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Fourteenth Century England V

Fourteenth Century England V

Edited by Nigel Saul
Volume: 5
Copyright Date: 2008
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 208
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7722/j.ctt81m49
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  • Book Info
    Fourteenth Century England V
    Book Description:

    The essays collected here present the fruits of the most recent research on aspects of the politics and culture of fourteenth-century England. Among the topics considered are the size and structure of magnates' households and retinues, Edward II's relationship with Piers Gaveston, court venues and the image presented by royal justice, the pattern of clergy ordinations, and the Despensers' patronage of Tewkesbury Abbey. Three essays deal with aspects of Richard II's reign, two reassessing the so-called `tyranny', and a third looking at the inter-relation of English and Irish politics. The final essays look at general but related themes, the administration of royal justice and the role of morality in the exercise of public office. NIGEL SAUL is Professor of Medieval History at Royal Holloway, University of London. CONTRIBUTORS: ALISON MARSHALL, ELIZABETH H. WILL, JOCHEN BURGTORF, DAVID ROBINSON, MARTYN LAWRENCE, PETER CROOKS, G.B. STOW, TERRY JONES, ANTHONY MUSSON, CHRISTOPHER FLETCHER

    eISBN: 978-1-84615-639-7
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-v)
  3. List of Illustrations
    (pp. vi-vi)
  4. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. vii-viii)
  5. PREFACE
    (pp. ix-x)
    Nigel Saul
  6. ABBREVIATIONS
    (pp. xi-xii)
  7. AN EARLY FOURTEENTH-CENTURY AFFINITY: THE EARL OF NORFOLK AND HIS FOLLOWERS
    (pp. 1-12)
    Alison Marshall

    In the last generation or so, the affinities of a number of later medieval magnates, among them the dukes of Lancaster and the earls of Pembroke and Warwick, have been studied in some detail and to great effect. These studies, however, relate to only a small proportion of the retinues which flourished in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.¹ Research has naturally tended to focus on the few magnates about whose retinues a considerable body of evidence survives, while opportunities to research other lords and their followers have usually been overlooked because of the supposed paucity of material. Yet even in...

  8. JOHN OF GAUNT’S HOUSEHOLD: ATTENDANCE ROLLS IN THE GLYNDE ARCHIVE, MS 3469
    (pp. 13-30)
    Elizabeth H. Will

    John of Gaunt was one of the foremost figures of the late fourteenth century in both England’s domestic affairs and European affairs more generally. At the root of his power lay the wealth of the Lancastrian estates and the income acquired by right of his wife Blanche. Gaunt was a highly controversial figure. In his own time his loyalties were considered to be deeply suspect and he provoked strong feelings, frequently of enmity. He was widely disliked by the Londoners in 1377 and the rebels in 1381, and among the chroniclers only Knighton, who wrote under his patronage, was openly...

  9. ‘WITH MY LIFE, HIS JOYES BEGAN AND ENDED’: PIERS GAVESTON AND KING EDWARD II OF ENGLAND REVISITED
    (pp. 31-51)
    Jochen Burgtorf

    The relationship between the Gascon noble Piers Gaveston (c. 1282–1312) and King Edward II of England (1284–1327) has long been the subject of debate.² Fourteenth- and fifteenth-century gossip, the works of Renaissance writers, particularly Christopher Marlowe’s Edward the Second (1592) and Derek Jarman’s silver-screen adaptation of the same (1992), Hollywood’s distortion of English medieval history in the form of Mel Gibson’s Braveheart (1995), and a number of recent works of popular fiction have shaped the public perception of this relationship.³

    The story of Edward and Gaveston is quickly told. When Edward was prince of Wales, Gaveston joined his...

  10. CLERICAL RECRUITMENT IN ENGLAND, 1282–1348
    (pp. 52-77)
    David Robinson

    Ordination set a mediaeval clerk apart from his contemporaries. As a ‘literate’ youth he was tonsured by the bishop and might thereafter in time proceed to the order of acolyte. He might after that move swiftly to the first of the higher, or ‘holy’, orders, the subdiaconate, or delay for a few years before taking this step. Alternatively, he might not progress to holy orders but prefer to remain free to marry and pursue a non-ecclesiastical career. Once ordained subdeacon, he would probably progress within a year or two to diaconate and priesthood.¹ Although a few subdeacons’ and deacons’ posts...

