Posts Tagged ‘Ospringe’

Sunday 25 May 1264: under new management

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

This week, Simon de Montfort transported his captive king through Kent. They began the week in Battle, and made their way to Canterbury. According to the Canterbury/Dover chronicle, they reached Canterbury on 20 May, and spent several days in a great discussion of affairs. The earl and the king, and many prisoners, set off again for London on 25 May, and reached Rochester, by way of Ospringe, near Faversham. While the court was at Ospringe, the writing of the originalia roll resumed, as the bureaucracy of government began to function under new management (although maintaining the fiction of acting in the king’s name). On 25 May, Dover castle and the Cinque Ports were committed to Henry de Montfort, earl Simon’s son; this is also recorded a few days later in the patent roll. The young de Montfort was thus in charge of the strategically crucial crossing from France. In addition, he had custody of lord Edward and Henry of Almain, earl Richard’s son. These royal hostages were held in Dover castle, and, according to a royalist chronicler, treated harshly by Henry de Montfort. (Gervase II, 238; CFR 1263-64, no. 266; Ann Mon IV, 153)

Dover castle in the 17th century, by Wenceslaus Hollar.

Dover castle in the 17th century, by Wenceslaus Hollar.

The royal household was being supported by local officials as it passed through Kent: the Wardrobe received cash from the bailiffs of Canterbury (including 20 marks which they should have delivered as alms for the monks of Pontigny); the bailiff of the manor of Ospringe also provided cash, and had to pay for wine which the household had taken in Canterbury. There was clearly little cash in hand, but the household was planning ahead, and arranging to use the farm of the city of London to pay for wine and bread for Whitsun (which fell on 8 June). (CLR 1260-67, 136; CPR 1258-66, 318)

De Montfort was taking steps to let the counties know of his victory. The bailiffs of Derby were informed that peace had been made, and instructed to prevent disorder. The coroners were to proclaim the peace throughout the county. (CPR 1258-66, 359)

A group of royalist magnates, including earl Warenne, William de Valence, Guy de Lusignan and Hugh Bigod, had fled from Lewes and made their way to Pevensey castle, and thence to France. They joined queen Eleanor, who had been trying to organize military support for Henry, and informed her of the king’s misfortune. They stayed with her for a while, awaiting happier times, as one chronicle put it. Another chronicle, the London annals, claims that the émigrés went to the king of France, and told him that Henry had been captured by the barons while asleep in his bed at Lewes, unarmed and without warning. They urged Louis to help Henry, and Louis was angered by their lies. While Simon and Henry were in Canterbury, Guy de Lusignan’s household were given permission to leave the country and join him. (Howell, Eleanor of Provence, 211; Battle chronicle, in Bémont, 377; Ann Mon IV, 152; London annals, 64; CPR 1258-66, 318)