Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2001-01 > 0980994366

From: (Reedpcgen)
Subject: Re: Amie de Gaveston
Date: 01 Feb 2001 02:26:06 GMT
References: <95a8qf$bvc$>

[Brad wrote:]
>But when you take into consideration that Edward II (with Queen
>Isabella) intentionally kept the court over the border in Scotland at
>that time (in order to avoid dealing with the Ordainers, the magnates
>who were opposed to him and asserting their authority),

This is an important point which I think has been skewed by others. Edward I
and Edward II carried on long campaigns in Scotland. Though Scotland was
indeed a dangerous place (as it even was for Englishmen on the Scottish
frontier in the seventeenth century) in 1312, royal government and the royal
household had to follow the king. Appropriate actions would be taken to ensure
the security of the crown and government. I was greatly bothered by the
argument that the Scots were so ferocious and dangerous that Piers would not
have considered bringing Margaret near the border or into Scotland in 1311.
Margaret was at York in 1312 (an uncontested fact), which itself is near enough
the border.

Beyond that, Margaret was Piers' wife. Piers wanted and needed an heir to his
inheritance. The Ordainers did not want him in England. Edward would be more
his own lord in Scotland, and could be with his favorite Piers. To conclude
that they would not have had security or the benefit of the soft pleasant
things Piers had grown accustomed to seems a rash assumption to me. Why should
Margaret not be near enough during this Scottish campaign?

Again (if you read Hamilton's biography of Piers), I think it highly unlikely
that Piers and Edward would have rushed to York in 1312 to be there in time for
the birth, and then pay extravagant amounts for a celebration if the child were
certainly NOT Piers' offspring.

>Is the fine the only surviving document that establishes the link
>between Amie de Gaveston and Piers?

The best rendition of the fine is in Farnham's Leicestershire Medieval Village
Notes, where a fuller version is presented than that in Leicestershire Medieval
Pedigrees or other places. It is the only known place where Amie de Gaveston
is specifically stated to be daughter of Piers de Gaveston.

I initially wondered if there might be another Piers, but remember that this
period, 1334, is still relatively early in the usage of surnames in England,
and Gaveston, or Gabaston, a rare name in England (and more than two decades
after Piers' deathn by which time the Earldom of Cornwall was long gone from
his association). Couple that with the fact that Amie was rewarded by the
queen for her long service in the household (if she were a young girl in
1331-4, how could she have already provided years of service which were being
rewarded by the Queen?), and you have Amie directly connected with court. The
only other Piers de Gaveston I seem to remember any mention of at that time was
in the church. Thus, the rarity of the name and the social circles involved
indicate the likelihood of the identification being correct.

Piers was not likely (from what we know of his personal life) to have kept a
mistress for a period of years, and was killed suddenly in 1312 when Amie would
still have been an infant, so there would have been no incentive for him to
provide for her. Edward had his own distractions in the 1320's, so it is not
surprising that he did nothing for Amie. That she was a servant in the Queen's
household (a fairly lowly position at that period), with no other known
connections, would indicate the possibility that her mother also served there.

Also, there were numerous ways in which Margaret could have legally provided
for Amie had she been Amie's mother. There are other examples of how a mother
did this in other articles I've written (e.g., see the matter of Joan de Harley
in The Genealogist). If Margaret were indeed Amie's mother, and if Margaret
only had one other child (the legitimate daughter and heir by her second
husband), it would be utterly extraordinary that Margaret did not do more for
Amie during her lifetime. Margaret was one of the wealthiest women in the
realm, long single. She had plenty to dispose of, and many means to dispose
with. Why should there be some great conspiracy to cover up the identity of a
child, had she borne one out of wedlock? And why would chroniclers not have
mentioned this, as they were rather moralistic at this time, and Piers not one
of their favorite persons?

As for the fine, there were a number of people involved, and Amie mentioned in
the remainder, so the way in which her parentage is described is not unusual or
odd, given other facts we know.

Margaret was RARELY referred to as "de Gaveston" even before Piers died. This
is covered in the article.

I hope I've covered a few things that will help.


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