Posts Tagged ‘Huw Ridgeway’

Henry III and the Sicilian Affair

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

David Carpenter writes…

I have had a most interesting letter from Margaret Howell about my fine of the month on Henry III and the Sicilian affair.  She observes  that it was Huw Ridgeway, in his doctoral thesis, who  first grasped the centrality of Henry III’s Savoyard kinsmen  to the project. She points this out on p.132 of her Eleanor of Provence. Margaret also thinks I have under-estimated the role of the Savoyards in the second phase of the project initiated by Pope Alexander IV in 1255. She notes in particular the way Henry III, in June 1255, commissioned Thomas of Savoy, Peter of Savoy and Philip of Savoy, bishop elect of Lyons, to recruit knights for his service.  I am sure Margaret is right about this.  However, I am still struck  by the way neither Thomas nor Peter of Savoy seem to have been involved with either negotiating or accepting the deal  of 1255.  They must surely have  regarded it as very unfortunate, for themselves as much as for the king.  Essentially,  the terms meant the Savoyards would never have the resources to recruit an  army to intervene in Sicily on Henry’s behalf.  Henry could ask them to retain knights as much as he liked, but he had no money with which they could do it.

Huw Ridgeway’s thesis is ‘The politics of the English royal court 1247-1265 with special reference to the role of the aliens’ (University of Oxford, 1983).

Aymo Tumbert

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

David Carpenter writes:

In Henry III’s first blog for 1257, I  described Aymo Tumbert, just appointed as keeper  of Windsor castle, as a Savoyard. Since the queen was based at Windsor,  I thought that was likely since she would want the castle under one of her own countrymen, as had often been the case in the past. However, I had no precise evidence of Aymo’s nationality, and accordingly asked the leading expert on the aliens, Huw Ridgeway, whether he could supply any.

 Huw Ridgeway writes as follows:

I always considered Aymo a ‘Savoyard’. He was Constable of Tower Sept 1256-Jan 1257 and Windsor 1253-4;1257-1263 (when dismissed by Montfort). He possibly died not long after that, since there is no subsequent reference to him. He is a curious character who comes out of the blue and goes out into it.  Much associated with service to the  Queen and (in capacity as Constable of Windsor) in looking after Lord Edmund and other royal children ( eg, Cal Liberate Rolls 1251-60,p.176; 302; Close Rolls  1259-61,p.101). I cannot find, alas, independent confirmation that Aymo was actually ‘Savoyard’ by origin. I think it likely: there is no reference to his family’s landholding in England prior to 1250, which suggests ‘alien’; he first appears, more or less, in Feb 1252 as executor of Peter of Geneva (Cal. Liberate Rolls 1251-60,p.27) which makes me think that he was originally in Peter’s household and moved across to the Queen’s after Peter’s death. He is therefore, at the very least a Savoyard by association.