Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2001-01 > 0979851807

Subject: Re: Father of Amy de Gaveston
Date: Thu, 18 Jan 2001 21:03:27 GMT
References: <93tpl7$g2e$>, <93tuln$jq4$>, <940fb1$njf$>


Sorry for the delay, but I'm just now getting back on my feet after a
bad flu bug. Anyway, nice to meet you and thank you for your reply.
I've commented below.


> Answering the questions that you raised in your post below is what
> prompted me to write the article for the winter 2000 edition of Ken
> Finton's periodical, Plantagenet Connection.

I haven't heard until now about this periodical. Is there a website for
it? How can I order the issue your article appears in? I'll check the
UCLA Library next time I'm there and see if its a periodical they carry.

> Yes there definitely was a cover up, and it has much to do with
> Piers'vanity and pride, as shown in my article. It is also interestin
> to note that the chronicle sources mention all sorts of detail as to
> the celebrations including the amounts spent on the musicians, but do
> not mention the name of the child. - This is the first clue that
> my suspicions.

I'm intrigued to read your theory in more detail, though I must admit
it's going to take a lot to convince me that Margaret de Clare, for all
evidence arguably the most compliant of Joan of Acre's Clare daughters,
had an illegitimate child. Such a radical act from what was expected of
a young lady of her rank in the early 14th century seems very
out-of-character from what is already known about her.

One small point comes to mind in regards to the chronicle sources (which
I admit I have not read directly myself - too busy tracking down Thomas
of Brotherton recently) not mentioning the name of Piers and Margaret's
daughter at her birth. John Carmi Parsons mentioned in his 1984 article
in *Medieval Studies* on the children of Edward I and Eleanor of
Castile, that it was common for chronicles to announce the birth of a
royal child and leave the name blank, to be filled in later. This, for
instance, has led to confusion over the birth date for Edward I's
daughter, nun-princess Mary, who some have devised was born in 1278, and
others in 1279.

> If Edward II had prounounced that Piers was father of the daughter
> to Margaret, (even though all knew the truth), who in his right mind
> would challenge him ?

A number of people pop into my head who would've challenged him over
much less, but I'll wait until I read your full article.

> Also, in medieval English common law, bastardy
> was not a status or condition. In all cases where even if it was
> suspected that a married woman had comitted adultry, English common
> maintained that the child was the son of his mothers father.

This is all territory I admit I know very little. I did not know that a
suspected illegitimate child (on the mother's part) was legally the
status of a child of the mother's father. But would that make Amy de
Gaveston legally the status of a child of Margaret's father Gilbert de

> It borders on improbable that Margaret accompanied Piers in his forays
> into the Scotish Highlands, given their disfunctional relationship and
> the perils of the journey - after all Piers left the relative safety
> the border castle where he was quartered, (Hermitage Castle according
> to the "Cotton Nero C VIII" chronicle), to chase Robert the Bruce.

Two small points spring to mind here: first, we don't know the personal
nature of Piers and Margaret's relationship, beyond the fact that their
marriage was arranged. She was either the same age as Queen Isabella or
a year older, so both women were about 12 when they married, and 17 or
18 when they each had their children in 1312.

Queen Eleanor and Queen Margaret both accompanied Edward I on various
military campaigns to Wales and Scotland, as did Elizabeth, Countess of
Hereford (Edward II's sister). I'd have to double check the dates, but
I think all 3 women conceived while their husbands were on active
military duty.

> suggest that you read my article, as it fully delves into that
> and also visit the excellent web site quoted to check out the
> surrounding those circumstances.

I shall be happy to do both. What is the address of the website you
refer to?

> As to Margaret's date of conception, Hamilton, in his book "Piers
> Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall" page 85, shows Piers chasing Robert the
> Bruce around Perth until three weeks after Easter (2nd May 1311, much
> beyond the bounds of prematurity for that era.

I can see where you wished to look further, because of the dates.

> By English common law she would use her paternal surname, irregardless
> of her status.

Yes, this at least is an indisputable fact. There was a woman in Queen
Philippa's household in the 1330's going by the name Amy de Gaveston. I
look forward to reading both yours and Paul Reed's recent articles on

One more question has come to mind on the subject, and if its been
addressed in the articles I haven't yet read, I apologize for bringing
it up again - the lady's first name, AMY.

Joan of Acre's 5 documented daughters, Eleanor, Margaret and Elizabeth
de Clare, plus Mary and Joan de Monthermer, all have the names of their
mother's sisters and the lady herself. Along this vein, Eleanor de
Clare's daughters were given the names Isabella, Eleanor, Margaret, Joan
and Elizabeth (Despenser); Margaret de Clare's were named Joan (de
Gaveston) and Margaret (d'Audley); Elizabeth de Clare's were Isabella
(de Verdun) and Elizabeth (d'Amory); Mary de Monthermer's was either
Isabella or Elizabeth (Countess of Fife).

In the case of Isabella Despenser, I would guess Queen Isabella was the
naming inspiration. In the case of Isabella of Fife, it could either
have been the Queen or maybe Isabella, the second wife of Ralph de

The name Amy (or Amicia, as she's sometimes called) seems to be a unique
occurence for the family naming pattern. Has there been any suggestions
as to why?

Best regards, --------------Brad Verity

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