Il cibo del re (parte seconda)

Il guest post di Kathryn Warner settimana scorsa ci aveva rivelato quali fossero i cibi preferiti di Edoardo II e il ruolo fondamentale della buona tavola presso la sua corte. Ecco la mia risposta per quanto riguarda ciò che Edoardo potrebbe aver gustato qui in Italia se, come sostiene la lettera Fieschi, trascorse del tempo nelle colline dell’Oltrepò, tra gli Appennini a sud di Pavia (specialmente nella Valle Staffora vicino a Cecima)

Domenica scorso The Auramala Project con i suoi amici di Cantina Montelio e Ristorante Selvatico abbiamo festeggiato il Giorno di Sant’Antonio, 17 gennaio, a Sant’Alberto di Butrio con un buon piatto di zuppa di castagne e latte, e un bicchiere di ottimo vin brulè. Tradizionalmente durante questa festività, nella Valle Staffora, si consumavano le castagne inzuppate nel latte. I frutti del castagno, caduti l’autunno precedente, venivano tostati a secco per preservarli durante l’inverno, rendendoli duri come sassi (questo processo è descritto nel sesto capitolo del mio romanzo Edward). Le castagne erano poi bollite per un paio d’ore, in modo da ammorbidirle, e infine servite nel latte tiepido. Non si sa a quando risalga tale uso, ma sicuramente entrambi gli ingredienti erano presenti in abbondanza all’epoca di Edoardo II. La castagna infatti era alla base dell’ alimentazione degli abitanti degli Appennini e il latte era prodotto in grande quantità nella Valle Staffora grazie all’antica razza della vacca varzese, una specie locale nota per fornire una deliziosa materia prima. E’ ispirandomi a questa tradizione che ho voluto che Edoardo II nel diciassettesimo capitolo del mio libro mangiasse castagne e latte il giorno di Sant’Antonio. Esattamente come noi di The Auramala Project domenica scorsa!

Kathryn Warner ci ha raccontato quanto Edoardo II amasse mangiare pesce e crostacei. Logicamente, vista la distanza dal mare, non vi era un’abbondanza di pesce d’acqua salata nella Valle Staffora. Tuttavia, i fiumi locali erano ricchi di trota e storione e, dal momento che non esistevano frigoriferi e conservare i cibi era un grosso problema, una specialità locale era la trota “in carpione”. Infatti il pesce veniva mantenuto più a lungo marinandolo in aceto di vino e erbe per giorni, a volte addirittura settimane. Come già detto nel caso precedente, non è possibile datare questa ricetta, ma gli ingredienti erano sicuramente disponibili nel periodo a cui facciamo riferimento. Lo storione, al contrario, è meglio che lo si consumi fresco. Io vengo da Darwin, in Australia, ovvero la patria del barramundi e di solito mi faccio quattro risate quando qualcuno mi dice “questo sarà il miglior pesce che tu abbia mai mangiato”. Ma dopo una cena all’Osteria del Previ a Pavia ho dovuto ammettere che lo storione locale si scioglie letteralmente in bocca, davvero prelibato! Un altro pesce che Edoardo II avrà sicuramente assaggiato da queste parti, come in molti altri paesi d’Europa, è l’anguilla. Al tempo era particolarmente pregiata perché poteva essere trasportata per lunghe distanze pur preservandone la freschezza, semplicemente collocandola viva in un secchio pieno di erba bagnata. Vi erano moltissime ricette a base di anguilla nella cucina medievale anche se, al giorno d’oggi, molti storcono il naso all’idea. L’ironia della sorte ha voluto che l’unica volta che ho avuto l’occasione di assaggiare l’anguilla mi trovassi proprio a Londra! Sfortunatamente il negozio era chiuso!

Per quanto riguarda la cucina italiana di quel periodo, le nostre fonti più attendibili sono da ricondursi al genere della novella, risalente al XIV secolo. Le novelle consistono in una via di mezzo fra il moderno racconto e la fiaba, anche se le migliori sono arricchite da riferimenti extratestuali ed elementi di critica sociale. Le novelle più conosciute sono quelle contenute nel Decameron di Boccaccio, famose per le loro tematiche moderne molto “sesso droga e rock’n’roll” e ambientate in tutta Italia: da Firenze, a Pavia, a Napoli, alla Sicilia. Grazie a Boccaccio scopriamo, ad esempio, che il parmigiano a quei tempi esisteva e veniva già gustato grattuggiandolo sulla pasta in molte regioni italiane; dalla stessa novella contenente questa informazione apprendiamo anche che i maccheroni e i ravioli erano stati già “inventati” e questi ultimi venivano cucinati in brodo di cappone (gallo castrato).

macellazione-del-maiale
La macellazione del maiale in un manoscritto del basso medioevo. Mentre il maiale viene ucciso, una donna è pronta con scodella e secchio per non sprecare il prezioso sangue dell’animale, da trasformare in sanguinaccio sia dolce che salato, a secondo delle usanze del posto. Ancora oggi simili scene si possono vedere in molte zone dell’Italia rurale.

Nonostante la loro fama, le novelle di Boccaccio non sono l’unica fonte relativa alla vita quotidiana nel XIV secolo in Italia; elementi essenziali si possono reperire infatti nelle Trecento Novelle di Franco Sacchetti. Questi racconti sono meno sofisticati di quelli del Boccaccio dal punto di vista letterario e spesso trattano di cibo e vino ed è qui che, ad esempio, ho trovato una descrizione di un budino nero dolce a base di sangue di maiale, preparato nel periodo della macellazione (in Edward Capitolo 13).

Anche nelle Trecento Novelle possiamo trovare un lungo elenco di cibi che erano reperibili al tempo: prosciutto affumicato (prosciutto crudo), salame, coppa, pancetta. La letteratura del tempo, infatti, non lascia alcun dubbio: i derivati del maiale erano, come oggi, tra i cibi preferiti in Italia e il rituale della macellazione del maiale era un momento fondamentale dell’anno.

Ne troviamo conferma anche nella pittura dell’epoca, come nel caso del castello di Lomello dove è possibile ammirare un affresco del XIV sec, raffigurante le “Quattro Stagioni”, in cui l’inverno è rappresentato dal rito della macellazione del maiale.

Se desiderate approfondire l’argomento potrete farlo in modo molto piacevole leggendo le novelle di Boccaccio e Sacchetti, ma anche la poesia di Dante e del suo rivale Cecco Angiolieri. Sono stati condotti inoltre molti studi sull’argomento, di cui potrete leggere ne “La vita quotidiana ai tempi di Dante” di Pierre Antonetti e nel saggio di Valeria Mouchet dal titolo “Cibo nelle novelle medievali” , entrambi disponibili in italiano.

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Il cibo del re – Guest Post di Kathryn Warner

E’ da molto che speravo di poter “ospitare” un post di Kathryn Warner qui sul sito dell’Auramala Project. Kathryn è una vera ispirazione e punto di riferimento per chiunque sia incuriosito dalla figura di Edoardo II e da quel periodo storico- non parliamo poi di qualcuno che, come me, ha trascorso gli ultimi anni concentrandosi su questo sovrano per gran parte del suo tempo libero. Cari lettori, avrete ormai capito che ai membri dell’ Auramala Project piace mettere qualcosa di gustoso in tavola quando si apprestano a iniziare una delle loro investigazioni storiche e anche qualcosa di rosso e scintillante nei loro calici. Ecco perché ho chiesto a Kathryn se volesse rivelarci qualcosa in più circa i gusti di Re Edoardo II in fatto di cibo e bevande, magari illustrandoci qualche ricetta.

In un batter d’occhio lei ha scritto questo bel post. Tra un’abbuffata invernale e l’altra ora possiamo immaginare cosa gustasse Edoardo II durante le feste. Grazie Kathryn per questo post pieno di festoso spirito natalizio!

Oggi scopriremo insieme quale dieta seguiva Re Edoardo II di Inghilterra (regnò dal 1307 al 1327) , che cosa usava bere e cosa si conosce delle sue abitudini alimentari e cerimonie a corte.

Il re era un gran goloso di pesce e molluschi. Nel 1326, ringraziò uno dei suoi fornitori di corte per avergli portato granchi e gamberetti e gli disse che nulla era stato così tanto di suo gusto negli ultimi tempi. Nel 1325, quando era vicino ai porti di Dover e Sandwich nel Kent, gli fu portata una grande quantità di pesci: granchi, orate, spigole, merlani, merluzzetti, sogliole, triglie e molti altri.

Sembra che anche le anguille fossero di suo gusto e che venissero spesso acquistate per la casa reale. Edoardo trascorse il Natale del 1322 a York e durante il banchetto, tra le tante portate, mangiò focena, storione, cigno, pavone, airone, piccione, cervo e maiale selvatico.

Secondo un’ordinanza del 1318 della corte di Edoardo II – la seconda più antica d’Inghilterra- il re deve avere tre scudieri che lo servano a tavola: il primo che controlli e assaggi il cibo, il secondo che “affetti in presenza del re” e il terzo che lo serva dal suo calice. La stessa ordinanza enuncia che al re, alla regina e a qualsiasi nobile ospite a corte spettano quattro portate e al personale di servizio tre, tranne ai “ragazzi” (garsons), a cui ne toccano solo due. Al tempo della Grande Carestia del 1315, Edoardo aveva emanato una proclamazione “per limitare il numero di portate sulle tavole dei lord” a causa delle “eccessive e abbondanti porzioni” che erano soliti consumare. Evidentemente un complesso cerimoniale ruotava attorno al pasto del re: i suoi chamber accounts (la contabilità interna della corte) registrano pagamenti tra i 20 e i 100 scellini a vari membri del personale di corte “per ciò che avevano fatto nella sala dei banchetti mentre il re mangiava”. La precisa natura di tali cerimonie, tuttavia, non è resa esplicita.

Tutti i membri della corte avevano diritto (in base all’Ordinanza del 1318 e, presumibilmente, alla tradizione) a un gallone di birra chiara al giorno, essendo questa la bevanda abituale per chiunque, al pari dell’acqua, del succo o della Coca Cola al giorno d’oggi. Un gallone di birra nell’Inghilterra del 1325 costava un penny o, talvolta, un penny e mezzo. Troviamo nei documenti reali anche alcuni richiami al mosto, vino non fermentato. Sicuramente Edoardo II gradiva anche il vino della Guascogna, la regione sud-est della Francia che aveva ereditato dal padre e, in origine, dalla sua bis bis nonna Eleonora d’Aquitania. Oltre alla birra, i servitori di corte potevano avere una “messe de gros”, letteralmente un “grande piatto”, ovvero una porzione di qualsiasi carne fosse stata preparata quel giorno. Servitori del rango equivalente a quello di un valletto o superiore avevano diritto a una portata di carne arrosto, mentre quelli di gerarchia inferiore mangiavano solo carne bollita.

Una “messe de gros” andava condivisa tra due, tre o quattro persone, tranne nel caso di personaggi di estrema importanza come Edoardo II appunto.

tacuinum_sanitatis-fishing_lamprey
Sappiamo che Edoardo II amava mangiare più di ogni altra cosa il pesce, e soprattutto il pesce di fiume. Qui la pesca della lampreda in un manoscritto del XIV secolo, l’epoca di Edward

Tra i servitori di corte troviamo “uno scudiero fruttivendolo per la bocca del re”, un servitore che si occupava delle stoviglie e delle posate per la tavola reale, un coppiere e due panettieri. Degli ultimi due, uno si doveva occupare del forno e l’altro del mulino. C’erano anche cinque servitori in cucina “dei quali uno farà l’usciere e procurerà nella grande dispensa , secondo i comandi dei suoi superiori, ogni cosa: carne e pesce che saranno serviti al re. Pane, vino e birra li prenderà nelle apposite dispense, e le spezie nella spezieria, sempre secondo gli ordini e i comandi dei suoi superiori. E un altro valletto sarà porterà l’acqua e la riscalderà per i nobili: riceverà i recipienti dalla detta cucina tramite contratto scritto con l’ufficiale in carico del retrocucina e li sorveglierà e ne avrà cura sia quando viaggierà che quando sarà a riposo. [cioè quando la corte sarà stanziata in un solo luogo]. E cucinerà “la grande carne” (la grosse chare) e preparerà il primo piatto, sia il pesce che la carne. E un altro valletto sarà colui che farà le zuppe per la camera del re e preparerà la sugna/rognone per la sua tavola. E due altri valletti prepareranno gli arrosti e gli altri piatti per la suddetta camera, secondo gli ordini dei loro superiori. I quali cinque valletti avranno un ragazzo che trasporterà il loro letti e li aiuterà in cucina.”

