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Aristocratic Life Notes

History Notes > History of the British Isles II: 1042-1330 Notes

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William&Marshal&and&the&Aristocracy&Tutorial

? Elite&took&the&label&of&'knight'&-&stopped&others&from&coming&in
&
&

~&Dramatic&change&around&1200
~&The&poem&was&written&in&1219

The&'History&of&William&Marshal'
? Poem&-&petty&knight&succeeds&through&his&military&valour
? Disjuncture&between&lavish&events&and&frugality
&
~&Idea&of&dispensing&with&pomp&and&ceremony&-&poem&looks&back&to&this&day
&
&
~&Yet&merchants&were&criticised&for&miserliness
? May&be&criticising&the&increasing&exclusivity&of&knighthood&-&reaction&to&changing&
circumstances
? Could&be&a&criticism&of&rebelling&barons&-&not&experienced&and&with&merit&like&William&
Marshal
&
~&Not&so&much&evidence&for&this Knighthood
? Most&knights&do&not&make&it&to&court
? Narratives&of&knighthood&-&if&you&do&the&right&thing&then&you&will&succeed
? It&is&not&who&you&are&but&how&you&behave&in&Arthurian&legends
&
~&Not&true&in&reality&-&ideology&of&knighthood&is&totally&different Extremely&popular&fantasy? Knights&going&nowhere&will&avidly&consume&this&message&-&keeps&them&in&order
&
~&Idea&of&frugality&-&is&necessary&as&they&cannot&afford&conspicuous&consumption
&
~&Believe&that&they&will&be&rewarded&later Elite,&however,&have&succeeded&to&great&wealth&and&position&
~&Will&dislike&aspiring&knights&who&do&not&fulfil&the&requirements&of&the&position
&
~&Knightly&values&may&be&a&critique&-&have&gained&wealth&through&other&means&
&
than&valour
&
&
~&The&elite&may&not&want&this&promoted
? Narratives&are&one&of&the&methods&that&insure&the&structure&of&lordship
&
~&Elite&has&a&vested&interest&in&embracing&and&inculcating&these&values
? Both&those&at&the&top&and&the&bottom&had&an&interest
&
~&Oppression&v.&hope

? 12/18&of&the&Marshal's&knights&did&not&hold&land&from&him&
~&Not&subinfeudated
&
~&They&are&on&payrolls&or&hope&to&gain&political&support Are&these&people&there&because&they&are&on&a&payroll?
&
~What&else&are&they&getting?

? Why&do&people&buy&into&knighthood??

&
~&Different&from&reality&-&valour&does&not&lead&to&success
&
~&Marshal's&success&in&tournaments&is&exaggerated Duby&-&finds&a&whole&other&set&of&things&that&the&poem&illuminates Is&this&the&poet&or&the&Marshal?

?

&
~&Ignores&women&and&religion&to&an&extent Duby&revels&in&the&Marshal's&favour&of&the&knights&over&religion

? Crouch&-&the&poem&was&presented&at&least&once&a&year&to&an&audience
? Tension&in&religious&piety&-&Marshal&does&not&appear&to&participate&much&in&religion
? Idea&that&lowly&knights&can&be&favoured&by&the&queen&?&courtly&love&poetry
&
&
&

~&Not&existent&in&reality
~&Marriage&is&controlled&and&between&equals
~&Delusional&idea

? Duby&focuses&on&the&role&of&women&in&the&deathbed&scene&-&seem&to&be&excluded
&

~&May&be&a&misreading&-&idea&of&the&preudefemme

Castles
? The&motivation&for&building&castles&is&military&-&influences&geographical&location
&
~&Yet&the&interior&and&living&space&were&for&living
&
&
~&Large&windows&and&rooms&with&only&one&entrance
? May&be&trying&to&show&valour&and&military&input
? 'Taking&of&castles'&-&not&that&major&but&looks&good&in&military&warfare

The&'History&of&William&the&Marshal'&for&the&years&1216?19 (English&Historical&Documents&III&?&H.&Rothwell&(ed.)) (London:'Eyre'&'Spottiswoode,'1975) pp.'81;102

