Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2003-01 > 1044070611

Subject: Re: Amie de Gaveston Rebuttal - Part 4: A Damsel's Life
Date: Fri, 31 Jan 2003 22:36:51 EST

Just thought I'd post this, quoting the English translation of the Vita
Edwardi Secundi by Denholm-Young. He concludes that the genuine part of the
work involved ended in the year 1325, and was written by a highly educated

pp. 14-15

"This Piers originated in Gascony, the son of a certain knight who had been
in the household of the elder king Edward [Hic Petrus a Wasconia oriundus
filius fuit cujusdam militis regis Edwardi senioris quondam familiaris]."

"While Edward the younger was still Prince of Wales, the said Piers was
received into his household as a young esquire, and by a gratifying attention
to his duties he quickly found the highest favour in his master's sight.
And, to make a long story short, our king when he had obtained the kingdom on
the death of his father, made Piers de Gaveston Earl of Cornwall. But Piers
now Earl of Cornwall did not wish to remember that he had once been Piers the
humble esquire. For Piers accounted no one his fellow, no one his peer, save
the king alone. Indeed his countenance exacted greater deference that that
of the king. His arrogance was intolerable to the barons and a prime cause
of hatred and rancour. For it is commonly said, 'You may be rich and wise
and handsome, But insolence could be your ruin.'"

p. 58

"A few days after Christmas, the king had the body of Piers Gaveston, once
his intimate friend, transferred from Oxford to Langley. For now two years
and more had elapsed since he was beheaded, and till now he had lain unburied
with the friars of Oxford."

Note that this, considered to be the primary chronicle for Edward II's reign,
states that Piers was son of a knight who served in Edward I's household.
Arnaud de Gabston is thoroughly documented as this knight of the name
Gabaston who served Edward loyally for several decades.

Also, I should explain why Hamilton said Piers was uncle of Bertrand Caillau,
even though it was Piers' aunt (not sister) who married Pierre Caillau,
father of Bertrand.

List of Ancient Correspondence of the Chancery and Exchequer [L & I no. XV,
rev. ed., p. 769], abstracting v. 49, no. 169, states that "Peter de
Gabaston, earl of Cornwall [wrote to John, Earl of Richmond, Lieutenant in
Gascony] request for the repealing of a sentence of banishment from Gascony
passed in his absence against his nephew...." This was written from Dundee 2
March 1311, and reference is made to I. Lubimenko, _Jean de Bretagne_ (Paris,
1908), p. 141.

The index, published in the supplemental series, no. 15, indicates that this
nephew of Piers was named Bertram Caillau. Hamilton cited to the originals
at the PRO, not these printed abstracts, but it also links Piers into the
Caillau connection.

Ancient Correspondence also lists letters from Escleremonde de Marsan, wife
of Arnaud de Gabaston. Hers was clearly the more prominent family. Her
father Arnaud-Guillaum was an adult by 1232 and died in 1272. Marsan was the
first of the bastides founded at the convergence of two rivers by Pierre,
Vicomte de Bearn in 1141 (Mont-de-Marsan). His son Gaston V died without
issue in 1170, leaving a sister and heir, Marie de Marsan, who brought the
title and lands to her husband, Guillaume de Moncade. This makes me wonder
if Arnaud-Guillaume, possibly born about 1210, was of a line descended from
an illegitimate son of one of these Vicomtes of Marsan/Bearn.

It is also interesting that Edward I made to monetary gifts to Arnaud de
Gabaston, Piers' father, to aid him in the marriage of two of his daughters
(after his wife's death), one in July 1289, the other in May 1291 Rol. Gasc.
2:975, 3:1868). This would mean Piers had at least two married sisters. It
would also help explain why Arnaud-Guillaume de Marsan, Piers' eldest
brother, is about ten years Piers' senior.


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