleville, Sir Roland 123 Verduyn, Anthony 47 Vere, Aubrey de see Oxford, earl of Vere, Maud de see Oxford, countess of Vere, Philippa de see Ireland, duchess of Vere, Robert de see Ireland, duke of Villanova, Vidal de 190 Von Gloysach, Frederick 190 Von Liechtenstein, Rudolf 181 Von Symaning, Hervord 180 Wakerl’, John de 289, 289n20 Walker, Simon 214, 214n34

Wallace, William 205 Wallingford, Richard of 161 Walsingham, Thomas 56n1, 57, 62, 62n27, 67, 213, 241, 305n2, 306, 311, 316, 317; Historia Vitae et Regni Ricardi Secundi 314n53 Walwyan, Philip 239 Warner, Kathryn 285, 286n4, 297n44, 298 Warner, Stephen le 24, 25 Warsop 37, 38, 42–3, 45, 47–9, 51 Warwick, earl of Thomas Beauchamp 80, 86, 138, 215, 236, 238, 239 Waryn, William 140, 140n12, 141, 150 Watts, D. G. 137 Watts, John 13, 13n37, 223 Waugh, Scott 48 Wavrin, Jean de 294, 294, 326, 326n14, 327 Welsh rolls 270 Werken, Theodoric 103 Westminster Chronicler 315 Weston, William de 163 Whalley (Lancashire) 161 Whatton, Richard de 48 Wheeler, Robert 138, 139, 140n12 Willingham 41, 41n26, 42 Willoughby, Robert de 28 Wiltshire 116, 117, 117n7, 117n8 Winchester, bishop of Henry Beaufort 148 William of Wykeham 137–41, 146, 149, 150, 216, 216n42, 217, 236, 239, 312 Winchester, earl of Hugh Despenser 201 Wingfield, John 313 Wintrington, Geoffrey de 160 Wisbech (Cambridgeshire) 164 Wittlebury, John 239 Wolryngton, Robert de 38 Woodcock, M. 336 Woodstock 62, 77 Woodstock, Edmund of see Kent, earl of Woodstock, Edward of, the Black Prince 213, 215, 223, 231, 239, 250, 305, 308, 309n19, 313, 316 Woodstock, Isabella of see Bedford, countess of Woodstock, Thomas of see Gloucester, duke of

360 Index Woodville, Elizabeth see England, queen of Wooler, David de 167, 168 Worcester, William 326n12; Boke of Noblesse 324–6 Worde, Wynkyn de 260 Wyclif, John 222, 305, 306, 311, 312 Wykeham, William of see Winchester, bishop of Wynscote, David de 159 Wys, John 159

Xiarch, Francisco de 180 Yevele, William 78 York, archbishop of Alexander Neville 79, 80, 81 Thomas Arundel 145, 146, 146n37, 147, 149, 163–4, 167, 237, 238, 240, 274, 275 William Melton 41–2, 298 York, duke of Edmund of Langley 229–42, 309n19 Ypres, Sir John 217