Nel marzo e nell’aprile del 1315, Edoardo II e il suo consiglio cercarono di modificare il prezzo di numerosi alimenti alla base dell’alimentazione del tempo, per cercare di alleviare la miseria dei sudditi affamati durante la Grande Carestia. (Queste norme fallirono del tutto e vennero revocate dal Parlamento di Lincoln pochi mesi dopo.) Ecco alcuni dei prezzi stabiliti nel 1315: una “grassa pecora” doveva costare non più di 20 pence se non tosata e 14 se tosata; un bue non nutrito a granoturco un massimo di sedici scellini, o ventiquattro scellini se nutrito a granoturco e ingrassato; una mucca grassa e viva, dodici scellini; un grosso pollo, un penny e mezzo; ventiquattro uova, un penny.

Un giorno di giugno nel 1319, la corte della nipote di Edoardo II, Elizabeth de Burgh e suo marito Roger Damory – almeno una dozzina di persone- consumò cibo per il valore di poco più di una sterlina, che includeva: mezza carcassa di manzo salato, un fianco di bacon, mezzo maiale, un po’ di montone, quaranta aringhe, mezzo salmone, due stoccafissi salati, anguille, due anatre, sei galline e 150 uova. Nel novembre e dicembre del 1311, la regina di Edoardo II, Isabella di Francia, spese cinque sterline in 5000 “vari frutti” per sé e la sua corte, incluse 1000 pere e 300 mele. Il maggio seguente, comprò altre 5500 mele, a un costo di cinquantacinque scellini. La corte di Edoardo II, circa 500 persone, necessitava di una una spesa smisurata in cibo e bevande: i registri del suo nono anno di regno, dall’8 luglio 1315 al 7 luglio 1316, mostrano che spese 887 sterline in cibo e 1160 in vino (e anche più di 3000 in regali per l’Anno Nuovo, 627 sterline in vestiti, 334 in intrattenimento per la corte e 4644 sterline in “altre necessità”).

Altre letture

Sull’argomento generale del cibo nell’Inghilterra medievale: Food and Feast in Medieval England di Peter Hammond, The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England di Ian Mortimer, e The Great Household in Late Medieval England di C.M. Woolgar.

Edward: Storia o invenzione?

Difficile a dirsi.

Si tratta di una storia di spionaggio e avventura ambientata nel Medioevo e, nonostante gli anni di ricerca e il rigore che ho cercato di mantenere nel rispettare i dati e gli avvenimenti storici, ammetto con piacere che almeno la metà dell’opera è frutto della mia fantasia.

Anche il più meticoloso degli storici può essere scusato se definisce la propria professione con qualcosa come: “lo studio di ciò che pensa di sapere sul passato”.

Diciamoci la verità: si discute tanto su vicende avvenute pochi anni fa, figuriamoci quando si tratta di secoli orsono… l’intervento di una certa parte della comunità internazionale nella Guerra Civile libica del 2011 fu motivato da un reale intento di soccorso umanitario nei confronti dei cittadini libici o dalla brama di poter dire la propria su come dovessero essere sfruttate le risorse petrolifere del Paese?

Svariate sono le risposte a questo e tantissimi altri quesiti posti negli ultimi anni.

image
La satira non ha risparmiato la versione ‘ufficiale’ dell’intervento internazionale in Libia nel 2011

Eppure, pensateci un attimo: esistono letteralmente centinaia di migliaia di documenti cartacei e digitali che ci possono fornire imformazioni sulla guerra civile del Libano.

Immaginate di dover studiare eventi storici risalenti al 1337 e 1338, gli anni in cui è ambientato Edward. Non esistevano giornali locali nelle città europee che registrassero gli avvenimenti quotidiani, né bloggers all’angolo della strada che potessero condividere il loro punto di vista sulle notizie del giorno.

Gli storici devono basarsi su un numero spaventosamente ridotto di testi, scritti per lo più da monaci ed ecclesiasti. Nella maggior parte dei casi i documenti originari sono andati in parte o del tutto distrutti e sono rimaste solo copie scritte a mano piene di errori.

Con così poche informazioni attendibili su avvenimenti così lontani da noi nel tempo, non stupisce il fatto che io non sia riuscito a trovare due storici che concordino su un qualsiasi evento storico dell’epoca medievale.

Non uno, credetemi! Eccovi un esempio: tra la fine del 1326 e l’inizio nel 1327, Roger Mortimer, un barone inglese, si coalizzò con la Isabella di Francia, sovrana d’Inghilterra, per poter imprigionare suo marito Edoardo II e prendere il controllo del paese. Molti li pensano amanti anche se non ne abbiamo prove certe.

Alcuni storici sostengono che Isabella fosse la mente e Mortimer il braccio. Altri attribuiscono tutta la strategia al Barone, altri ancora sono per uno sforzo congiunto, altri infine prediligono la teoria che il ruolo del leader spettò ad Isabella in alcune fasi del piano e a Mortimer in altre.

Kathryn and Isabella
Nel suo recente ‘Isabella of France: The Rebel Queen‘ (Isabella di Francia, la regina ribelle) storico britannico Kathryn Warner capovolge la tradizionale versione della storia di Roger Mortimer e Isabella di Francia, che ritiene il barone il vero leader, e fa notare centinaia di documenti che sostengono che la regina abbia giocato un ruolo di spicco.

Dunque, considerato un tale caso di incertezza nel mondo accademico, cosa può farci uno scrittore? Io ho solo descritto alcuni eventi nel modo in cui meglio si adattano alla materia e alla trama del mio libro, ben consapevole di attirare le critiche degli storici, indipendentemente da ciò che decido di riportare. E così sia.

Sono assolutamente soddisfatto nel definire Edward una narrazione di fatti storici e, allo stesso tempo, un racconto di storica fantasia!

Genealogia: unisciti alla ricerca dei discendenti viventi della madre di Edoardo II, Eleonora di Castiglia

Hai lo stesso DNA mitocondriale di Edoardo II? Aiutaci a completare le tavole genealogiche in questa pagina!

Sei un appassionato di genealogia e vuoi scoprire se sei una delle persone che cerchiamo? Per favore dai un’occhiata ai nomi delle tabelle qui sotto. Se una di queste donne è tra i tuoi antenati, ti invitiamo in contatto con noi, potresti essere proprio tu ad aiutarci a risolvere il mistero del Re Edoardo II di Inghilterra (clicca qui per scoprire come!).

A partire da importanti ricerche condotte dalla storica Kathryn Warner e da Kevin McKenzie, il nostro collaboratore Terry Muff, con l’aiuto di sua nipote Bethany, è riuscito a portare a termine l’arduo compito di completare le seguenti tavole genealogiche. Terry è un detective della polizia in pensione e, come forse potete immaginare, ha delle formidabili capacità investigative!

Le tavole genealogiche sottostanti seguono esclusivamente la linea di trasmissione del DNA mitocondriale: dalla madre di Edoardo II, Eleonora di Castiglia, fino a noi, attraverso le sue discendenti secondo la linea diretta di madre in figlia. Si inizia con quelle di due diversi rami della famiglia, quello di Lucy Eyre e quello di Thomasine Kirkham.

Discendenti di Lucy Eyre

Clicca qui per visualizzare la linea diretta che riconduce Lucy Eyre a Eleonora di Castiglia, madre di Edoardo II, ottenuta dalle ricerche di Kathryn Warner.

(1) Lucy Eyre (d. before 1556) = Humphrey Stafford of Eyam

(1.1) Gertrude Stafford b c 1553 Eyam, Derbyshire, = Rowland Eyre of Hassop

– – (1.1.1) Jane Eyre, m Christopher Pegge

– – – (1.1.1.1) Prudence Pegge b 15/10/1598 at Kniveton, Derbyshire, = John Hollingworth of Hollingworth 1615

– – – (1.1.1.2) Anne Pegge b 11/2/1602 = Johannes Whitewall of Yeldersley

– – (1.1.2) Frances Eyre b1558 Hassop, Derby

(1.2) Alice Stafford = Anthony Savage

– – (1.2.1) Alice Savage married Francis Thornton 13/4/1674

– – – (1.2.1.1) Margaret Thornton – emigrated to Virginia in 1669 with the Strothers (see 1.2.2.)

– – – (1.2.1.2) Elizabeth Thornton = George Towndrow of Eckington, Derby 28/6/1703 but only issue was 2 sons. This line appears to be without any female issue.

– – (1.2.2) Dorothy Savage = William Strother. The Strother’s emigrated to Virginia 1669 and ?taking Margaret Thorton with them.

(1.3) Ann Stafford = Francis Bradshaw of Bradshaw Hall in 1565.

– – (1.3.1) Lucy Bradshaw = Nicholas Cresswell of Ford 1621

– – – (1.3.1.1) Barbara Cresswell only daughter = John Barber in 1648

– – – – (1.3.1.1.1) Ann Barber b 29/9/1650 = Robertus Outrim 24/4/1672, Brampton

– – – – (1.3.1.1.2) Grace Barber b 1/3/1651/2 = Benjamin Twigg 8/1682 Chesterfield

– – – – – (1.3.1.1.2.1.) Elizabeth Twigg b 1695 = John Tatlow, St Wegburghs Derby 26/12/1723

– – – – – (1.3.1.1.2.2.) Hannah Twigg b 9/1/1684 = Anthony Gregory of Culver, at Bakewell 11/2/1710/11

– – – – (1.3.1.1.2) Mary Barber bapt 23/10/1653

(1.4) Catherine Stafford (bapt 1/9/1568) = Rowland Morewood of The Oaks

– – (1.4.1) Anne Morewood, = James Bullock of Greenhill

– – – (1.4.1.1) Elizabeth Bullock (bapt 12/04/1608) = Godfrey Froggat of Mayfield (d. 1664)

– – – – (1.4.1.1.1) Elizabeth Frogatt (1636-1639) m. Thomas Burley of Greenhill

– – – – – (1.4.1.1.1.1.1) Elizabeth Johnstone b c 1686

– – – – – (1.4.1.1.1.1.2) Jane Johnstone b 9/9/1688

– – – – – (1.4.1.1.1.1.3) Dorothy Johnstone b 9/1/1690 d 1690

– – – – – (1.4.1.1.1.1.5) Barbara Johnstone b 3/11/1699 (A Barbara Johnston = Thomas Pender at St Bartholomew the Great, London 19/10/1726.)

– – – – – (1.4.1.1.1.1.6) Margaret Johnstone b 3/9/1701 d 1701

– – – – – (1.4.1.1.1.1.7) Catherine Johnstone b 9/9/1702

– – – – – (1.4.1.1.1.1.8) Sarah Johnston b 17/8/1698 m James Richardson 1725 or 28/3/1731 at York Minster

– – – – – (1.4.1.1.1.1.9) ? Elizabeth Johnstone b at Stoke = a Thomas Acton 14/5/1695/6 (but currently unsubstantiated).

– – – – (1.4.1.1.2) Alice Frogatt (bapt 9/8/1630 Norton, Derby, d. 12/11(1691), = 9/12/1646 to Thomas Bulkeley, Gent of Stanlow, Leek, Staffs

– – – – – (1.4.1.1.2.1) Elizabeth Bulkeley b 1647 Audley, = John Dormer.

