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meredydd



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PostSubject: Edward I   Wed Dec 12, 2007 4:21 pm

Hello everyone

I'm a playwright - so it's a begging letter - writing a piece called Longshanks. I'd be much obliged if anyone could point me in the direction of any material pertaining to the father son relationship. But in fact I'm interested in anything at the moment that's connected to Edward I and the more personal the better. I'm also interested in sharing any thoughts members may have about the language of the time.

Best

Meredydd
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Alianore
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PostSubject: Re: Edward I   Thu Dec 13, 2007 12:50 pm

Hi Meredydd - the play sounds fascinating!

Do you know the bio of Edward I by Michael Prestwich? There's quite a lot in there about personal stuff, his family, etc. There's evidence that he had a violent temper - for example, he assaulted a servant at his daughter Margaret's wedding in 1290 and had to pay him compensation, ripped his daughter Elizabeth's coronet off her head and threw it on the fire, and ripped handfuls of his son Ed II's hair out in 1306 (which tells you a lot about their relationship, I suppose).

But he had a gentler side, too, such as writing a letter after Eleanor of Castile's death that said something like 'we loved our consort in life and we cannot stop loving her in death'. He was devoted to both his wives.

Edward stood 6 feet 2 inches tall - this is known from an examination of his embalmed body in 1774 - inherited his father's drooping eyelid, and had a lisp!

As for language: his native language was French, or rather Anglo-Norman, but apparently he could also speak English.

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"Sans lui n'estoit rien fait, et par lui estoit tous fait, et le creoit li rois plus que tout le monde." Without him nothing is done and through him everything is done, and the king trusts him more than any other: Hugh Despenser the Younger and Edward II
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meredydd



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PostSubject: Re: Edward I   Thu Dec 13, 2007 5:01 pm

Thanks for the above. Prestwich and the bibliography is my bible at the moment - I think I'm on the fifth read - but what you point out begs some of the questions I'd like to tackle.

-Why assault the servant? At the time he was under as much pressure as he ever would be at home and abroad. I think it could well be a case of having a workout just to vent some steam. But is there anything else?

-I didn't know it was Elizabeth's coronet. This incident illustrates a shady area. He was devoted to his wives and daughters. (The son's seem to be more of a mass produce endeavour illustrated by his ruthless indifference any deaths in their ranks.) Prestwich alludes to the daughters being headstrong and then goes mute. Any evidence as to why they were so obviously infuriating?

-Ripping the hair. Am I right in saying Piers Gaveston was the source of the ire? And am I right in saying Edward I and Edward II were of a similar size? If so boy Edward at 22 or so would really have to let his father, at 67 or so, pull his hair out. Is it right to say Edward II dared not fight back? Sorry, lots of questions there.

-Where does the quoted letter come from? Who to?

-The drooping eyelid and lisp won't be in the play. In the real man they are inherited characteristics. In the actor they'd be mannerisms that get in the way. Weleath Bwian anyone?

I'd love to hear comments on anything connected to the time and people. Now an interesting confession. The play is being written in English, by a Welshman and will initially be put on in Wales with a predominantly Welsh cast... and it's about the man who conquered Wales......
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PostSubject: Re: Edward I   Thu Dec 13, 2007 8:45 pm

Meredydd,

The letter about his late wife was written to an abbot, as far as I remember, but I don't have the source to hand, and can't remember which one. It was written at Christmas 1290, when he was spending the season at a priory his cousin Edmund of Cornwall had founded (whose name also escapes me at the moment - Ashridge or something similar?)

Edward II's body/skeleton has never been examined, so his height isn't known for sure, but several of his contemporaries called him 'tall and strong'. I'd imagine he was the same height as his father or close to it, 6 feet or a little more.

Yes, Piers was the source of Edward I's annoyance with his son - supposedly, young Ed had asked if he could give Piers either the earldom of Cornwall, or his mother's inheritance of Ponthieu, depending on which source you read. Again, I don't know for sure, but I'd say that Ed didn't dare to fight back, rather than not being physically able to - or his father took him by surprise and he was too shocked to retaliate.

Not sure about other reasons for assaulting the servant - always just struck me as bad temper and the servant being an easy target!

