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Jean de Berry et l’écrit

 | 
Olivier Guyotjeannin
, 
Olivier Mattéoni

Sons of the King of England

Personal identity and family relationships of three Princes of Wales in Late Medieval England

Sean Cunningham et Paul Dryburgh

Texte intégral

1By the end of the fifteenth century the status and education of the Prince of Wales – usually the first-born son of the King of England – was well established. The Prince’s position as the heir to the Crown was outlined clearly within a structure of learning and training based on the many responsibilities that the son of the king was expected to hold. Although King Henry VII’s son, Arthur (1486-1502), was heir to an usurping regime and a king who had not been born to rule, his status was defined by the evolution of the identity and role of the Prince over the previous two centuries.

2By 1500, the teenage Prince Arthur had a separate residence away from the royal family (at Ludlow in the Welsh Marches). That independence from his father’s court and household built his experience and spread the risk of danger to the succession of the Crown in a time of recurring conspiracy and civil war in England and Wales. Arthur held specific titles and a collection of lands that were, by then, firmly associated with the Prince and his lordship. His responsibility for widely-spread estates and the people living on them augmented his personal status as a peer of the first rank, and provided income as well as understanding of the skills that lesser lords and knights had to master. Importantly, he was also head of a council of advisers. These counsellors included nobles, religious men, administrators and politicians. They had ruled on behalf of the young Prince and defended his interests while he was a child. Learning how to interact with the different estates of the realm built Arthur’s skills in governance, trust and decision-making and softened any impact of the choices he made as he learned. These men supported the Prince as he grew into his role and prepared for personal rule as king. This council also managed the Prince’s legal jurisdictions, looked after his military power, and administered his lands – such as the earldom of March – as a single bloc. A connection to the Prince in this capacity was one of the most certain routes to service to the Crown once he became king.

3Although he was fourteen years old and entering adulthood in 1500, Arthur retained a dedicated tutor. His education followed that of previous princes who, by the 1470s, were being educated in the latest Renaissance techniques using newly rediscovered and printed classical texts. Earlier royal education had used the king’s access to manuscript editions of the latest learning. The classroom developed the Prince’s abilities in oratory, rhetoric, history and an understanding of natural sciences. Adapting the content of established ‘mirrors for Princes’ literature and guidance on etiquette and court culture were also important in making the Prince confident within the semi-public royal role he would perform at court and in the household; but as he grew new skills could be tested in his own court, household and council.

4Finally and symbolically, the Prince was very visible in the heraldic identity of his father’s regime. His titles enhanced his princely role within the aristocracy. Heraldic imagery seen in, for example, the livery clothing of retainers and servants, or displayed on public buildings associated with him, built awareness of the Prince’s presence as a powerful lord. Above all, it associated his military power, growing from his landholding and official roles, with the power of the Crown. By 1497 the Prince of Wales could easily deliver five thousand soldiers to his father’s armies, including the bulk of light cavalry.

  • 1 This summary of Prince Arthur’s education, training and political role is expanded in Sean Cunningh (...)

5This structure of learning and training followed a blueprint borrowed and developed from the Plantagenet kings of England. To some extent, the other royal sons shared this education, but the focus on preparing the next king for the responsibility of ruling meant that there was a priority in building the range of abilities that the heir would need in order to govern effectively. Prince Arthur’s brother, Henry (b. 1491), was beginning his education as a second son when Arthur died in April 1502. This shocking news forced Henry VII into a rapid reassessment of Prince Henry’s role and training. Henry assumed the title of Prince of Wales but had received none of the independent high-level training that his brother had endured since birth away from Court. Thus when Prince Henry became King Henry VIII in 1509, he brought a very different level of experience, expertise and character to his royal role – certainly not what his father had originally planned for the long transition to the reign of a Tudor King Arthur in England and Wales.1

  • 2 For which see Philomena Connolly, Lionel of Clarence and Ireland, 1361-1366 (unpublished PhD, Unive (...)
  • 3 Anthony Goodman, John of Gaunt. The Exercise of Princely Power in Fourteenth-Century Europe, London (...)