– – – – – – (1.4.1.1.2.1.1) Alice Dormer, bapt 3/2/1675/6

– – – – – – (1.4.1.1.2.1.2) Dianah Dormer 25/6/1689 Stoke on Trent

– – – – – – (1.4.1.1.2.1.3) Maria Dormer bapt 10/4/1687 Stoke on Trent (St Peter and Vincula)

– – – – – (1.4.1.1.2.2) Alice Bulkeley(1) b 4/1/1652 d 20/6/1659. (In Dugdales visitation Alice is listed as “living in London”)

– – – – – (1.4.1.1.2.3) Alice Bulkeley(2) b /d 12/1/1664

– – – – – (1.4.1.1.2.4) Mary Bulkeley b 24/3/1657 married (1) ? William Hordern. (William Horden was a Cutler of Warrington)

– – – – – (1.4.1.1.2.5) Catherine Bukeley b 22/7/1659 (Dugdale’s has Catherine as living in London, unmarried)

– – – – – (1.4.1.1.2.6) Anna Bulkeley b 29/10/1667

– – – – – (1.4.1.1.2.7) Jocosa (Joyce) Bulkeley b 1669 married Richard Locker (Gent) of Kingsley, Staffs 2/1/1704/5 by Licence.

– – – – – (1.4.1.1.2.8) Priscilla Bulkeley b 7/8/1674. Died as a Spinster 21/3/1687 at Bond End.

– – – – – (1.4.1.1.2.9) Sarah Bulkeley 29/8/1649 ?marr Anthony Walsh, Leek 1675 (Walsh is incorrect. Sarah married a ‘Grasier’ of London and living in Essex at the time of Dugdale.)

– – – – (1.4.1.1.3) Catherine Frogatt

– – – – (1.4.1.1.4) Barbara Froggatt = Thomas Bright of Greystones and had 4 daughters (only found 3 – TM)

– – – – – (1.4.1.1.4.1) Ann Bright c1665 = Stephen Bright (2 daughters)

– – – – – – (1.4.1.1.4.1.1) Elizabeth Bright c1688 marr Richard Ashmore

– – – – – – – (1.4.1.1.4.1.1.1) Hannah Ashmore b 21/1/1718marr Thomas Bower 3/4/1739 North Wingfield, Derbyshire

– – – – – – – (1.4.1.1.4.1.1.2) Ann Ashmore b28/5/1714 (sister of Hannah) = William Smith 29/3/1738, North Wingfield, Derbyshire

– – – – – – (1.4.1.1.4.1.2) Mary Bright c1671 = Henry Broomhead in 1689

– – – – – (1.4.1.1.4.2) Barbara dau of Barbara Foggatt b and d in infancy

– – – – – (1.4.1.1.4.3) Daughter of Barbara Frogatt and Thomas Bright 3

– – – – – (1.4.1.1.4.4) Daughter of Barbara Frogatt and Thomas Bright 4

– – – – (1.4.1.1.5) Anne Frogatt

– – – – (1.4.1.1.6) Mary Froggatt b 2/9/1648 Norton, Derby. Aunt of a Mary Frogatt who married Thomas Grundy 4/5/1694 at St Annes, Baslow, Derbyshire. [Too old?TM] *It appears that Mary Froggatt may also have married John Goostrey, Geoffrey Bright of Stavely and a Mr Newham

– – – – (1.4.1.1.7) Priscilla Frogatt

– – – – (1.4.1.1.8) Elizabeth Roberts married a Mr Parker

– – – (1.4.2.) Gertrude Morewood = Jeffrey Roberts

– – – (1.4.3.) Alice Morewood, wife of John Bamford of Pule-hill in the parish of Silkston, esq., a justice of the peace and treasurer for the lame soldiers

– – – (1.4.4.) Elizabeth Morewood, wife of Ralph Greaves

– – – (1.4.5.) Faith Morewood, wife of Reginald Eyre of Maltby co. York

– – –

(1.5) Dorothy Stafford (not substantiated)

Discendenti di Thomasine Kirkham

Clicca qui per visualizzare la linea diretta che riconduce Thomasine Kirkham a Eleonora di Castiglia, madre di Edoardo II, ottenuta dalle ricerche di Kevin McKenzie.

Thomasine (or Susan) Kirkham = Thomas Southcott of Bovy Tracey (who had 3 wives) d. 10 August 1600

(TK.1.) Frances Southcott = Otho Peter of Bowhay/Bowheye) in Devon (2 son named in the will of his uncle John, living 1571, d. 1607. Buried at Edminster. M. I. (Monumental inscription))

– – (TK.1.1.) Elizabeth Peter = James Dawbney of Wayford, then to William Keymer of Penmdoiner, Com. Somerset Sh. (County Somerset)

(TK.2.) Cicily Southcott ” William Peter on 24 sept. 1571 at Bovey Tracey

– – (TK.2.1.) Thomasine Peter, Bap. 31 Oct. 1572 at Bovey Tracey

– – (TK.2.2.) Mary Peter Bap. 16 August 1585 at Torbnam = … Keynes of Sussex

(TK.3.) Ursula Southcott = Robert Hill of Shilston at Bovey Tracey in Oct 1575

– – (TK.3.1) Ursula Hill, living 1629???

– – (TK.3.2.) Amy Hill

– – (TK.3.3.) Agneta Hill

– – (TK.3.4.) Thomasine Hill = Robert Nunne de Felsham in Suffolk, living in 17 oct 1637

– – (TK.3.5.) (Ursula?)Maria Hill = Robert Chichester de Raley in Com. Devon Milit Balnei (Knight of the Bath), remarried Sir Ralph Sydenham???

– – (TK.3.6.) Francisca Hill

– – (TK.3.7.) Elizabeth Hill = John of Carew of Haccombe in Com. Devon, Esq, Living 1620, will 21 sept 1623 Pro 26 June 1626

– – – (TK.3.7.1.) Ursula Carew, named in her father’s will as 14 years old in 1620 = Ellis Restorin at East Allington 22 January 1632-3, Exeter

– – (TK.3.8.) Cecilia Hill = Thomas Ashford of County Devon, 3 February 1620-1, Exeter, named in her father’s will as living in 1629

– – – (TK.3.8.1.) Elizabeth Ayshford = ??? count named in the will of her brother Nicholas, living in 1701

– – – (TK.3.8.2.) Bridget Ayshford of Burlescombe, named in the will of her brother Nicholas, ‘aged and weak’, will of 15 november 1709.

– – – (TK.3.8.3.) Mary Ayshford, baptised 20 May 1620 at St Thomas near Exeter = ??? Manson, named in the will of her brother Nicholas

– – (TK.3.9.) Brigetta (Bridget) Hill = Richard Duxwell of London, Pewtener

(TK.4.) Susanna Southcott (Bap. 10 Jan 1551/2) = Thomas Holford at Bovey Tracey on 3 Dec 1571

– – (TK.4.1.) Mary Holford = Josephe Wyke, April 19, 1611, Exeter

– – (TK.4.2.) Amy Holford = Robert Coker in Devonshire

– – – (TK.4.2.1.) Mary Coker, baptized 1603/4 died April 1636 = Charles Bruen (or Brune) (n.b. Stirnet shows only sons for them)

– – – (TK.4.2.2.) Anne Coker = Thomas Ferrard of Trent (Thomas Gerrard of Trent)

– – – – (TK.4.2.2.1.) Anne Gerard = Sir Francis Windham of Trent (c. 1654-1716) 1st baronet (created 18 november 1673) Entertained Charles II after the battle of Worcester, M. P. for Minehead, Somerset

– – – (TK.4.2.3.) Elizabeth Coker = John Jeffery of Catherston, b.c. 1618 d. 31 september 1643

– – – (TK.4.2.3.) Elizabeth Coker = John Jeffery of Catherston, b.c. 1618 d. 31 september 1643

– – – (TK.4.2.4.) Bridget Coker

– – (TK.4.3.) Susan Holford, unmarried in 1620, married Amias Calmady (incorrectly given as his father Edward) of Wembury June 8, 1621

– – – (TK.4.3.1.) Maria Calmady B. 1623, buried 1627.

– – (TK.4.4.) Barbara Holford

– – (TK.4.5.) Thomasin Holford = Richard Batson, died 1619

(TK.6.) Mary Southcott = William Stroud (Strode) Married 15 July 1581 at Bovey Tracey (Sir William Strode of Newnham, Knt. Adm. to the inner temple 1580 aged 19 years and 5 months 1581, bur. 28 June 1637 at Plympton St. Mary. Will 25 Sept 1636, Pro. 21 Feb 1637-8, Pcc (Lee 18)

– – (TK.6.1.) Mary Strode, died before her husband in Ashton Church, living with issue in 1644 = Sir George Chudleigh at Bovey Tracey

– – – (TK.6.1.1.) Elizabeth Chudleigh = Arthur Ayshford

– – – – (TK.6.1.1.1.) Elizabeth Ayshford = Sir William Hazelwood of Maidwell, Northampton, knighted atWhitehall 9 Oct 1669

– – – – – (TK.6.1.1.1.1.) Elizabeth Hazelwood, died 15 Jan 1732/3, married (as 3rd wife) = Christopher Hatton of Krikby, Northants, 2nd baron Hatton (m. August 1685) (created 29 July 1643. Created 1st Viscount Hatton 17 January 1683, died september 1706)

– – – – – – (TK.6.1.1.1.1.1.) Hon Elizabeth Hatton = ???

– – – – – – (TK.6.1.1.1.1.2.) Hon Penelope Hatton [identity of another child unclear]

– – – (TK.6.1.2.) Maria Chudleigh =Hugh de Clifford of Chudleigh 13 January 1627-8, = 2nd Gregory Cole of Petersham, Slade and Buckishe in 1645 and Maria appears to have died in childbed in 1652 at the birth of the only son Robert. However they did have 3 daughters before.

– – – – (TK.6.1.2.1.) Mary Clifford bapt. 9 January 1628-9 at Chudleigh = Baldwin Acland b.1607 St Olave, Exeter, on 26/10/1652 at Ashton, Devon

– – – – (TK.6.1.2.2.) Jane Cole

– – – – (TK.6.1.2.3.) Mary Cole

– – – – (TK.6.1.2.4.) Elizabeth Cole

– – – (TK.6.1.3.) Dorothy Chudleigh

– – – (TK.6.1.3.) Dorothy Chudleigh

– – (TK.6.2.) Joan Strode = Sir Francis Drake, 1st Baronet, at Buckland Monachorum. [PLEASE NOTE THAT I HAVE PUT THE DAUGHTERS OF JAON STRODE AND SIR FRANCIS DRAKE INTO THE ORDER I PRESUME THEY WERE BORN IN, GIVEN THE INFORMATION AVAILABLE

– – – (TK.6.2.1.) Elizabeth Drake, married 14 February 1638-9 at Bere Ferrers = John Trefusis Junior, of Trefusis, Cornwall

– – – – (TK.6.2.1.1.) Jane Trefusis (alive 1690) = George Ley

– – – – (TK.6.2.1.2.) Sarah Trefusis (alive 1699) =Sidney Blight

– – – – (TK.6.2.1.3.) Dorothy Trefusis (baptized 7 october 1646, died 12 April 1699)

– – – – (TK.6.2.1.4.) Bridget Trefusis (alive 1699)

– – – (TK.6.2.2.) Mary Drake (ancestress of Kevin’s) aged 4 in 1620, baptized 26 Sept 1616, married 28 april 1636 at Buckland Monachorum (Devon) = Elizeus (or Ellis/Elisha) Crymes of Crapstone Barton, Buckland Monachorum, Devon, M. P. for Bere Alston, Lieut.-Col of Plymouth Garrison for the Parliament

– – – – (TK.6.2.2.1.) Joan Crymes, bur. 3 september 1643 at Buckland

– – – – (TK.6.2.2.2.) Mary Crymes, baptized October 1645, married 21 April 1669 at Buckland = John Beale

– – – – (TK.6.2.2.3.) Margaret Crymes, baptized 20 december 1651, married 2 february (or 11 of february?) 1668-9 at Buckland = Joseph Drake of Buckland Monachorum, buried 1 may 1682 at Buckland Monachorum [N.b. the Drake Pedigree shows no female issue, only male issue]

– – – (TK.6.2.3.) Sarah Drake, Baptized 23 October 1629, married 21 February 1650 at Buckland Monachorum, died 1667 = Thomas Trevilian of Yarnscomb, Devon, died 1664, M.I. Carhampton, Somerset.

