Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2001-11 > 1006903121

Subject: Re: Anecdotal evidence (was Re: Clemence de Verdun: Dispensations and
Date: Tue, 27 Nov 2001 18:18:41 EST

Thanks, Robert, for the information. Thanks for the definition of the term
anecdotal evidence when used as genealogical jargon.

I was speaking in the same sense, though. What I was saying is that we
probably have all the evidence we are likely to have in this case. We have
to look at what we have carefully.

If anecdotal evidence is "evidence essentially gathered in a non-systematic,
non-exhaustive manner," then what is one to search to do an exhaustive search
on this subject and this specific case? One would have to look to cases of
relatives of kings or even restrict it to female relatives of past kings or
nieces of living kings that were held hostage and how they were treated and
who they were placed with. Obviously, such examples are going to be few and
far between.

The fact the we are dealing with a hostage that is the grandchild of one
English king (John) and the niece of another (Henry III) changes the
equation. We have a very unique situation. Statistical probability does not
play a part in this unique case.

What happened to other mere nobles do not apply here as we are dealing with
the wills of two kings, heads of state, each with strong wills and beliefs
who had a long history of war between their countries. Don't you think that
the probable reason for Susanna being held hostage was to keep an agreement
of loyalty between them? By holding hostage someone dear to each of them, a
member of their family, they would be held to a bond of peace and tied by the
personal welfare of a loved one. How do I know they are loved ones and
precious to each of them? Which of you do not love your cute young niece?
Which one of you does not love your child? Speak up now, don't be shy. Do
you think anyone is going to say, "No, I don't love them?" What would that
say about their individual persona?

Both kings were related to Susanna --a child of one king and a niece of
another. This makes it a family matter. It is in the interests of both kings
that this girl receive the best care and be held in the custody of someone
that is quite acceptable to each of them. This custodian had to be carefully
picked and acceptable to both kings. Why should Llewelyn accept Nicholas de
Verdun, a rich Norman landholder as custodian? If his wife Clemence were the
grandmother of the child, he would not hesitate to accept him. Neither would
Henry. The placement is the best possible for both all concerned. The deal
is made. The fact that we know Joan's mother was named Clemence ties this
all together. The property transfers sustain the notion that Clemence is
Joan's mother. The scarcity of the name Clemence at that time coupled with
the extreme high profile and importance of two kings involved would make it
highly unlikely that any other Clemence other that the wife of Nicholas de
Verdun was the mother of Joan. That is why the hostage evidence is so
important. It narrows the field to one person.

In a message dated 11/27/01 2:49:28 PM, writes:

<< It appears that you have an incorrect notion of what Todd (and others)
mean by anecdotal evidence. Anecdotal evidence is essentially evidence
gathered in a non-systematic, non-exhaustive manner. Anecdotal evidence
is useful only to demonstrate a general possibility, not a general
tendency (though it is often used so). In this case, the anecdotal
evidence referred to is not Henry III's placement of Susanna with Nicholas
and Clementia de Verdun, but rather the other cited case(s?) of hostages
being placed with relatives. If it can be demonstrated by other means
that Susanna was or was not a relative of Nicholas or Clementia, then this
case would be another piece of anecdotal evidence for or against the
hostage-relative connection. Non-anecdotal evidence would result from a
study involving a large number of randomly-selected hostage placements
where all of the relationships (or lack thereof) between hostages and
hosts were known, or else an exhaustive survey of such--certainly a
daunting task (if not an impossible one). >>

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