? Marshal&did&not&take&part&in&the&barons'&revolt
? Marshal&stayed&with&the&king&in&misfortune&when&the&king&had&no&money&left&to&pay&???????people&-&'serving&him&faithfully&as&his&lord&and&his&king.&From&this&moment&to&his&death,&
he&never&deserted&him' John&apologised&to&the&Marshal&on&his&deathbed,&begged&him&to&forgive&him&and&
entrusted&him&with&the&guardianship&of&his&son William&Marshal&dubbed&the&new&king&knight Marshal&thought&he&was&too&old&to&accept&the&regency&-&only&took&it&when&told&that&he&
would&be&absolved&of&his&sins 'When&it&became&known&that&the&Marshal&had&charge&of&the&king&and&the&kingdom,&
there&was&universal&rejoicing.&'God&protects&us,'&people&said,&'for&there&is&no&one&in&
England&who&would&be&capable&of&acquitting&himself&as&well&of&this&charge' At&a&time&of&war&with&Louis&-&difficult&as&the&young&king&has&no&money Besieged&many&castles The&Marshal&was&at&Northampton&when&Louis&invaded&again
&
~&William&Marshal&^&'Hear&ye,&true&and&loyal&knights!&At&a&time&when,&to&preserve&
&
our&reputation,&to&defend&ourselves,&our&wives,&our&children,&our&friends&and&our&
&
land,&to&win&great&honour,&for&the&peace&of&the&holy&church&which&our&enemies&have&
&
broken,&to&be&pardoned&of&our&sins,&we&support&the&burden&of&arms,&beware&that&
&
there&is&amongst&you&no&coward!'
&
&
~&'if&we&are&victorious,&we&shall&have&increased&out&glory&and&defended&our&
&
&
freedom&and&that&of&our&lineage.&It&is&God's&will&that&we&should&defend&
&
&
ourselves...You&all&see&that&we&must&open&the&way&with&iron&and&steel.&No&
&
&
more&threat,&but&attack&them.&God&is&giving&us&the&chance&to&revenge&
&
&
ourselves' Legate&gave&them&absolution&and&excommunicated&the&Frenchmen William&Marshal&-&'If&we&die&in&this&enterprise,&God,&who&knows&well&how&to&distinguish&
the&good,&will&place&us&in&his&paradise&and&if&we&are&victorious,&we&shall&have&won&lasting&
glory&for&ourselves&and&for&our&families.&Besides,&you&know&the&enemy&are&under&
sentence&of&excommunication;&those&of&them&that&die&will&go&straight&to&hell' They&were&as&gay&as&if&it&were&only&a&question&of&a&tournament Sources&of&information&are&not&in&agreement&on&the&battle&-&is&seeking&to&write&'true&
history' In&the&tower&of&Lincoln,&the&noble&lady&to&whom&the&castle&belonged&was&defending&it&as&
best&she&could 'A&hungry&lion&is&not&quicker&to&fall&upon&its&prey&than&was&the&Marshal&when&he&rushed&
upon&his&enemies' Sir&Richard&of&Samford&took&up&his&wife&to&save&her&-&unseated&a&knight&who&told&him&he&
could&not&take&her&and&then&took&her&up&again&and&saved&her Knights&on&the&king's&side&were&only&406&compared&to&611&French&knights&-&seen&as&
God's&will

? Louis's&wife&gained&many&troops&and&much&money

? The&Marshal&was&in&a&quandary&-&the&king&was&young&and&penniless&and&the&majority&of&???

the&great&men&had&sided&with&Louis
&
~&The&greatest&barons&of&France&were&coming&to&conquer&the&land William&Marshal&on&the&sea&battle&-&'You&have&the&advantage:&you&will&prevail&over&the&
enemies&of&God' Eustace&the&Monk&was&killed
&
~&In&the&ship&were&32&knights&who&would&have&suffered&the&same&fate,&had&the&
&
English&knights&not&prevented&it&-&they&were&seen&as&men&of&importance&and&taken&
&
to&Dover&where&they&were&entrusted&to&the&justiciar Followed&the&French&fleet&-&'When&they&captured&a&ship,&they&did&not&fail&to&kill&all&they&
found&on&board&and&threw&them&to&the&fishes,&leaving&only&one&or&two&and&occasionally&
three&alive'
&
~&Estimated&that&4,000&were&killed When&the&Marshal&dies&he&hands&protection&of&the&king&over&to&the&papal&legate Much&weeping&at&the&Marshal's&death 'We&believe&that&his&soul&is&in&the&company&of&God,&for&he&was&good&in&life&and&in&
death'&

Aristocratic&Careers&and&Culture&1042?1330 Dr'Doherty

? Both&flexible&and&rigid
? Known&to&contemporaries&by&different&words&and&labels??&
~&The&most&powerful&men,&the&great&men,&the&leading&men,&earls,&thegns,&barons&
&
and&knights,&dukes,&earls,&barons,&knights,&squires Complex&section&of&society Can&look&at&vocabulary&of&society&and&transitions Or&we&can&look&at&individuals&and&their&families&within&their&own&lifetimes,&localities&and&
landscapes&^&political,&spiritual&and&military Big&picture&perspective&doesn't&allow&for&variation Dealing&with&individuals&prevents&us&from&acquiring&a&big&picture&^&gives&great&detail&but&
separates&us&from&the&societies&in&which&they&operated

? Stenton&^&The*First*Century*of*English*Feudalism?