– – – (TK.6.2.4.) Joan Drake, baptized 22 February 1631, married 4 February 1650 at Buckland Monachorum = Sir Hugh Wyndham of Watchet, Somerset (?Hugh Wyndham of Dunraven Castle?) [They apparently had one son and three daughters]

– – – – (TK.6.2.4.1.) Christobella Wyndham baptised 24/10/1650

– – – – (TK.6.2.4.2.) Mary Wyndham baptised 16/9/1651

– – – – (TK.6.2.4.3.) Arabella Wyndham baptised 27/7/1664 = Amias Bamfield

– – – – – (TK.6.2.4.3.1.) Mary Bamfield

– – – – – (TK.6.2.4.3.2.) Gertrude Bamfield

– – – – (TK.6.2.4.4.) Joanne Wyndham baptised 27/7/1664

– – – – (TK.6.2.4.5.) Elizabeth Wyndham baptised 29/8/1656

– – – – (TK.6.2.4.6.) Sarah Wyndham baptised 5/9/1656

– – – – (TK.6.2.4.7.) Frances Wyndham baptised 9/10/1658

– – (TK.6.3.) Ursula Strode = Sir John Chichester of Hall, Kent – Chichester of Hall pedigree shows only male issue

– – (TK.6.4.) Frances Strode = Sir Samuel Somaster of Painsford, Devon, son and heir of Henry Somaster, at All Hallows Goldsmith Street, Exeter

– – – (TK.6.4.1.) Mary Somaster, married 20 August 1633 at Ashprington = Dr Joseph Martin, LLD, Chancellor of Exeter and Judge of the Court of the Admiralty in Devon

– – – (TK.6.4.2.) Frances Somaster, Buried 18 Jan 1616-17 at Ashprington

– – – (TK.6.4.3.) Sarah Somaster, baptized 10 March 1617-18 at Ashprington, aged 2 in 1620

– – – (TK.6.4.4.) Elizabeth Somaster, baptized 16, buried 24 february 1619-20 at Ashprington

– – – (TK.6.4.5.) Grace Somaster baptized 8 August 1621 at Ashprington

– – (TK.6.5.) Julian Strode = Sir John Davey

– – – (TK.6.5.1.) Mary Davey, baptized 25 March 1611-12, married 1 January 1634-5 at Sandford to John Willoughbie

– – – (TK.6.5.2.) Elizabeth Davey, baptized 24 September 1618, married 9 April 1642 at Sandford = Arthur Copleston of Bowden

– – – – (TK.6.5.2.1.) Mary Coplestone (baptized c. 1648)

– – – – (TK.6.5.2.2.) Julian Coplestone, died 1681

– – – (TK.6.5.3.) Julyan Davey Baptized 1 January 1622-3, married 5 July 1648 at Sandford = Thomas Beare

– – – – (TK.6.5.3.1.) Juliana Beare/Bere b 1654. Juliana = George Musgrove 1670

– – – – – (TK.6.5.3.1.1.). Juliana Musgrave = James Keigwin b1672 d1710

– – – – – – (TK. 6.5.3.1.1.1.) Juliana Keigwin b1696-d1741 = Thomas Clutterbuck Male issue only

– – – – – (TK.6.5.3.1.2.) Margaret Musgrove b1699 = Christopher Davies Only male issue

– – – – – (TK.6.5.3.1.3.) Sarah Musgrove b1700 d 1734 ? died unmarried

– – – – – (TK.6.5.3.1.4.) Mary Musgrove b 1701 = William John

– – – – – (TK.6.5.3.1.5.) Rachel Musgrove b1704 = Thomas Roberts

– – – – – (TK.6.5.3.1.7.) Dorothy Musgrove b1702 = John Borlase

– – – – (TK. 6.5.3.2.) Mary Beare/Bere b 01/02/1661

– – – (TK.6.5.4.) Margaret Davey Baptized 20 May 1627, married 25 February 1649-50 at Sandford = Richard Beavis

– – (TK.6.6.) Margaret Strode = Sir John Yonge of Stetacombe, living with issue in 1644

– – – (TK.6.6.1.) Jane Yonge = Sir John Drake of Ashe

– – – – (TK.6.6.1.1.) Elizabeth Drake, baptized 5 January, 1648-9, married Sir John Briscoe of Boughton, Northants, died at Boughton 9, buried 17, november 1694 at Musbury, aged 46, (without issue?)

– – – (TK.6.6.2.) Mary Yonge, baptized 4 March, 1625-6, buried 8 may 1641 at Colyton

– – – (TK.6.6.3.) Elizabeth Yonge, married 1656 at Colytan = Thomas Hudges of Shipton Moigne, Gloucestershire, living in 1663)

– – – (TK.6.6.4.) Sarah Yonge, buried 11 June 1641 at Colyton

– – (TK.6.7.) Elizabeth Strode = Edmond Specott of Anderdon (Specott pedigree shows only male issue)

The Hunt for the King 37) New facts about William de Norwell’s Wardrobe Account of 1338

It has long been known that one of the pieces of evidence indicating that Edward II might have lived after September 21st, 1327, consists of two entries in William de Norwell’s Wardrobe Account dated 1338. William de Norwell was the clerk in charge of King Edward III’s Wardrobe, and drew up a detailed account book for the period July 12th, 1338, to May 27th, 1340. The two entries that may indicate Edward II’s survival are contained in this book, and both refer to a man called ‘William le Galeys’ who ‘called himself the father of the king’. This means, he was saying he was the father of King Edward III, in other words, he was claiming to be Edward II, more than ten years after his supposed death.
The Auramala Project has finally managed to take a closer look at these two entries, thanks to the help of Kevin McKenzie, who has already made several valuable contributions to the Project in terms of genealogy and historical research. Kevin very kindly took the time and trouble to go to the British National Archives Kew and personally photograph the relevant pages of William de Norwell’s Wardrobe Account book. Why was this necessary? The Wardrobe Accounts in question were transcribed and published in 1983 by Mary Lyon, Bryce Lyon, Henry S. Lucas and with the contribution of Jean de Sturler. However, if I only had a euro for every time Stefano Castagneto has said to me “Don’t trust transcriptions, always go back to the original document!”, I would be a rich man. So we went back to the original document, and it paid off, as you will see below.
The two entries are within a section of the accounts headed:
INCIPIUNT PARTICULE EXPENSARUM FORINSECARUM FACTARUM IN GARDEROBA DOMINI EDWARDI REGIS ANGLIE ET FRANCIE INTER XI DIEM JULI ANNO REGNI SUI ANGLIE XII ET XXVIII DIEM MAII ANNO REGNI SUI ANGLIE XIIII ET FRANCIE PRIMO UT IN ELEMOSINIS, NECESSARIIS, DONIS, NUNCIIS, FEODIS, ROBIS, RESTAURO EQUORUM, VADIIS HOMINUM AD ARMA, SAGITTARIORUM ET NAUTARUM ET PASSAGGIO EQUORUM.
Translated, this means:
Here begin details of outgoing expenses made in the Wardrobe of Lord Edward, King of England and France, between July 11, the twelfth year of his reign as King of England (1338), and May 28th, the fourteenth year of his reign as King of England and France, firstly for charity, necessities, gifts, ambassadors, fiefs, clothes, care for horses, passage of men-at-arms, archers and mariners, and passage of horses.
The first entry that mentions William le Galeys is on folio 89 verso:
Francisco Lumbard servienti domini regis ad arma pro tot denariis per ipsum solutis pro expensis Willelmi le Glaeys qui asserit se patrem domini regis nunc nuper arestati apud Coloniam et per ipsum Franciscum apud regem sic ducti usque Confluenciam per manus proprias, 25 s. 6 d.
Tranlsated:
To Francis Lombard sergeant-at-arms of the lord king for the same amount of money spent by (means of) him for the expenses of William le Galeys who declared himself the father of the lord king and so/then recently stopped near Cologne and by (means of) him, Francis, taken thus to the king at Koblenz by own hands, 25 s. 6d.
The second entry that mentions William le Galeys is on folio 90 recto:
Francekino Forcet pro denariis per ispum receptis pro expensis Willelmi Galeys in custodia sua existentis quia nominavit se regem Angliae patrem regis nunc (videlicet per tres septimanas mense Octobris dicto anno xii) per manus proprias ibidem xviii die Octobris, 13 s. 6 d.
Translated:
To Francekino Forcet for money by means of him received for the expensis of William Galeys being in his custody because he called himself king of England father of the king (as is evident for three weeks in the month of October of the said year xii [1338]) by own hands the 18th day of October, 13 s. 6 d.
In both entries the term ‘manus proprias – by own hands‘ almost certainly means directly from William de Norwell, the writer of the accounts.

Discussion

koblenz_braun_hogenberg-jpeg
Koblenz in 1572, from Wikimedia commons. Did Edward III meet his father here in 1338?
ENTRY ONE
This entry is not dated, but refers to the time in which King Edward III was in Koblenz. The itinerary of Edward III as published by Mark Ormrod in his 2012 biography of that king, shows that Edward III was in Koblenz from September 1 to September 6, 1338, and so the event must have occurred in that time bracket. The entry refers to a Francis Lombard, who was a sergeant-at-arms of King Edward III. The word ‘Lombard’ most likely refers to his geographical place of origin. In the 14th century all of northern Italy was generically referred to as ‘Lombardy’ (though even as far south as Tuscany was sometimes referred to as ‘Lombardy’ in this period, for example by Dante). Francis Lombard spent 25 s. and 6 d. for the expenses of a certain William Galleys, who declared himself to be the father of the king (thus, he declared himself to be Edward II) and so, or and then (the Latin word nunc may mean either) was stopped. The word arestare may seem to mean ‘arrest’, but in fact it is an invention of medieval Latin and literally means to stop. However, we will be looking for other instances of the verb in Norwell’s account in order to confirm that the meaning is, indeed, to stop and not something else. Therefore, the Francis Lombard, probably Italian, stopped William Galeys near Cologne, and took him to King Edward III near Koblenz sometime between September 1 and September 6. William Galeys’ expenses amounted to 25 s. and 6d. A sergeant-at-arms like Francis normally received a daily wage of 12 s, to put this in proportion. The same amount of money was given to Francis Lombard. This logically indicates that Francis Lombard paid William Galeys’ expenses himself, perhaps for a two or three days, and was then reimbursed by William Norwell. When William Norwell asserts that he reimbursed Francis Lombard ‘by his own hands’, it means we can be sure this is a first-hand account of someone who actually met Francis Lombard, and was therefore in a position to verify that which he later wrote down.
ENTRY TWO
This entry is dated October 13, 1338, so more than one month after the previous entry. This time, a smaller sum of money, 13 s and 6 d, is being given to a Francekino Forcet. Francekino seems to be a diminutive of Franciscus, the Latin for Francis. This is a version of the same given name used in the first entry, though Francis was an extremely common name, and this does not necessarily mean they were the same person. There is also a surname here, Forcet, which may very well be an alternative spelling of Forcetti/Forzetti. Four men with this name were involved with the Florentine banking firms of the Bardi (Dino Forzetti) and the Peruzzi (Francesco Forzetti and his two sons, Giovanni and Andrea. Dino Forzetti was a Bardi agent in England, and Andrea Forzetti was a Peruzzi agent in England. We cannot be sure, but it is possible that Francekino Forcet was the same man as Francesco Forzetti, who was a partner in the Peruzzi banking firm. Both the Bardi and the Peruzzi banking firms were heavily involved in lending very large sums of money to Edward III in this period. (1)
This time, money is being given to Francekino Forcet for another sum of money (it is not specified how much), received by means of him, for the expenses of William Galeys. Concerning this, it is necessary to specify that the Latin tex is per ipsum – ‘by means of him’. The sum of money was received by means of him. It is important to distinguish this from ‘by him’ – which would imply that it was Francekino Forcet himself who received the money. This is not that case, in Latin that would be ab ipso, not per ipsum. The construction per ipsum receptis literally means received by means of him, or through him. This means he was not receiving the money personally, he was the agent by which the money was received. So who did receive the money? Given the context of the Wardrobe Accounts, we may conclude that the Wardrobe (thus, King Edward III) received the money, by means of/through Francekino Forcet. Similarly, in the first entry, the expenses of William Galeys were paid by means of/through Francis Lombard, not by him personally, and in fact he was reimbursed by the Wardrobe. So, Francis Lombard was the agent by which those expenses were paid. If the Wardrobe received money  by means of Francekino Forcet, this may add weight to the speculation that he was indeed Francesco Forzetti: given that Forzetti was a banker, working for a form that regularly lent money to King Edward III
The money received by means of Francekino Forcet was for the expenses of William Galeys, who was in Forcet’s custody for three weeks in the month of October, 1338. The published transcription mistakenly writes ‘December’, but this is incorrect: we have verified with the original, and indeed this and all other entries before and after it on the page refer to October, not December. Therefore, according to this entry, William Galeys was in the custody of Forcet for three weeks in October, because (quia) he said he was the king of England, father of the king). This second entry is very specific: William Galeys was claiming to be Edward II, and because of this, he was in the custody of Francekino Forcet for three weeks in October 1338, for which expenses the Wardrobe received money through Forcet himself. It seems, effectively, to be saying that this payment of 13 s. 6d. is payment to Forcet for his services in organising money for the Wardrobe, to cover the expenses of William Galeys.
You certainly do not pay a person for receiving money himself. That makes no sense.
But you certainly do pay a person if you receive money through him – a service that is typical of bankers.
I believe that this new analysis of the two entries of William de Norwell’s Wardrobe Book that mention William Galeys strengthens the hypothesis that Francekino Forcet was, indeed, the partner of the Peruzzi banking firm, Francesco Forzetti.
Ian Mortimer in his book Medieval Intrigue (2010) pointed out the links between Edward III and the Florentine bankers, the Bardi and the Peruzzi, and pointed out the possible connection with Francekino Forcet. Mortimer put forward the hypothesis that these links may lie at the heart of mystery of William Galeys/Edward II. I believe that the present analysis and its conclusions concerning Francekino Forcet support that general hypothesis.
Ivan Fowler
[I want to thank both Kevin McKenzie and Kathryn Warner for the long discussions held with them, debating the meaning of these two entries.]
.
(1) Information on the Dino, Francesco, Giovanni and Andrea Forzetti is available in Ian Mortimer’s Medieval Intrigue, 2010, and in publications by Armando Sapori, including Storia interna della compagnia mercantile dei Peruzzi, Florence, 1935

