Sunday 7 December 1264: a siege and a debt

The king spent most of this week in Oxford, moving only as far as Woodstock on 6 December. Hugh Despenser, the justiciar, had evidently rejoined the court; he had been sent to find any stragglers who had gone to Northampton, following the earlier instructions for forces to gather there, rather than at Oxford. Despenser held an inquiry in Oxford on 3 December, concerning a death during a quarrel; the report of the inquiry is confused, beginning by saying that it concerns the death of Robert son of Cecil de Stokes, but ending by saying that Robert drew his knife and killed Richard Crindel. (Cal Inq Misc, I, no. 283)

Pevensey Castle in 1737. In 1246, Henry III had granted the castle to Peter of Savoy (Cal Charter Rolls, I, 296).

Pevensey Castle in 1737. In 1246, Henry III had granted the castle to Peter of Savoy (Cal Charter Rolls, I, 296).

Although Despenser had time for such local matters, the main business of the week was preparation for operations against the royalists. Nine of the king’s crossbowmen were paid 40 shillings each for arrears of wages, so that they could come to the March with the king, with horses and arms. (CLR 1260-67, 150) The council committed Scarborough castle to John de Eyvill and Newcastle on Tyne castle to Robert de Lisle, ordering their royalist commanders to hand them over. The ports of Hastings, Winchelsea and Rye were instructed to prevent royalist attempts to deliver supplies by sea, and break the siege of Pevensey castle. Simon de Montfort junior, who commanded the siege, was paid £100 toward the costs of continuing the siege during the winter, and for making a ditch in front of the castle so that the royalists could not get out. (CPR 1258-66, 390-2; CLR 1260-67, 152; CFR 1264-65, 626, 628)

Simon de Montfort appears again to have been using his position for his own benefit, in the matter of his wife’s dower. The sheriff of Lincolnshire was ordered to raise 600 marks from the goods and chattels of Margaret countess of Lincoln, which the king owed as Eleanor’s dower. This was to be paid on 1 December. (E 368/39 m. 2d)

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