Re his daughters: Joan of Acre made a secret marriage to Ralph de Monthermer in early 1297, while Ed was negotiating an alliance with Amadeus of Savoy for her. He was furious, and imprisoned Ralph for a while, but had no choice but to accept it eventually, and made Ralph earl of Gloucester in right of his wife (her first husband's title).

Margaret, the third daughter, refused to leave England with her husband Jan II of Brabant in June 1294, and didn't leave until 1297.

Elizabeth also refused to leave England to join her husband in Holland in Jan/Feb 1297 - I think that was when he threw her coronet in the fire.

I think Ed in general had a less tense relationship with his daughters (the above notwithstanding) because they weren't his heirs, and therefore, the pressure on them to 'perform' to his standards was considerably less. Just my two pence worth. Very Happy

_________________
"Sans lui n'estoit rien fait, et par lui estoit tous fait, et le creoit li rois plus que tout le monde." Without him nothing is done and through him everything is done, and the king trusts him more than any other: Hugh Despenser the Younger and Edward II
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Mipp



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PostSubject: Re: Edward I   Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:30 am

The letter was addressed to the abbot of Cluny, and in it Edward I mentions the recently-deceased Leonor, "whom living we deeply cherished, and whom dead we cannot cease to love." I personally prefer the Spanish spelling of her name and call her Leonor.

It's indisputable that Edward worshipped the ground Leonor walked on. They married very young and had scads of children -- at least 15, and possibly one more stillborn son in 1280 or 1281. They narrowed escaped death in Gascony in 1287, when a bolt of lightning shot through the window right between Edward and Leonor as they conversed on a couch. Also, for many years there was a tradition on Easter morning, when Leonor's ladies would catch Edward in bed and he would have to pay them a ransom to be allowed to join his wife for the first time after Lent. On Easter 1291, when Leonor had been dead a few months, he still paid her ladies the ransom, though he had no wife to return to, perhaps a sign Edward was not quite ready to part with that memory.

As for the sons prior to Edward II, there was much public grief at the death of the handsome eldest son, John, who died just past his sixth birthday in 1271. At that time his two-year-old brother Henry became heir. Henry spent a lot of time in the household of his grandmother, Eleanor of Provence, the widowed queen of Henry III, but he was a sickly boy who died in 1274, aged six. I don't know as much about the other son, Alphonso, who was an infant when Henry died, except that he played with toy castles and a miniature seige engine (Edward I, Prestwich, p. 127). Alphonso died in 1284, aged ten. Archbishop Peckam sent a letter to Edward I expressing his regret at the demise of "the child who was the hope of us all" but Edward's response, if any, was not recorded. He doesn't seem to have grieved as much for his dead children as for his dead queen; he gave no alms on the anniversaries of their deaths and had no masses sung for them.

Eleanor of Provence also seems to have raised some of Edward and Leonor's other children. Their daughter Eleanor lived with her grandmother, along with her brother Henry and cousin John of Brittany. Mary went to live with her at the convent of Amesbury in 1289, and took the veil. Joan spent much of her childhood in Ponthieu with her maternal grandmother, Jeanne of Ponthieu. John was living in the care of his uncle Richard of Cornwall when he died. Edward and Leonor had so many children, an average of one every year and a half to two years, and so many were stillborn or died young (in fact, their first child to survive to adulthood was Eleanor, their SIXTH child) that they may have learned very quickly not to become too attached to any of them. Their firstborn was a stillborn daughter born May 29 1255, when they'd been married only seven months, and Leonor was still only thirteen! (Eleanor of Castile, Parsons).
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James

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PostSubject: Re: Edward I   Wed May 20, 2009 11:21 pm

Re the row between Edward I and his son, I would personally think it more likely that the Prince wanted to give Piers Gaveston the Earldom of Cornwall, not only because that's what he subsequently did when he became King, but also because the County of Ponthieu was a direct inheritance from Prince Edward's mother Eleanor and alienating it outside the immediate family might have been seen as disrespectful to her memory.

On the other hand, if it was Ponthieu that the Prince wanted to give to Piers, then I suppose that would have added an additional reason for Edward I's complete fury.

From the point of view of assessing both the future Edward II's personality, and his relations with his family, it would be fascinating to know which version is the correct one. What are the two conflicting sources, by the way? Does one seem more reliable than the other?
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