Tracing Edward II’s links with the Fieschi and Malaspina: from Bazas to Oramala – Bernard Grimward, a wine merchant and money-lender to the King

by Kevin McKenzie

Today we are proud to publish a major new post by Kevin McKenzie, who has been making invaluable contributions to The Auramala Project over the last year. A wizard in genealogy and heraldry – a field of study that none of us at the Project knew anything about at all until Kevin enlightened us – he has helped us bring the family tree of Eleanor of Castile’s matrilineal descendants up to the 18th generation, and has applied formidable reasoning to many problems involving inter-family relations that have perplexed us for some time. Such as, for example, the question of Cardinal Luca Fieschi’s parentage, but more on that in another post. Here is his superb work on a totally unexpected connection between Edward II and the Genoese. Ed.

As a descendant of Edward II (many times over), of Hugh Despenser the Younger and of Thomas Lord Berkeley, when I came across the work of the Auramala Project I found it to be an imaginatively put together, utterly compelling and meticulously sourced piece of research, and the Project’s subject matter particularly appealed to me for these obvious personal reasons. (Because I am both a lawyer by profession and an amateur historian – who perhaps because of my training is never inclined to accept received wisdom unquestioningly or without careful verification in the primary sources – I also found the Project’s research methodology extremely attractive). Of course, if we look sufficiently diligently, it is inevitable that many of us in Britain will find these same individuals within their large pool of mediaeval ancestors (the statistical likelihood is that more than 99% of indigenous Britons descend from King Edward III), and it was only whilst carrying out genealogical research into another of my (at first sight less distinguished and to me therefore more interesting) family lines that I stumbled across information which I thought might prove a useful contribution to the Project. This was in fact basically a spin-off from my research into the ancestry of my great great great grandfather, Thomas Macdonough Grimwood, a grocer and law clerk, born in late 1817 in Sudbury in Suffolk.

Thomas’s father, Captain Joseph Grimwood (brother to a Suffolk rector and cousin of an admiral friend of Lady Nelson whose sister was an early gothic novelist), was a timber merchant and tea dealer who, having brought the family to London by the mid-1830s, seems soon to have ended up, after losing an Admiralty case relating to the enforceability of a guarantee of the cost of repairs to his ship (which had been wrecked on a voyage to Tasmania), in a debtor’s prison (probably the Marshalsea). By the early 1840s, Thomas and his younger brother were living close to the Marshalsea and appear to have become law clerks with the purpose of trying to rescue their father, but by 1842 their mother, the daughter of a wealthy packet captain (who in 1814 had helped restore the Bourbon monarchy by making a special voyage to return Louis XVI’s exiled brother Charles to the Continent so as to rule pending the return of the gout-ridden Louis XVIII, and who had funded Thomas’s clothing and education by means of a trust of monies which he had loaned to the poet Wordsworth’s cousin), was already in the Shoreditch workhouse. Their father, when at some point he left the prison, was living in the nearby squalid Mint Street, showing up in the 1851 census as a “waste paper dealer”; one brother Cornelius was to die of cholera; and Thomas himself, now a “dock porter”, was to die the next year, 1852, aged only 34, of tuberculosis.

But to see the relevance of Thomas’s family history to the Auramala Project we must leap back a few centuries, to the early 14th Century, and look at a member of the family who ironically was not an imprisoned debtor, but a money-lender – to the King.

It was in the Gascon Roll “for the 13th year of the reign of Edward, son of King Edward” [ie the 13th year of the reign of Edward II], when researching the likely mediaeval progenitors of Thomas’s Grimwood family ancestors, that I happened to stumble upon the following record (footnote 1):

For Bertrand de Mur and other merchants

 28 January, Westminster

Grant to the merchants of Gascony to whom the King is bound for wine bought in 1318 and 1319 …

 The King was lately bound to the merchants of Gascony in the sum of 1545 l 18 s 3 d st, for wine bought to his use by Stephen de Abingdon, his butler in August 1318, whereof he is still bound to … [there then follows a list of names which includes:] to Johan de Latour and Bernat Grimoard in 72 l of 90 l …”.

Elsewhere, in fact in the National Archives at Kew, I found the same Bernat Grimoard – or Bernard Grimward – described in the contemporary records as “an alien merchant of Lincoln” who hailed from “Besace” or “Besaz”, Gascony. This latter is clearly Bazas, near Bordeaux. These are the entries from their catalogue:

C 241/6/43

Debtor: Godfrey Francis, burgess of Lynn [Freebridge Hundred], of Norfolk. Creditor: Bertram Markeys, merchant of Bordeaux, Bernard Grimward, merchant of Besace [of Gascony] Amount: £6 14s. Before whom: Ralph de Gayton, Mayor of Lincoln; Adam Fitz-Martin, Clerk. 1286 Sep 30

C 241/7/51

Debtor: Godfrey Francis, burgess of Lynn [Freebridge Hundred], of Norfolk. Creditor: Bertram Markeys, merchant of Bordeaux, Bernard Grimward. Amount: £13 8s. Before whom: Ralph de Gayton, Mayor of Lincoln; Adam Fitz-Martin of Lincoln, Clerk. First term: 29/09/1286 Last term: 24/06/1287 Writ to: Sheriff of Norfolk Sent by: Henry Gopil, Mayor of Lincoln; Adam Fitz-Martin of Lincoln, Clerk. 1287 Jul 17

C 241/46/234

Debtor: Robert de Walsham, burgess [merchant] of Lynn [Freebridge Hundred], of Norfolk. Creditor: Bernard Grimward, and Arnold de Puges, merchants of Besaz [Gascony; Alien merchants in Lincoln] Amount: £16. Before whom: Stephen de Stanham, Mayor of Lincoln; Adam Fitz-Martin, Clerk. 1305 Aug 2

SC 8/317/E289

Petitioners: Bernard de Mure, merchant vintner of Gascony; Bartholomew de la Roke, merchant vintner of Gascony; Arnold de Luk, merchant vintner of Gascony; Bernard Grimward, merchant vintner of Gascony; Gaillard de Sesson, merchant vintner of Gascony; Guillaume Bondel, merchant vintner of Gascony; Garsi de la Vynon, merchant vintner of Gascony; Arnold de Castillon, merchant vintner of Gascony; Pierre de Mountlaryn, merchant vintner of Gascony; Arnold de la Vye, merchant vintner of Gascony; Guillaume de Byk, merchant vintner of Gascony; Simon de Meot, merchant vintner of Gascony; Guillaume de Ford, merchant vintner of Gascony; John de Poitau, merchant vintner of Gascony.

Intrigued by the clear suggestion that one of the earliest known individuals possessing an obvious variant of the surname Grimwood had emanated from Gascony, I then turned to further possible clues, both as to Bernard’s origins and his possible connection to the Grimwood family. Part of this detective work led me to Rietstap’s Armorial in the British Library. It soon transpired from this that the coat of arms of the family of Grimal, of Guyenne, Gascony, shows not only in chief the three silver stars on blue of the Grimwood family but also the black imperial or Hohenstaufen eagle displayed of the Grimaldi. Guyenne corresponds to the archbishopric of Bordeaux and included the Bazadais, the territory of Bazas – where Bernard Grimoard, Edward II’s wine merchant based in Lincoln was “of”.  Bernard is the German version of the Italian Bernabo and it immediately then struck me that Grimal/Grimald is in fact the surname as originally used by the Grimaldi dynasty, the name Grimaldi simply being the genitive form, so as to denote “of the dynasty of Grimal(d)”.

Grimwood1
From Rietstap’s Armorial: the arms of Grimal of Guyenne, Gascony.
Famille de Grimal

D’argent, à l’aigle éployée de sable, au chef d’azur chargé de trois étoiles du champ.

Origine : Guyenne et Gascogne

Famille de Grimal de La Bessière

D’argent, au lévrier de sable, au chef d’azur, chargé d’un croissant d’argent entre deux étoiles d’or.

Origine : Rouergue et Languedoc

Grimwood2

As can be seen, the Sicilian branch of the Grimaldi quarter their arms with the black imperial eagle, which features on a number of versions of Grimaldi, Grimm and Grimal arms which also use the same silver and blue and colours as the Grimwood arms.  And here I found another apparent coincidence: what has been described by the family as a martlet appears, holding an oak leaf in its beak, as part of the family crest embossed on the silverware of George Augustus Macdonough Grimwood (first cousin of Thomas Macdonough Grimwood) and his wife Betsy Maria Garrett (herself a first cousin of Dame Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, the first female doctor, and of Dame Millicent Garrett Fawcett, the early pioneer of women’s suffrage).

Grimwood3
George Augustus Grimwood (1826 – 1883), of Shern Hall, first cousin of the writer’s great great great grandfather Thomas Macdonough Grimwood.