&
~&Sets&out&tenurial&landscape&of&the&elite&^&emphasised&the&importance&of&the&
&
honour,&a&private&territorial&complex&centred&around&a&barons&with&a&central&castle,&
&
officials&and&a&private&court
&
~&Collected&many&charters&and&leases
&
&
~&Shows&the&aristocratic&fabric&of&12th&century&England David&Crouch&had&challenged&this Crouch&^&the&British&Isles&witnesses&the&emergence&of&a&self^conscious&aristocracy&in&the&
final&third&of&the&12th&century&?&defined&by&status,&standards&of&behaviour&and&actions&
as&lords
&
~&1170^80&crucial&in&the&emergence&of&a&defined,&self^conscious&and&self^confident&
&
aristocracy
&
~&An&aristocracy&which&knows&where&it&begins&and&where&it&ends&^&certain&criteria

? One&of&the&communities&of&the&elite&was&the&family
? Belonged&to&active&family&firms&^&increasingly&declared&their&membership&of&them&by&the&?

use&of&nomenclature&and&heraldry&from&the&middle&of&the&12th&century Families&were&venues&of&identity,&memory&and&loyalty
&
~&Can&see&this&in&the&Hyde&Chronicle&^&now&think&it&was&written&in&the&1150s&by&the&
&
leading&heiress&of&the&Warenne&family&?&last&male&earl&had&died&and&there&is&just&
&
this&daughter&to&succeed&him
&
&
~&She&is&married&to&the&son&of&King&Stephen&and&then&Henry&II&sought&to&marry&
&
&
her&to&his&brother
&
&
~&Thomas&Becket&prevents&the&marriage&of&Isabelle&de&Warenne&and&Henry&II's&
&
&
brother,&William
&
&
&
~&One&of&the&knights&who&kills&him&claims&to&have&done&it&for&William Membership&of&the&Warenne&family&was&very&much&valued
&
&

~&Isabelle&eventually&marries&an&illegitimate&brother&of&Henry&II&?&he&then&becomes&
earl

? Cobham&church&in&Kent&^&20&brasses&from&about&1300&?&appear&to&have&been&assembled&
in&the&chancel&by&the&3rd&Lord&Cobham&in&the&mid&14th&century

??

&
~&Knew&that&he&was&the&last&of&his&line
&
~&Securing&eternal&fame&by&transferring&these&brasses&and&the&foundation&of&a&
&
college&of&priests Family&identity&was&flexible
&
~&Hextilda&from&Durham&^&Liber&Vitae&of&Durham&where&visits&of&noble&men&and&
&
women&gave&gifts&?&were&entered&in&the&record&as&a&family
&
&
~&Entered&in&2&places&^&with&first&and&second&husbands
&
&
&
~&Stepchildren&from&her&first&marriage&are&entered&in&the&second&entry&^&
&
&
&
multiple&family&units Women&themselves&could&transfer&family&identity
&
~&Heiresses&marry&courtiers&^&sons&will&take&the&name&of&their&mother&as&the&
&
courtier&represents&a&lesser&family
&
&
~&Family&firms&are&therefore&perpetuated&through&women
&
&
~&Men&have&a&tendency&to&die&early Loretta,&countess&of&Leicester,&married&to&an&earl&of&Leicester&in&the&reign&of&King&John
&
~&Lives&into&the&1270s&and&Simon&de&Montfort&asks&her&advice&on&a&matter&of&court&
&
etiquette,&60&years&after&the&death&of&her&husband&^&Simon&is&now&the&new&earl&of&
&
Leicester&yet&he&is&consulting&her

? Elites&were&also&members&of&local&communities
? Many&disputes&and&rivalries&are&local&conflicts&over&territory,&castles&and&territorial&rights&
~&When&there&was&war&or&civil&war,&the&war&is&fought&through&a&series&of&local&
&
conflicts&and&these&aspirations&to&dominate&local&society&and&to&avenge&grievances&
&
provide&an&active&dynamic&in&local&society&and&determine&loyalties Mountsorrel&^&local&baronial&war&between&the&earls&of&Chester&and&Leicester&in&the&1140s

