Archiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2002-07 > 1027142906

From: "John Higgins" <>
Subject: RE: Gaveston [was: No Messages]
Date: Fri, 19 Jul 2002 22:30:19 -0700
In-Reply-To: <087a01c22f8e$0646cd00$2b18bcd0@computer>

Here's the Brad Verity summary of the Gaveston question from SGM that I
mentioned earlier....for those who don't care to dive into SGM. Warning:
It's pretty long....and there have been a few responses in SGM on some of
the finer points in the message.

John Higgins

"Who begot whom is a most amusing kind of hunting" - Horace Walpole

Nathaniel Taylor <> wrote in message news:

> Or, if
> one wants to embalm the whole thing for exhibition as a 'teaching
> moment', can someone provide a brief summary of the Margaret de Clare -
> Amie de Gaveston theory, with a brief commentary pointing out specific
> weaknesses (e.g., faulty understanding of law, chronology & 14th-century
> politics; flawed deduction due to prejudged outcome; telltale presence
> of conspiracy theory; etc.)?

Dear Nat,

I'll give it a try.

Original premise, as presented in CP in the early 20th century (and
probably the one in wide belief beforehand):

Joan de Gaveston, intended bride of John de Multon, was the only
daughter of Piers Gaveston, earl of Cornwall, and his wife Margaret de
Clare, and was born in Jan. 1312 in York.

1) The chronicle of Bridlington that mentions Gaveston's daughter born
shortly after the Epiphany in York.
2) Joan de Gaveston's mention in the primary records (at least from
1312 thru 1317), ie, the Calendar Rolls, Edward II's household
records, etc.

New theory, proposed by J.G. Hunt in THE AMERICAN GENEALOGIST,
sometime in the 1960s I believe:

Amie de Gaveston, wife of John de Driby, was another daughter of Piers
Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall, by Margaret de Clare, his wife.

1) The 1334 fine which calls her "Amie, daughter of Petrus de
2) The Inquisition of Joan Gaveston said she died in Jan. 1325, aged
15, which would make her born before 1312, leaving that birth open for
a second child.

CP Vol. XIV (the Corrections one) added this evidence of Amie as Piers
and Margaret's daughter, and various works on royal descent also
published the connection.

Meanwhile, J.S. Hamilton, unaware of Hunt's Amie theory, publishes in
1988 his biography of Piers Gaveston.

Hamilton states Amie de Gaveston, damsel in the household of Queen
Philippa, was the niece or sister of Piers Gaveston, earl of Cornwall.

1) The Calendar roll entries of the 1330s that discuss the grants of
property Amie received from Queen Philippa.

However, Hunt's theory was brought to Hamilton's attention by several
people (Kay Allen among them), and he published an article in a 1998
issue of MEDIEVAL PROSOPOGRAPHY that revised his Amie statement of 10
years previous.

Hamilton's revised theory is that Amie was the illegitimate daughter
of Piers Gaveston, likely born before his marriage to Margaret. He
also concluded there was not enough documentation or evidence to make
her Margaret's daughter at all.

1) The circumstances of Amie's life and marriage are very inferior to
those of Joan Gaveston.
2) The 1334 fine that says "Amie, daughter of Petrus de Gaveston,"
which he had previously been unaware of.

Then in 1999 on this newsgroup, John C. Parsons was made aware of
Hunt's theory from the 60s, and he further challenged it.

John Parsons stated there was no way Amie could be another daughter of
Piers Gaveston and Margaret de Clare because she was not documented as
an heiress to Margaret's vast Clare family inheritance, half of which
would belong to Amie and her heirs by right if she were Margaret's

Shortly after, Douglas Richardson, in the 2nd edition of PLANTAGENET
ANCESTRY, published a new theory.

Doug's theory is that Amie de Gaveston was the illegitimate daughter
of Margaret de Clare, which is why she was not returned as an heiress
to Margaret.

1) I don't have a copy of PA 2nd Edition, so I don't know what the
specific points are, but Doug could fill them in.

About the same time, Paul Reed published an article on Amie in the
NEHGR periodical, which looked at Hunt's original points, the
arguments made by Hamilton and Parsons, and all the original
documentation available to him, and came to a conclusion.

Paul also concluded that Amie was the illegitimate daughter of Piers
Gaveston, earl of Cornwall.