The coat of arms of the family of Grimal of Guyenne, as can be seen, contains three silver mullets (or stars) on a chief made up of a blue background. This is just like those of the Grimwood coat of arms as registered by a branch of the family (that of Jeffrey Grimwood Grimwood) at the College of Arms in 1851 – but clearly long held prior to that, because I found an unquartered version of the same Grimwood arms in the earliest edition of Burke’s General Armory, dating from 1842 and thus well before this registration – and George Augustus Grimwood who was only an extremely distant cousin of Jeffrey, with their most recent common ancestor living in no later than the 16th or 17th Century, bore the same motto as him of “Auxilio Divino“.  This translates as by divine assistance. An alternative translation is “Deo Juvante”, which is the Grimaldi motto. It occurred to me therefore that a black bird, originally intended to depict a black eagle, could easily, over many centuries, have been corrupted into a “martlet”. As if this were not coincidence enough, I then found that the collar of the Monagasque Order of St Charles which surrounds the coat of arms of the Grimaldi Princes of Monaco is made up of oak leaves, and that the mantling of their arms is of ermine, which mirrors that used for the tincture, or heraldic colour, of the bend which appears in the first and fourth Grimwood quarters of the coat of arms, as registered in 1851, of Jeffrey Grimwood Grimwood.

Grimwood4
The arms of the family of Grimaldi, Princes of Monaco. The collar of the Monagasque Order of St Charles is interspersed with oak leaves, the mantling is of ermine and the motto Deo Juvante is an alternative latin translation of the Grimwoo family motto of Auxilio Divinio – “with God’s help/with divine assistance”. (The two supporters are a reference to the tale of Francesco Grimaldi and his faction, who took the castle of Monaco disguised as friards in 1297).
Grimwood5
The Grimwood family crest (copied from Two Hundred Years of the Grimwood Family Tree, by Adrian Grimwood (footnote 2) as it appears – along with the motto Auxilio Divino – on a silver tablespoon datin gfrom 1856 of George Augustus Grimwood. The bird (a version of the black eagle displayed of the family of Grimal or Grimaldi?) rests ona  tower (the silver tower fo the family de la Tour du Pin?) and holds in its mouth an oak leaf ( the collar badge of the Grimaldi Princes of Monaco?).

It also seems clear that the 1851 registration was a registration of quartered arms with one quarter termed “Grimwood” – thus implying these latter arms already existed prior to 1851.  Over ten years ago, when first researching my grandmother’s Grimwood family ancestry, a visit by me to the College of Arms and discussions with both the College’s archivist and Richmond Herald confirmed that the College does not possess any extant record of these arms as existing before 1851. However this is not surprising, since the College’s foundation only dates from the reign of Richard III and that it would inevitably have no record of arms more ancient than that unless subsequently registered there. The existence of an armorial record for a similar version of the arms of Grimwood in the 1842 edition of Burke’s General Armory and the fact of the individual quarterings which formed part of Jeffrey’s arms as registered in 1851 being styled in their registration as for “Grimwood” act as further confirmation.

Grimwood6
The arms of Jeffrey Grimwod Grimwood (formerly known as Jeffrey Grimwood Cozens) (1827-1909), of Woodham Mortimer, as registered in 1851 at the College of Arms, the first and fourth quarters of wich (for Grimwood) show in chief the three silver stars on blue of the family of Grimal of Guyenne, Gascony, and on a bend the ermine which appears in the mantling on the arms of the Grimaldi Princes of Monaco.

GRIMWOOD (R.L., 1851). Quarterly, 1 and 4, azure, a chevron engrailed ermine between three mullets in chief and a saltire couped in base argent (for Grimwood) ; 2 and 3, or, on a chevron gules, between three wolves’ heads erased sable, as many oval buckles of the first. Mantling: azure and argent; Crests – 1. upon a wreath of the colours, a demi-wolf rampant, collared, holding between the paws a saltire; 2. upon a wreath of the colours, a lion’s gamb erased and erect sable, charged with a cross crosslet argent, and holding in the paw a buckle or. Motto – “Auxilio divino.” Son of Jeffrey Grimwood Grimwood, Esq., J. P.

The black eagle “displayed” features in many versions of the Grimaldi coat of arms.  It is often shown as on a gold background and so may (as it often does when borne on a chief in Italian arms (footnote 3)) indicate Ghibelline (imperial) allegiance (contrary to the general support of the Grimaldi family – like the Fieschi – for the opposing Guelph (papal) faction – but some families were divided and the Doria for instance, who intermarried, were Ghibelline) or instead perhaps a marriage to an heiress with a descent from the Hohenstaufen emperors – which would exist for instance with any descent from Catarina da Marano. Catarina was an illegitimate daughter of the Hohenstaufen Emperor Frederick II and wife of Giacomo del Carretto whose daughters Aurelia and Salvatica married Lanfranco and Rainier I Grimaldi respectively. Brumisan their sister married Ugo Fieschi and there appears to have been another sister who (as the Auramala Project shows elsewhere) was likely to have been Leonora the wife of Niccolo Fieschi – mother of Cardinal Luca Fieschi and grandmother of Niccolo Malaspina (“il Marchesotto”) of Oramala and his brother Bernabo with his connection to Bordeaux and Bazas.

Because of the similarity in terms of both names and their respective dates, and the heraldry, I had long supposed that this Bernard Grimward could be identical to Bernabo (or Barnaba) Grimaldi (fl. late 13th/early 14th Century) son of Lucchetto Grimaldi and progenitor of the Grimaldi lords of Beuil/Boglio.  And I had already noted that Lucchetto’s brother Lanfranco Grimaldi married Aurelia del Carretto, a sister of Brumisan del Carretto – who appears (as is shown elsewhere by the Auramala Project) to have been the likely sister of Leonora, Cardinal Luca Fieschi’s mother.

Ian Mortimer, Ivan Fowler and Kathryn Warner’s ground-breaking research regarding the international connections of these prominent Italian families to Edward’s court now make our latter suggested identification of Leonora an even stronger possibility. Of course many of these people would have been wearing different hats and thus have been described in different ways in different contexts according to the purpose of any particular contemporary record. Thus it would seem we have Bernabo Grimaldi appearing in the Italian records as lord of Beuil or Boglio, as most likely the same person – or at least closely related to – the Bernat Grimoard (or Bernard Grimward) but who later (apparently first recorded in English records in 1286, thus some time considerably after the Grimaldi family’s flight from Genoa in 1271) crops up in the contemporary English records as Edward’s wine merchant and money-lender, trading between Lincoln and Bazas near Bordeaux – and apparently as progenitor or one of the earliest members of a family who established a line of descendants there, that of Grimal of Guyenne, and of a line descendants in East Anglia, the family of Grimwood.

When sharing this genealogical research with Ivan and Kathryn, in order to assist as part of our research to determine precisely how Cardinal Luca Fieschi’s mother Leonora’s family background could have made him a kinsman of Edward – and more particularly upon my sharing the fact that Bordeaux, a city so close to Bazas, appeared on Ivan’s map tracing the Europe-wide influence of the Fieschi against Edward’s travels as noted in the Fieschi Letter – Ivan then gave me an amazing piece of information. He told me that the individual who named Manuele Fieschi executor for his canonry in the diocese of Bordeaux was none other than Bernabò Malaspina, son of Niccolò Marquess of Oramala and Fiesca Fieschi. The canonry was conferred on 24th June 1335; the last executor was the abbot of Saint Croix of Bordeaux and another executor was the bishop of Bazas (Ep.o Vasat. = Episcopo Vasatensis = Bishop of Bazas).

The connection between Bernabo Malaspina and Bazas, and hence to Bernard Grimward, Edward’s wine merchant, was an “eureka moment” because not only do we have the name Bernabo (aka Bernard) cropping up here again (itself indicative of a possible relationship through family naming traditions), but also it is a known fact that Bernabo Malaspina’s mother was Fiesca Fieschi – a sister of Cardinal Luca Fieschi, the very man whose mother Leonora appears through independent research to have been the sister of Brumisan del Carretto. And Bernabo Malaspina would have been the great nephew of Lanfranco Grimaldi, who on the above basis was Bernabo Grimaldi’s uncle.

As Ian Mortimer writes, setting out here a tentative reconstruction of Edward II in Fieschi custody to the end of 1335: “After arrival in Avignon, he passed into the guardianship of his kinsman, Cardinal Fieschi, who sent him by way of Paris and Brabant … to Cologne … and then to Milan (ruled by Azzo Visconti, nephew of Luca’s niece, Isabella Fieschi). From there he was taken to a hermitage near Milasci, possibly Mulasco, where he would have been under the political authority of one of Cardinal Fieschi’s two nephews in the region, either Niccolo Malaspina at Filattiera or Manfredo Malaspina at Mulazzo itself, and the ecclesiastical authority of another nephew, Bernabo Malaspina, bishop of Luni. However, in 1334 troops began to gather for an attack on Pontremoli, which came under siege in 1335, hence the ex-king’s removal to the hermitage of Sant’Alberto, between Cecima and Oramala, an area also under the political influence of Niccolo Malaspina. The bishop for the area – the bishop of Tortona – was Percevalle Fieschi, another member of Cardinal Fieschi’s extensive family”.

And as an eureka moment the implications of this are threefold. Not only did the Grimward/Bazas/Malaspina/Fieschi connection (a) corroborate my own research based on heraldry which directly linked the family of Grimwood to that of the Grimaldi, but this would also (b) lend further support to the identification of Cardinal Luca Fieschi’s mother Leonora as being of the family of del Carretto – and thus explain how Cardinal Luca Fieschi was a king’s kinsman – and (c) explain why Bernard Grimoard/Bernabo Grimaldi was acting as a wine merchant to and lending money to Edward II (footnote 4). 

The fact that they were joint creditors for a single debt shows very clearly that Johan de Latour and Bernard Grimoard were partners as merchants, and this Johan de Latour must clearly be a younger son of the family of the Barons de la Tour du Pin. There is also another version of the Grimal of Guyenne coat of arms which appears in Riestap’s Armorial which displays the pine tree of the family of de la Tour du Pin.  “Johan Delatour” appears as a fellow wine merchant in conjunction with Bernard Grimoard in the contemporary record.  According to The Foundation for Medieval Genealogy‘s pedigree for the Fieschi, a likely unnamed sister of Ugo Fieschi (with his del Carretto wife Brumisan) and Niccolo Fieschi (with his presumed del Carretto wife Leonora) married Albert, Sire de la Tour du Pin: Matthew Paris records that Pope Innocent IV arranged the marriage of his niece to “domino de Tur de Pin” in 1251 and that he accepted his bride “non ratione personæ muliebris, sed pecuniæ eam concomitantis”.

If he is not to be identified as a member of the family of Grimaldi, it seems unlikely to be coincidence therefore that Bernat Grimoard is mentioned in a contemporary record in direct conjunction with a fellow wine merchant named “Johan Delatour”.

As well as their having the same motto as the Grimaldi, and as part of the crest above their coat of arms a black bird which matches the black eagle also used by the Grimaldi, the tower in the de la Tour du Pin coat of arms appears as part of this same crest of the Grimwood family which I have deduced to descend from Bernard Grimward or a near relative of his.  So there could well have been marriage to a de la Tour du Pin heiress at some point. Whatever the position, the latter family was clearly allied by marriage in around the mid to late 13th Century with both Bernard the wine merchant’s family and the Fieschi. As we have seen, part of George Augustus Grimwood’s crest was a silver tower – which matches the tower which also appears in the arms of the de la Tour du Pin – surmounted by the black bird holding an oak leaf in its beak, along with the motto “Auxilio Divino”. So this too further corroborates the heraldic evidence both of Bernard being the Grimwood ancestor and of his likely place on the Grimaldi tree – in order for him to have been a de la Tour du Pin cousin – as a younger son of Giacomo Grimaldi and Catarina Fieschi.

The use of the black imperial eagle by the Grimaldi in the various versions of their arms which I have found might perhaps have been part of a later attempt to reconcile with the Ghibelline faction (and I also note that support for the Guelph faction and the Ghibelline faction was apparently not a rigid divide), or it could simply have denoted a descent from the Hohenstaufen via an heiress – such as via Catarina da Marano, the wife of Giacomo del Carretto, who was an illegitimate daughter of the Emperor Frederick II.

