A drawing of Eva, nurse of Richard, the future earl of Cornwall

Richard De Renzy Channer, an eagle-eyed MA student at King’s College London spotted this image of a woman’s head that is reminiscent of those of other women (e.g. Muriel the Jewess of Gloucester) found in the margins of the fine rolls. It is from the close roll of June 1213 (held at The National Archives) and is against an order to the exchequer to give 4d a day to Eva, nurse of King John’s son, Richard, the future earl of Cornwall, so it might well be her.

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One Response to “A drawing of Eva, nurse of Richard, the future earl of Cornwall”

  1. Richard Cassidy says:

    Eva continued to receive payments for the next thirty years. She crops up each year in the ‘fixed alms’ sections of the London and Essex accounts in the pipe rolls. In 1219-20, for instance, she receives 30s. 5d. in Essex, and 30s. 5d. in London. Eva’s payment from London is increased to 76s. 1/2d. in 1223, by the king’s writ. She enjoyed this pension until 1242, when she last appears in the pipe rolls (E 372/86, rots. 11 and 14). This is quite a generous provision for Richard’s old nurse – 106s. 5 1/2d. a year is 3 1/2d. a day, at a time when a labourer might earn 1 1/2d. a day.

    In 1220, there also payments to Helen the king’s nurse (£6 20d. in Surrey and 60s. 10d. in Gloucestershire), to Matilda the king’s nurse (£3 20d. in Essex), to Christiana the nurse of the king’s sister Joan (60s. 10d. in Winchester) and to Margaret the nurse of Isabel, the king’s sister (60s. 10d. in Hereford). This generosity to their nurses might be seen in the context of orphaned children who had been abandoned by their mother in 1217. On the other hand, king John’s nurse, Matilda of Harlow was still receiving £6 20d. a year from Essex and 60s. 10d. from London in 1224; this continued until 1227-28, when she received payment for only part of the year (E 372/72 rot. 8), a mere 60 years since John’s birth.

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