? Nobles&were&involved&in&multiple&kingdoms
? Norman&aristocracy&^&supplant&the&English&and&was&an&elite&that&held&property&in&Normandy,&Brittany&and&beyond&as&well&as&in&the&English&kingdom Leading&example&is&David,&brother&of&William&I&king&of&Scots&^&major&example&of&an&
Angevin&magnate
&
~&Earl&of&Huntingdon&in&England
&
~&Lord&in&Scotland
&
~&In&the&1190s&he&actively&fights&on&King&William&I's&behalf&in&the&Highlands
&
~&Present&at&the&second&coronation&of&Henry&II&^&involved&in&the&English&kingdom
&
~&1193^4&helps&suppress&a&rebellion&against&the&English&king
&
~&Participates&in&jousts&in&England
&
~&Establishes&religious&houses&in&Scotland

? Regional&study&will&only&reveal&some&of&the&orbits&that&magnates&operate&in
? Individual&studies&show&operations&within&the&family,&as&magnates&in&their&honours,&?working&in&the&shires&and&national&actions&such&as&following&the&king&on&Crusade International&elite Felt&that&they&belonged&to&a&class&of&landholder&that&operated&across&a&wide&area&^&
reinforced&by&crusading&perspective
&
~&Could&compare&themselves&to&German&margraves,&French&counts&and&Spanish&
&
barons Different&ways&to&master&these&different&communities

? Had&to&appreciate&the&sentiments&of&a&family,&county&and&kingdom&^&failure&to&do&this&
could&be&very&dangerous&
~&John&de&Bermingham&^&1329&killed&by&large&numbers&of&the&elite&of&Louth&?&had&
&
not&paid&any&attention&to&their&rights&and&did&not&have&a&local&following&to&maintain&
&
his&position
&
&
~&Is&ambushed&and&killed Holt&^&'The&Northerners'&?&underlines&the&ties&of&faction&between&those&barons&who&
opposed&King&John
&
~&Complex&alliance

? John&Charlton&apparently&said&in&1333&^&'I&am&pope;&I&am&king&and&abbot&in&my&land'????????&
~&Lordship&was&a&very&dynamic&force Quo&Warranto&pleas&by&Edward&I&in&the&1280s&^&by&what&warrant&did&barons&exercise&their&
rights?
&
~&Very&ambitious&campaign&to&regain&royal&prerogatives&that&have&been&
&
appropriated
&
&
~&Largely&a&failure Court&rolls&of&Lewes,&Sussex&show&the&same&idea&^&baron&asked&his&tenants&by&what&
warrant&they&had&certain&rights Late&12th&century&^&greater&emphasis&on&conduct,&behaviour&and&clothing Had&to&look,&act&and&patronise&like&great&men&and&women Expected&the&nobility&to&be&beautiful&^&recognised&by&this Other&virtues&were&courage,&devotion,&generosity,&magnanimity Change&can&be&seen&^&may&be&due&to&the&arrival&of&Anglo^Norman&knights&?&chivalry
&
~&First&and&foremost&seen&in&the&treatment&of&enemies&^&defeated&men&can&be&
&
captured&and&ransomed&but&never&mutilated&and&killed
&
&
~&Very&few&were&seen&as&worthy&of&death&^&2&major&offences&of&treasons&
&
&
against&the&king&and&surrender&of&a&castle
&
&
~&Roger&de&Lacy&seized&2&constables&and&executed&them&for&surrendering&
&
&
castles&to&the&Count&of&Mortain Men&should&not&surrender&their&custodies Yet&in&relation&to&losers,&mercy&was&seen&as&the&norm Chivalry&could&also&be&seen&in&manners&^&eating,&dancing&speaking,&laughing
&
~&e.g.&description&of&the&King&of&Jerusalem&^&'laughing&so&much&you&could&see&his&
&
teeth' Treaty&on&manners
&
~&Definition&of&nobility Had&to&spend&like&aristocrats&?&could&lead&to&a&great&deal&of&debt Holt&^&rebellion&against&King&John&was&largely&a&rebellion&of&debtors Great&men&and&women&were&expected&and&sought&to&secure&their&own&salvation&^&
throughout&the&period Astrology,&astronomy&and&prophecy&were&very&important&to&these&elite
&
~&Even&Thomas&Becket&had&an&interpreter&of&Merlin's&prophecies
&
&
~&Every&aristocratic&household&is&interested&in&Merlin&^&seemed&to&hold&a&key&to&
&
&
political&events&?&popularity&of&Geoffrey&of&Monmouth's&work&on&him Gave&great&gifts&to&religious&houses Paid&for&construction&of&private&churches&or&chapels&in&their&castles

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