In fact Bernat Grimoard, the wine merchant to Edward II, or his father, may well have left Genoa for Bazas and thus appeared in the latter place at the time of the Grimaldi exodus from Genoa.  The timing of the banning of the Guelph faction from Genoa (1271) and their seeking refuge in territories outside Italy which were allied with the papacy would fit perfectly.  And the fact that Bazas had connections with Bernabo Malaspina and Manuele Fieschi – who were part of the similarly Guelph-supporting Fieschi family which was allied by marriage with the Grimaldi – would also fit perfectly. The general political history of the Grimaldi is well-known. As a ready precis, here is an extract from their Wikipedia entry:

“The Grimaldis feared that the head of a rival Genoese family could break the fragile balance of power in a political coup and become lord of Genoa, as had happened in other Italian cities. They entered into a Guelphic alliance with the Fieschi family and defended their interests with the sword. The Guelfs however were banned from the City in 1271, and found refuge in their castles in Liguria and Provence. They signed a treaty with Charles of Anjou, King of Naples and Count of Provence to retake control of Genoa, and generally to provide mutual assistance. In 1276, they accepted a peace under the auspices of the Pope, which however did not put an end to the civil war. Not all the Grimaldis chose to return to Genoa, as they preferred to settle in their fiefdoms, where they could raise armies.

In 1299, the Grimaldis and their close family the Grosscurth’s [sic] launched a few galleys to attack the port of Genoa before taking refuge on the Western Riviera. During the following years, the Grimaldis entered into different alliances that would allow them to return to power in Genoa. This time, it was the turn of their rivals, the Spinola family, to be exiled from the city. During this period, both the Guelphs and Ghibellines took and abandoned the castle of Monaco, which was ideally located to launch political and military operations against Genoa. Therefore, the tale of Francis Grimaldi and his faction – who took the castle of Monaco disguised as friars in 1297 – is largely anecdotal.”

However, none of the Grimaldi family’s specific, personal political connections during this period appear to have been investigated by historians until now; in the Summer of Britain’s referendum on membership of the European Union, we would do well to remember the inter-European nature of politics and culture even at this early date, inter-European connections as outlined in this article which could clearly not have been invented by the writer of the Fieschi Letter; and it is surely only if it is to be read in total isolation from these and other new finds that the Fieschi Letter can reasonably be dismissed as a forgery or (as some have suggested in the light of the compelling evidence which indicates the contrary) else as a rather crude (and unexplained) attempt at falsification and blackmail.

  1. A complete copy of this record can be found online in the Gascon Rolls Project.
  1. This silverware belongs to Adrian Grimwood, who lives in Kenya, is a distant cousin of mine and is a direct descendant of George Augustus Grimwood.

  1. Guelph allegiance was often indicated instead by having in chief three gold fleur de lis on a blue background.

  1. The Lincoln connection is also interesting in the light of Manuele Fieschi’s connection to that city too – although it could of course simply be that a supplier of wine to the King being based there was inevitable as it was an important centre of Edward’s court. Indeed, it was on 23rd September 1327, when he was at Lincoln, that Edward III received a letter from Lord Berkeley stating that Edward II had died on 21st September at Berkeley Castle.

Edward e la Battaglia di Sluys – 24 giugno, 1340

Sotto un turbinio di nuvoloni grigi, un forte vento da sudovest sollevava schizzi spumosi dalla cresta delle onde, che andavano a flagellare la ferita di Edward ogni volta che la prua della nave sprofondava.

E’ il 24 giugno, 1340, e sua maestà Edoardo III, re d’Inghilterra, è ferito. E’ stato un colpo di balestra, sparato da un mercenario genovese, durante la prima grande carica delle navi inglesi contro la linea di navi difensiva francese che bloccava l’ingresso a Sluys, uno dei porti mercantili fondamentali per gli interessi economici e bellici degli inglesi.

Sluis_1586_1
Il porto di Sluys nel 1587

«Se almeno Vostra Maestà facesse la grazia di restare seduto!» esclamò il cerusico, esasperato.
«No! I miei uomini devono vedermi ritto, tutti quanti. Devono sapere che sono qui, in piedi, pronto a combattere.» 

Così inizia Edward. Il mistero del re di Auramala: con la più grande vittoria navale inglese prima dell’Armada spagnola e prima della Battaglia di Trafalgar. Infatti, già il 24 giugno 1340 si può dire Britain rules the waves – “la Gran Bretagna regna sulle onde”, uno degli slogan patriotici preferiti degli inglesi attraverso i secoli (quell’orgoglio nazionale che oggi ha portato al #Brexit era già ai massimi livelli con Edoardo III).

BattleofSluys
La grande vittoria inglese alla battaglia di Sluys
Edward_III_noble
Moneta d’oro coniata da Edward III per celebrare la Battaglia di Sluys. Un’impressione di questa moneta è sulla copertina di Edward. Il mistero del re di Auramala

Eppure, in realtà la più grande potenza navale dell’epoca è la flotta genovese. E infatti, una forte contingente delle loro galee si è schierata a inizio giornata a fianco dei difensori francesi.

Le galee comandate da Egidio Boccanegra e dai suoi capitani avevano libertà di manovra, a vela o a remi. La loro forza erano l’agilità e la rapidità, nonostante l’imponente stazza.  Se quelle temibili imbarcazioni si fossero scontrate con le lente, impacciate cocche di Edward, ci sarebbe stata una strage di inglesi e la vittoria francese sarebbe stata certa. 

Genoa
Genoa, galee visibili nel porto

Ma, nel romanzo, entro mezzogiorno, le imbarcazioni mercenarie genovesi disertano i loro ‘alleati’ francesi. Perché?

Come ha fatto il giovane re Edward III, sempre a corto di denaro, a riunire la sua grande flotta, e ad assicurarsi questo tradimento?

E’ molto semplice: contrattando debiti enormi con e grandi famiglie bancarie di Firenze, i Bardi e i Peruzzi. Debiti equivalenti a molte volte l’intero PIL d’Inghilterra all’epoca. Ma, si sa, i banchieri non cedono mai un mutuo senza una garanzia. Quale garanzia poteva mai offrire Edward III ai banchieri fiorentini, così sicura da convincerli a trasferire l’equivalente di miliardi di euro nelle casse della Corona d’Inghilterra?

E se quella garanzia fosse… un uomo?

 

Edward. Il mistero del re di Auramala è un romanzo storico basato sulla ricerca contenuta in questo blog, e precedenti ricerche effettuate dagli storici britannici Ian Mortimer e Kathryn Warner, che ringrazio di cuore per il loro prezioso aiuto.

Kathryn Warner in Pavia to debate the Fieschi Letter with the Auramala Project researchers

Today we interrupt our series of posts on Manuele Fieschi to tell you about an important event that took place in Pavia last Wednesday, when Kathryn Warner, British historian and biographer of King Edward II and his queen, Isabella of France, was with us in Pavia. We held an accademic debate on the Fieschi Letter and in general the hypothesis of the survival of King Edward II at the Biblioteca Universitaria of Pavia. Present were members of the Auramala Project team, and a number of history professors of the University of Pavia, as well as the general public. Professor Renata Crotti, teacher of Medieval History at the University of Pavia, moderated the event and contributed to the debate.

Kathryn and Ivan
Kathryn speaking about Edward II, and Ivan translating. Kathryn’s new book ‘Isabella of France, the Rebel Queen’ can be seen on the table.

Elena Corbellini read aloud her new transcription of the Fieschi Letter in Latin, and Mario Traxino read aloud the Italian translation. With his Genoese accent, it really seemed that Manuele Fieschi had entered the room!

Elena and Fieschi Letter
Elena Corbellini reading directly from the Fieschi Letter during the debate.

Line by line we deconstructed the Fieschi Letter, relying on Kathryn Warner’s encyclopaedic knowledge of 14th century England for the first part of the story, dealing with Edward’s overthrow and imprisonment in England, and then more and more on Auramala Project research as Edward’s steps take him towards Italy.

Ivan and Mario
On the left, Elena Giacomotti, president of Cultural Association Il Mondo di Tels, of which the Auramal Project is a part. Mario Traxino, Auramala Project researcher, points out medieval vocabulary to Lorena Gavazzoni, who acted as Kathryn Warner’s interpreter for the day, while Ivan adjusts the display focus.

Line by line, we dissected the Feischi Letter and other evidence for Edward’s survival, such as the Melton Letter, for no less than three exhausting hours. Other university professors and academics present included Prof. Ezio Barbieri, diplomatist, Prof. Luisa Erba, historian, and Prof. Italo Cammarata, historian.

Kathryn and Ivan and Crotti
Kathryn Warner, Ivan Fowler and Prof. Renata Crotti, answering questions from the audience.

Ironically, even after three hours of debate we still hadn’t managed to debate absolutely everything… But we did make a video of the event, and we will post snippets of the most interesting bits over the coming weeks, so that our followers online can be a part of the debate, too.

 

 

 

The Hunt for the King 33) Manuele Fieschi – the bare facts (part one)

We do not know where or when Manuele Fieschi was born. We can, however, assume that he was born either in Genoa or in Lavagna, the ancestral home of the Fieschi Family, or in one of their territories in the Republic of Genoa, a state which roughly corresponded to what is now the Italian region of Liguria, with the addition of a number of territories along the eastern French riviera.

Lavagna
The picturesque town of Lavagna, on the Italian riviera, the ancestral home of the Fieschi Family

The first document we possess that refers to Manuele Fieschi (or Manuel de Flisco as he is called in the documents) is dated 04/12/1316. (1) It is a papal letter conferring on him the right to a canonry and prebend (ecclesiastic income) in the diocese of Arras (now in northern France) in the archdiocese of Rheims. The letter is one of forty consecutive papal letters which, on the same day, confer church benefices on members of Cardinal Luca Fieschi’s household and family, and indeed Manuele Fieschi is qualified in the letter as ‘nepos’ (nephew) of Cardinal Luca. This is not in the literal sense, as they were in fact distant cousins. In these papal letters every member of the Fieschi family, bearing the surname ‘Fieschi’, is referred to as Cardinal Luca’s ‘nepos’, without distinction. The letter also specifies that, in 1316, Manuele was already provost (praepositus) of the church of San Salvatore di Lavagna in the diocese of Genoa. This celebrated church is known today as ‘San Salvatore of the Fieschi’. It was erected by the first Fieschi pope, Innocent IV (Sinibaldo Fieschi) in the 13th century, in the territory of Lavagna.

At this time many career churchmen who entered the clergy through family connections, just like Manuele, were awarded their first benefices when very young. We know, for example, that Cardinal Luca Fieschi was already subdeacon, papal chaplain, canon of Lichfield in England and canon of Paris by the age of twenty (2). Perhaps it is reasonable to assume therefore that Manuele was born around the year 1300, but we cannot be sure.

A papal letter dated 29.01.1317 (3) confers on Manuele the right to a canonry and prebend in the diocese of Genoa. Another, dated 12.07.1319 (4), confers on him the right to expect a church benefice in the diocese of Salisbury to the value of 30 marks per annum. Another papal letter issued the same day sees Manuele actually receiving a church benefice, not just the right to one. He receives archdeaconship of the diocese of Genoa upon the death of Gotifredo Spinola, former holder. A further papal letter, dated 09.02.1327 (5) confers on him the benefice in Salisbury, the right to which he had been given in the letter dated 12.07.1319. This letter states that the prebend (annual earnings generated from the cathedral of Salisbury’s posessions) had become vacant due to the marriage of Hector de Flisco, implying that this benefice in the diocese of Salisbury was swapped from one family member to another. In reality, the benefice that Manuele received was almost certainly the prebend of Netheravon. (6) However, the prior holder of this benefice was Gilbert de Middleton. (6) Does this mean that there was a ‘re-shuffle’ of prebends at this time? We do not know. A papal letter dated 14.11.1327 (7) confers on Manuele provision for a canonry and prebend in the diocese of Maastricht, now in the Netherlands.

A fundamental moment in the life of Manuele Fieschi is represented by a papal letter dated 13.12.1327 (8), in which he is named executor to a church benefice granted to one Mathaeus Voguoni de Tropharello, cleric of the diocese of Turin. This letter refers to him for the first time as papal notary, the title used in the signature of the Fieschi Letter. From this moment onwards it is safe to assume that he was resident at the papal court of Avignon, though he may nevertheless have travelled in between duties.