  11. SECULAR PATRONAGE AND RELIGIOUS DEVOTION: THE DESPENSERS AND ST MARY’S ABBEY, TEWKESBURY
    (pp. 78-93)
    Martyn Lawrence

    The abbey church of St Mary at Tewkesbury, seven miles north of Gloucester, is the burial place of one of the fourteenth century’s most reviled families, the Despensers.¹ From the twelfth century, successive Clare earls of Gloucester were laid to rest in the choir of Tewkesbury, establishing it as a mausoleum of some importance. Following in their wake, six generations of the Despenser family were buried in the abbey, and lavish improvements – modelled on the changes made by Henry III at Westminster – were made in an extravagant attempt to emulate the work of the previous patronal family. This article looks...

  12. THE ‘CALCULUS OF FACTION’ AND RICHARD II’S DUCHY OF IRELAND, c. 1382–9
    (pp. 94-115)
    Peter Crooks

    During the penultimate decade of the fourteenth century, a long-standing factional struggle between the two most powerful comital houses in English Ireland became markedly more intense.¹ The nobles in question were Gerald fitz Maurice (d. 1398), third earl of Desmond, head of the Munster branch of the famous Geraldine family; and James Butler, third earl of Ormond (d. 1405).² On two occasions – in the autumn of 1384 and again in the spring of 1387 – the records of the Irish chancery laconically report the outbreak of ‘great discords’ between these earls.³ The royal administration in Ireland deemed it prudent to intervene....

  13. RICHARD II IN THE CONTINUATIO EULOGII: YET ANOTHER ALLEGED HISTORICAL INCIDENT?
    (pp. 116-129)
    G. B. Stow

    A well known passage in the continuation of the Eulogium Historiarum has been very influential in assessments of Richard II and his policies. In its account of events in the year 1398 the Eulogium describes a rather bizarre scene in Richard’s chamber:

    After this, on solemn festival days, which were set aside for royal display, the king ordered a throne to be set up in his chamber, on which he often sat in full view from dinner until vespers, speaking to no one but overlooking all men, and if his gaze fell upon anyone, no matter what his rank, that...

  14. WAS RICHARD II A TYRANT? RICHARD’S USE OF THE BOOKS OF RULES FOR PRINCES
    (pp. 130-160)
    Terry Jones

    My question may seem a bit of a non-starter. For six hundred years, historians have been discussing the weaknesses of King Richard’s character: his vanity, his superstitious nature, his capacity for self-delusion, his vindictiveness, his duplicity, his disregard for his subjects, his favouritism, his self-indulgence, his reliance on bad counsel, his lack of manliness, his fickleness, his introspection, his coldness and lack of social skills, his insecurity, his paranoia, his insanity and, of course, his megalomania. The whole thrust of Ricardian historiography has been: ‘What went wrong?’ How did this promising young ruler end up a tyrant, hated and despised...

  15. COURT VENUES AND THE POLITICS OF JUSTICE
    (pp. 161-177)
    Anthony Musson

    The fourteenth century encompasses a significant chapter in the evolution of the judicial system in England. During this period various (often overlapping) influences were in evidence and there was considerable experimentation in the agencies and personnel employed to administer justice.¹ Historians have traditionally set such changes against a background of conflict between the crown and the parliamentary commons with apparent tensions emerging from the centralising tendencies of royal government and a preference on the part of the localities for devolved judicial powers.² A more nuanced interpretation, however, favours constructive dialogue between the crown and the parliamentary classes over issues of...

  16. MORALITY AND OFFICE IN LATE MEDIEVAL ENGLAND AND FRANCE
    (pp. 178-190)
    Christopher Fletcher

    Modern historians and literary critics share a common tendency which sometimes distorts their interpretations of past societies and the texts produced by them. Both groups of scholars reflect their own societies in preferring what is new or original over what is well-established, derivative or commonplace. The very word ‘commonplace’ carries its own negative connotations in modern English, denoting a feeling or idea which is ordinary, lacking originality or individuality, and hence uninteresting.¹ In making our own judgements about the intellectual and literary achievements of our contemporaries, such an attitude may be fair enough. But in examining cultures which by no...

  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 191-191)