6Similarly, the adult sons of Edward III or Henry IV, were royal dukes and given lands and responsibilities that, it was hoped, would enhance their ability to support the rule of English king as his empire expanded in the later fourteenth century. We can see elements of this preparation in, for example, the provision for Edward III’s second surviving son Lionel of Antwerp, first duke of Clarence, to be governor of Ireland in 1361.2 John of Gaunt, first duke of Lancaster and King Edward’s third surviving son, headed domestic government during periods of illness of his father and brother. After his marriage to Constance of Castile in 1371, Gaunt spent much energy and money into the late 1380s in trying to become king of Castile and Leon. His nephew King Richard II also made him duke of Aquitaine in 1389, and John spent time there building his personal lordship on behalf of the English Crown.3

7This paper will explore some aspects of the developments outlined above in relation to three Princes of Wales – Edward of Caernarfon (Edward II), Edward of Woodstock (the Black Prince), and Henry of Monmouth (Henry V). These Princes each had different preparation for their reigns. Circumstance, politics, personality and diplomacy also had strong influences over how they were able to rule once they became king, and ultimately how successful they were at leading England between 1307 and 1422. The focus will be on how the power of the Prince developed, and how the transition between an adult Prince and his kingship was managed over time. We will follow a thematic approach underpinned by a chronology which bridges the 150 years between the English conquest of Wales and the death of, arguably, England’s most successful military monarch. We will examine areas of similar experience and approach between these men, but also markers of difference in various aspects of the title and role of the Prince of Wales.

Three Princes of Wales

Edward of Caernarfon (Edward II)

  • 4 Kew, The National Archives [hereafter TNA] C 53/87, mm. 9-8, calendared in English translation in C (...)
  • 5 Pipton (1265) and Montgomery (1267): J. Beverley Smith, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Prince of Wales, Card (...)
  • 6 See W. Mark Ormrod, Edward III, Newhaven/London, Yale University Press, 2010, p. 604, for discussio (...)

8On 7 February 1301 King Edward I of England (1272-1307) created his eldest son, Edward of Caernarfon, Prince of Wales at a lavish ceremony before the community of the realm in parliament at Lincoln.4 This created the precedent for the next seven centuries, right down to Prince Charles now, whereby the eldest son of each monarch has been given this title and its accompanying lands, rights and privileges. Until this moment, no son of the king of England had been titled as ‘Prince’ in English usage. The title had been first adopted in 1258 by Llywelyn ap Gruffudd of Gwynedd in recognition of his dominance over several important lordships in west and north Wales. The English formally recognised his title in treaties between Llywelyn and King Henry III (1216-1272) in the 1260s.5 But following twenty years of warfare and a brutally ruthless conquest, Henry’s successor Edward I brought Wales under the formal and practical control of the English Crown. By creating his son ‘Prince’, Edward created a dependent Principality to be delegated at the king of England’s pleasure; Wales was henceforth never considered a separate element of the king’s royal title but was established as the major appanage for his eldest son; to be administered for the Prince with all profits going to the individual who held the title.6 Edward received all lands under royal control in North Wales including Anglesey, and the counties of Carmarthen and Cardigan.

  • 7 Edward succeeded to Ponthieu and Montreuil at Eleanor’s death in November 1290: John Roland Seymour (...)
  • 8 TNA C 53/87, m. 7; Francis Jones, The Princes and Principality of Wales, Cardiff, University of Wal (...)

9The grant augmented a settlement on the king’s son of the earldom of Chester – a rich collection of estates centred on the county of Chester in northwest England but with valuable lands in other counties across England – and the northern French lordships of Ponthieu and Montreuil, centred on Abbeville, brought to the English Crown by Eleanor of Castile, late wife of Edward I.7 These estates had given Edward a status of more than just being “the king’s son”. A further grant to Prince Edward on 10 May 1301 added the town and castle of Montgomery and the lordship of Chirbury in the borders of Wales. Both were to be held by the Prince and his heirs “as the king himself had held them”, rendering for all lands in Wales and others in Cheshire the same services as the king had rendered for the same lands to King Henry, his father. In effect, this ensured that the Principality would remain with the Prince when he became king and that each king would make a new creation upon his heir apparent whenever and wherever he decided.8 The creation of Prince of Wales, then, remained entirely in the hands of individual kings and not simply by custom or hereditary right, and legally separated the Principality from the heir to the throne.

  • 9 Calendar of Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office London, 1247-1258, London, HMSO, 190 (...)
  • 10 Stephen D. Church, King John. England, Magna Carta and the Making of a Tyrant, London, Macmillan, 2 (...)
  • 11 For Chester generally see Paul Howson W. Booth, The Financial Administration of the Lordship and Co (...)
  • 12 See below, p. 152.
  • 13 John Roland Seymour Phillips, Edward II, op. cit., p. 33 (and references).
  • 14 Discussed by John Roland Seymour Phillips, Edward II, op. cit., p. 36, which is also the basis of w (...)
  • 15 R. R. Davies, The Age of Conquest: Wales 1063-1415, Oxford, 2001, p. 386.
  • 16 Around the same time as the ceremony Edward received a copy of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regu (...)
  • 17 Hilda Johnstone, Edward of Carnarvon, op. cit., p. 60.
  • 18 The Arthur of the Welsh: The Arthurian Legend in Medieval Welsh Literature, eds Rachel Bromwich and (...)