We are still only at the beginning of Manuele’s story, but we will pause for an important digression: what exactly was a papal notary?

In Latin, the title is either notarius domini papae, (notary of the Lord Pope) or protonotarius apostolicus (protonotary apostolic, the title still in use today). At the time of Manuele Fieschi’s notaryship (during the reigns of Pope John XXII and Pope Benedict XII), these were the highest ranking members of the Papal Chancery, the offices responsible for the creation of official documents for the papal see. Lower ranks included abbreviatores (responsible for the creation of drafts) and scriptores (copyists), whose work was supervised and revised by the papal notaries and by the auditores, who literally listened while the drafts of certain types of document were read aloud (a process called audentia) by lectores, (readers, who were in fact scriptores in another role) and made criticisms and corrections to points of law (no connection with modern ‘auditors’). (8) We see from this that there was a complex and articulated structure within the papal chancery, responsible for creating dozens of documents daily, pertaining to thousands of church benefices and other appointments around Europe, and the notaries were at the top of this structure. They were seven in number, of which one was the Chancellor, a cardinal responsible for the Chancery’s workings, thus effectively there were really six notaries carrying out regular duties. (9) In rank, they were the highest non-episcopal members of the Curia. This might imply that the ‘next step up’ in their careers was that of bishop. Indeed, this was the case for Manuele Fieschi, who later became Bishop of Vercelli. However, in reality, papal notaries were very often elevated directly to the rank of cardinal, from which they could then become pope themselves. This had already happened in the case of Benedetto Caetani, a papal notary who became cardinal and then Pope Boniface VIII. This was later to happen in the case of Rodrigo Borgia, who was papal notary at the age of twelve, Chancellor for no less than 35 years, before becoming Pope Alexander VI. (10) In short, becoming a papal notary was a superb career move.

What did a papal notary actually do? Well, apart from supervising and revising the work of others, they were expected to create only certain types of documents personally: the investitures of bishops and archbishops, and of the abbots of the largest and most important abbeys and monasteries. In the middle ages, bishops, archbishops and abbots were men of great standing, who were not only spiritual leaders, but held great temporal power and wealth in their hands, due to the extensive lands their sees and abbeys owned.  Another duty of the notaries was the correction (together with their staff of abbreviatores) of the litterae de iustitia (literally, ‘letters of justice’, these were mandates or commissions, normally relating to church benefices). (11) Yet another important role of the papal notaries was assisting the pope create his political correspondence, in other words, diplomatic letters relating to international affairs, normally addressed to heads of state or to the papal legates sent to negotiate with heads of state. These letters were clearly confidential in nature, and were in fact called litterae secretae, or ‘secret letters’. It was during the career of Manuele Fieschi that, for the first time a new figure in the chancery emerged, due to a leak that compromised the peace negotiations between France and England in November/December 1338 at the outbreak of the Hundred Years War. This was the secretarius (literally ‘secret-keeper’). The most sensitive correspondence was afterwards entrusted to this close associate of the pope, whose title is the origin of our word ‘secretary’ today (incidentally, this is the first time the term appears in history). (12) In other words, until December 1338 the papal notaries were privy to the secrets of international papal diplomacy.

The papal notaries did not receive a fixed salary at this time, and were remunerated in two ways. Firstly, there was a fee for every document they created or corrected, paid by the person benefiting from the document (i.e., the new bishop or abbot, or the person receiving the benefice). Secondly, they were awarded church benefices, particularly canonry, carrying handsome annual earnings. (13) As we have seen, just one of Manuele’s benefices (in the diocese of Salisbury) carried annual earnings of 30 marks, or 18 pounds. Given that an annual revenue of 40 pounds entitled a person to the rank of knight in England, (14) and that Manuele at any one time enjoyed several such benefices, and furthermore received payment for every document he created, and furthermore was a scion of an immensely wealthy family, we can see that he was not a poor man. Of course, he was not the richest person in the Curia either, but he was certainly well off, and as we have said, papal notary was a position to be aspired to.

Let’s relate all this back to the Fieschi Letter. In 1331, when Edward II (according to the story told in the Letter) is most likely to have been a the papal court, Manuele Fieschi as papal notary was still privy to the secret diplomatic correspondence of the pope. Thus, when the Fieschi Letter claims that Edward II reached Avignon, and spent 15 days with the pope, and ‘discussed everything’ in great detail, it is entirely reasonable that Manuele should have been privy to these discussions, thus having the chance to record Edward II’s story up to that point, and entirely reasonable that he could have written a letter to a king (the Fieschi Letter to King Edward III) dealing with secret matters. In fact, he regularly wrote such letters in his work. As simple as that. Lastly, relating this back to our Verdale Hypothesis (see here and here and here), it is entirely reasonable that Manuele could have been privy to, and a part of, secret negotiations with the Emperor in September and Autumn 1338. The only doubt can be that after the creation of the role of secretarius, he was no longer privy to papal secrets, though this is not certain, and it seems plausible that, if he was already involved in such a matter, he may have seen it through to the end. Is it a coincidence that the leak causing Pope Benedict XII to create the new role of ‘secret-keeper’ happened at about the same time? We cannot know.

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(1) Guillaume Mollat, Lettres Communes, Jean XXII, Paris, 1877, No. 2140

(2) Hledìkova Zdenka, Raccolta praghese di scritti di Luca Fieschi, Prague, 1985

(3) Guillaume Mollat, Lettres Communes, Jean XXII, Paris, 1877, No. 2644

(4) Guillaume Mollat, Lettres Communes, Jean XXII, Paris, 1877, No. 9747

(5) Guillaume Mollat, Lettres Communes, Jean XXII, Paris, 1877, No. 27824

(6) Helena M. Chew, Hemingby’s Register, Salisbury 1962, pp 198-199 (original manuscript also consulted)

(7) Guillaume Mollat, Lettres Communes, Jean XXII, Paris, 1877, No. 30403

(8) Guillaume Mollat, Lettres Communes, Jean XXII, Paris, 1877, No. 30740

(9) Harry Bresslau, Manuale di diplomatica per la Germania e l’Italia, Rome, 1998, pages 262-264

(10) see the respective entries in the Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani, Istituto dell’Enciclopedia Italiano (Treccani)

(11) Harry Bresslau, Manuale di diplomatica per la Germania e l’Italia, Rome, 1998, pages 264-265

(12) Michael Tangl, Die päpstlichen Kanzleiordnungen von 1200-1500, Innsbruck 1894, ND Aalen, 1959 page 845

(13) Harry Bresslau, Manuale di diplomatica per la Germania e l’Italia, Rome, 1998, pages 293-308

(14) Kathryn Warner, Isabella of France, the Rebel Queen, Amberley Press, 2016

The Hunt for the King 32) So… just who was Manuele Fieschi?

We’re now going to leave aside our in-depth analysis  of the Fieschi Letter and finally take a look at the identity of the man who probably wrote it. As we have said, very few commentators doubt that it was written by Manuele Fieschi, we ourselves have found no reason to doubt it, so we will proceed to consider him the true author of the text, and try to understand who he was.

How we know what we know about Manuele Fieschi

In order to write in an informed way about Manuele Fieschi, I have personally examined approximately 800 papal letters from the reigns of Pope John XXII and Pope Benedict XII, in easily consultable printed editions (in Latin).  Together with Stefano Castagneto and Elena Corbellini, we have also examined several hundred original documents in the Capitulary (Cathedral) Archives of Vercelli, Genoa and Bologna and the State Archives of Biella. Further assistance has come from the Vatican Secret Archives. For nearly two years I searched in vain for a complete copy of his last Will and Testament: I still haven’t found it, though I have pieced together much of what it must have contained from incomplete fragments, discovered after leafing through seemingly unending archival documents in various cities. In fact, though I have discovered in the order of 600 documents that concern Manuele in some form or another, most of which are papal letters, in order to find them I, Castagneto and Corbellini have examined at least 10,000 documents, perhaps twice that. No one was counting!

2015-10-12 09.23.02
For one day in Genoa last September Edward II expert and good friend Kathryn Warner joined me in the archives, looking at page after page of material, for the elusive ‘needle in the haystack’ that can add to our knowledge of Manuele Fieschi. That day we were searching for the testament of his nephew, Papiniano Fieschi, and through it Manuele’s testament.

Why bother?

This was not just an obsessive search for biographical information about an obscure papal functionary. Together with the analysis of the Fieschi Letter, this is perhaps our most important contribution to the debate over the true fate of Edward II. Many authors have piled conjecture upon conjecture as to Manuele Fieschi’s motivations in writing his famous letter. Paul Doherty in his 2003 book Isabella and the Strange Death of Edward II, is the writer who, before us, has dedicated the most time and attention to Manuele Fieschi. Sadly, his lengthy dissection of the Letter, purporting to know the mind of Manuele, his motivations and his methods, depicts him as a scheming, immoral, self-aggrandizing priest in need of cash and benefices and willing to blackmail a distant king (Edward III) and his mother (Isabella of France) in order to get them. Doherty’s analysis not only claims to be mind-reading, but displays total ignorance of a) Latin, b) the functioning of the medieval church and c) the Fieschi Family. As a senior member of this family and a high ranking employee of the Pope, Manuele no doubt had far healthier finances than the English crown… Edward III was more likely to have asked him for a bit of cash than the other way round! Oh, if only Doherty had actually read something about the workings of the 14th century church before writing… It will take time, but I will come back to Doherty’s analysis little by little over the next few posts and show why it is so profoundly inept.

While Doherty’s “analysis” is by far the worst researched, it is certainly not the only one to approach Manuele through conjecture. Even the great Seymour Phillips himself is guilty of this: in his 2010 biography of Edward II, the most complete treatment of the subject to date, and a work of such high scholarship that I could only dream of, he lets his guard down when discussing Manuele Fieschi. He suggests that he was deceived into writing the Fieschi Letter by an impostor pretending to be Edward II. As we will show over the next few weeks, it is absolutely certain that Manuele Fieschi could not have been fooled by an impostor. He had numerous ways in which to verify the identity of the man he was talking with, and not only. Our research shows that he also had the tools to personally verify every single detail of the account in the Letter, except perhaps one or two. This is one reason we did this research: in order to answer the question ‘If Manuele Fieschi wrote the Letter, could he have been fooled by impostor?’ And, after years of work, we can answer with a resounding ‘No!’

Ian Mortimer, whose groundbreaking research was the starting point for our own research, says very little about Manuele Fieschi in his Medieval Intrigue. The great strength of Mortimer’s work lies in understanding the spread and significance of the Fieschi Family. In revealing this ‘clan-like’ organisation, and realising that the clan chief was Cardinal Luca Fieschi, Mortimer leaps from Manuele Fieschi to Cardinal Luca andthe entire Fieschi syndicate, a powerful, widespread and highly structured organisation at the time. There is no doubt in my mind that this is indeed the true key to understanding the Fieschi Letter, but at the same time it is a deductive leap made from the actual signature on the page, that of Manuele himself. Furthermore, although the contents of the Letter do indeed hint at the Fieschi power network, once one knows what it was and how it worked, only one member of the clan is directly named, Manuele himself. Of course, at the time to name one Fieschi was to name them all, but we cannot expect modern readers to take our word for that. And so, we said to ourselves at the start of our research, it’s time the world really found out just who Manuele Fieschi was.

Essentially, the Auramala Project team has gone the extra mile, has found the documents, and done the research, and we are now ready to  publish, firstly a biography of Manuele Fieschi (as complete as possible given the sources) and secondly examine how, even without taking the Fieschi Family syndicate into account, Manuele by himself can easily account for everything written in the Letter. Then, by further investigating the extent and workings of the syndicate through Manuele Fieschi (as we will see, his role in the family was one of networking, cohesion, bringing together of family interests), our research adds enormous confirmation and weight to Ian Mortimer’s brilliant hypothesis.