1) I think I'll let Paul fill in the evidence he uncovered here, as he
could do it much better than I could.

Then all was fairly quiet on Amie for several months. We were left
with the Hamilton/Parsons/Reed theory of Amie as illegitimate daughter
of Piers, and the Richardson theory of Amie as illegitimate daughter
of Margaret. Hunt's theory of Amie as daughter of Piers and Margaret
was rendered obsolete.

Until revised in altered form by Robert Todd in an article in THE
PLANTAGENET CONNECTION. Todd basically combined Hunt's and Doug's
theories, resulting in a new theory of Amie's parentage.

Todd argued Amie was the illegitimate daughter of Margaret de Clare,
but born in Jan. 1312 (so during Margaret's marriage to Piers).

1) Basically the same points that Hunt made when he argued Amie was
the legitimate daughter of Piers and Margaret born in York in 1312.
2) The daughter born in 1312 would have to have been conceived while
Piers was on a campaign in Scotland in spring 1311, and there is no
evidence that puts Margaret in Scotland to conceive her by Gaveston.

Once again (early 2001), the Amie debate raged on. This was when I
first found soc.gen.medieval, and I admit to having a fondness for the
Amie subject because it was my intro to all the wonderful folks who
form this newsgroup. I looked at everything I could find (Todd's TPC
article on Amie, and all of the archived posts on her), and my own
conclusion was that of Hamilton/Parsons/Reed: Amie was the
illegitimate daughter of Piers.

John Parsons published (also in TPC) a rebuttal to Todd's article, and
to other points that arose over Amie on the newsgroup.

1) The royal household was up in the north throughout the spring of
1311, and Margaret and Piers could have conceived their daughter
during that time.

We then come to Todd's latest TPC article on Joan Gaveston, which
provides new theories.

First, Margaret's issue by Gaveston was disinherited through
entailment of the Clare lands onto the issue of her second husband
Hugh d'Audley.

1) The 1290 entailment by Edward I of the Clare title and properties
solely to the issue of Gilbert the Red and Joan of Acre.
2) The 1317 Calendar roll grant that limits Margaret's inheritance to
her, Hugh d'Audley and the heirs of their bodies.
3) The 1337 Calendar roll grant that limits the Gloucester title and
lands to Hugh and his heirs.

Rebuttal: Turns out none of those three above points actually limited
the CLARE INHERITANCE to the issue of Margaret and Hugh d'Audley.

Next, Todd suggested Edward II was displeased with Margaret after
Gaveston's death.

1) Margaret's dower was not granted to her officially until 1319.

Rebuttal: 1319 was the first time "dower" was mentioned in
conjunction with Margaret in the primary records. However, the exact
same lands referred to as dower in the 1319 grant, had been given to
Margaret by Edward II back in Sept. 1312. So she was never without
their income. So how is that evidence Edward II was displeased with

Also, Todd proposed Joan had to have been born before 1312 because
Edward II intended her betrothal to Thomas Wake in 1316 (or earlier),
and she would need to be at least 7 according to canonical law.

1) The canonical law.

Rebuttal: Paul Reed dug up and posted the relevant documents from
1316 and 1317. Turns out they only tell us that Wake refused the
King's offer of Joan in marriage. There is nothing about a betrothal
being broken, nor is there any mention of the next step Edward II
would have taken had Wake accepted the offer. So there is no evidence
that Joan was of canonical age to be betrothed to Wake immediately if
the offer had been accepted.

Is this kind of what you were asking for, Nat? If nothing else, maybe
it can be used as a template and filled in more accurately by the
parties who put forth the Amie theories. I don't have time at the
moment to reread all the articles and turn them into point-by-point
bullets and rebuttals. The above is my understanding of the debate
off the top of my head, and I know there are many points (Queen
Isabella, the challenge to the Driby fine of 1334, etc.) that I've
left out for now.

Anyway, hope it helps a little bit.

Cheers, ---------Brad

> -----Original Message-----
> From: malinda [mailto:]
> Sent: Friday, July 19, 2002 6:38 PM
> To: John Higgins
> Subject: Re: No Messages
> Hello John,
> I don't know how to access SGM....and it doesn't sound at all
> appealing, but
> I
> would like like to see Brad Verity's summary.
> Would it be asking to much to request that you forward it to me ?
> Thanks,
> ~malinda

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