Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2003-01 > 1043435190

From: "Todd A. Farmerie" <>
Subject: Re: Amie de Gaveston Rebuttal - Part 4: A Damsel's Life
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2003 12:06:30 -0700
References: <>

> In a message dated 1/23/03 10:44:17 PM, writes:
>>How many bastard daughters of other Earls were so placed?
> You insist the mystery is solved when it is not.

I am not addressing the mystery. I am addressing your arguments.

> You ask for examples of
> other earls and automatically assume that your mindset is correct by this
> very question. I am saying that she is likely not the daughter of an earl
> at all.

You are saying that because X was not done for Amy, she was not
illegitimate daughter of Piers. This conclusion is predicated on
the expectation that X would be done for Amy were she daughter of
Piers. In other words, your logic runs:

A. Were Amy daughter of Piers, X would be done for her.
B. X was not done for Amy.
C. Therefor, Amy was not daughter of Piers.

This line of reasoning is invalid if either A or B is wrong. I
am addressing A. Thusfar, the only reasoning you have given for
A is an argument from incredulity - "I refuse to believe Edward
would not have taken care of her." Unless you can provide some
indication that Amy should have been treated a specific way by,
for example, showing that individuals in similar circumstances
were so treated, then all you are saying is, "take my word for
it," which falls short of convincing me.

So, back to A. Were Amy daughter of Piers, she should have been
well treated, you protest. To expect this, it would seem
reasonable to investigate how the illegitimate children of other
Earls were treated. If you don't know, or can't cite specific
examples where they were treated as you would expect an 'Amy,
daughter of Earl Piers' to be treated, than your expectation
would appear to be groundless, and your chain of reasoning fails.

> No matter how you cut it, the relationship between Edward II and Piers de
> Gaveston was extremely strong and extremely unusual. Bastardy was not the
> social disgrace that you seem to think is was.

You are putting words in my mouth. I do not think it a disgrace,
but it clearly confered a different social status on the child.
How many surviving sons of Kings were made Earls - damn near all
of them. How many illegitimate sons were? Was Adam? Was
Philip? Was Oliver? Was Morgan? William Longespee seems the
only one in this period, and he had a very special relationship
with his father, one not shared by his bastard siblings.

> Piers daughter -- bastard or
> no bastard -- would be noticed because of the supreme fame of the father and
> the very special relationship that he had with the king.

The king's OWN bastard son was not so recognized. Was the king
less famous than Piers?

> Joan was noticed ...

Joan was heiress, then coheiress, to one of the richest
inheritances in all of England. She was grandniece of the king.
A bastard Amy would not have been heiress to anything at all,
and would only have been related to a political hot-potato. Do
you think these distinctions are irrelevant?

> Amie would be noticed as well.

On what grounds? What about Amy would have led to her notice?
Certainly not the identity of her father, as the birth of the
King's son Adam was not noticed. Certainly not having a marriage
arranged for her, as she had no property and no political family
connections worth marrying into. Certainly not in the
appointment of a guardian, as she had nothing to guard. What,
exactly, would have been noticed about her?

> Bastardy has nothing to do with it, but
> fabulous fame and a natural curiosity of chroniclers to record the pulse of
> their times has everything to do with it.

Again, the King was fabulously famous, and his son Adam is
completely overlooked until he is of fighting age, about the same
age that Amy is first noticed. It appears that there were
significant limits to their curiousity.

> It is quite easy to see Amie as the half-sister of Piers who came to England
> from France well after her half-brother was only history.

All kinds of theories are "quite easy" when one allows onesself
to invent expectations, concoct multiple marriages and ignore all
objections. Ease is not necessarily a good indicator of likelihood.

> This explains ALL
> the circumstances quite well. The ONLY evidence that she was the daughter of
> a Petrus Gaveston at all is an entry many years later that does not make it
> clear that Piers the Earl was the person meant. Had they meant the Earl, I
> think they would have stated that they meant the former earl in that
> document. They did not, so it is safe to assume that they meant someone who
> was not the earl

Several examples were posted here in which deceased Earls were
only identified by name, not title. Given these specific
examples, it is far from safe to read any significance into what
they meant.


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