10In one sense Edward I was partly following established practice in endowing heirs to the throne, from which he had benefitted before becoming king. In 1254, Henry III granted him the lordship of Ireland and the duchy of Aquitaine with the earldom of Chester.9 King John, Henry’s father (1199-1216), had received the county of Mortain and the lordship of Ireland in 1185, although he had not then been the heir apparent to King Henry II (1154-1189).10 Chester itself had been until recently held by a succession of aristocratic families, but it would become the first endowment of subsequent heirs apparent.11 Having said this, Henry never gave up title to Ireland or Aquitaine; this suggests that when Edward created the Principality, he may have been radically reinventing the Crown’s relationship with its succession. Edward of Caernarfon did not receive Ireland and had to wait until 1306 to be endowed with Aquitaine.12 But in receiving royal lands in Wales, the sixteen-year-old Edward became in another sense the personal face of the English conquest of Wales, which he then carried to future generations. Edward had been born at Caernarfon in April 1284 at the castle his father would turn into a palatial expression of English royal power in Wales.13 There is a myth, often repeated, that King Edward presented his baby son to the Welsh as their ‘Prince’ who could speak not a word of English.14 The new Principality was certainly conceived to bind his son to the Welsh by personal ties of lordship, both to fill a “vacuum created by the extinction of their native dynasties” and to ensure their future allegiance.15 Edward, now moving into adolescence, had recently served on his first military campaign in Scotland with success, and could feasibly be said to be ready for lordship. But there was another dimension, one of cultural hegemony and assimilation. In the ceremony creating him the first Plantagenet Prince of Wales at Lincoln in 1301, Edward of Caernarfon was probably invested with the signs and symbols of Welsh power, which had been taken into the royal treasury.16 These are likely to have been the golden coronet of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd seized in 1283 and presented to Westminster Abbey a year later, a finger ring and a silver or gold rod. They were certainly used in 1343 for the creation of the next Prince of Wales, the grandson of Edward of Caernarfon, who had borne this regalia “according to custom”.17 This then fused the realpolitik of the Edwardian conquest of Wales with appeals to ancient British history – King Arthur was widely believed to have been of Welsh stock and would one day return to rule across the British Isles and beyond. Llywelyn’s cornet was reputedly owned by King Arthur.18 It is possible that King Edward was presenting his son in this way and that the Prince of Wales, in whichever individual it was vested over time, may come to be seen as the realisation of this legend.

  • 19 CPR 1343-5, p. 228-35; John Roland Seymour Phillips, Edward II, op. cit., p. 87. On 13 April 1301 h (...)
  • 20 Adam Chapman, Welsh Soldiers in the Later Middle Ages, Woodbridge, Boydell Press, 2015.
  • 21 Natalie M. Fryde, The Tyranny and Fall of Edward II, 1321-1326, Cambridge, Cambridge University Pre (...)

11Edward of Caernarfon as King Edward II would come to rely on support from Welsh communities in his persistent struggles with his aristocracy. Within weeks of being created Prince Edward visited Wales to take the homage of communities across north Wales.19 Welsh archers regularly formed important parts of English royal armies from the early fourteenth century.20 In a civil war of 1321-2 the royal army was supplemented by forces from Wales which targeted the castles and estates of leading opponents of the king on the borders of Wales, and towards the end of 1326 Edward fled in vain to Wales to try and save his Crown following the invasion of Queen Isabella, his wife, and her lover Roger Mortimer, which ended with Edward’s deposition and probable murder at their hands in 1327.21 This reciprocity between lordship and service continued, and was to some degree enhanced, during the Principality of Edward of Woodstock, eldest son of King Edward III (1327-1377).

Edward of Woodstock (the Black Prince)

  • 22 For narratives of the life and career of the Black Prince, see Richard W. Barber, The Black Prince, (...)
  • 23 He was formally named as earl of Chester on 18 March 1333: R. W. Barber, “Edward [Edward of Woodsto (...)
  • 24 Paul R. Dryburgh, “Living in the Shadows: John of Eltham, earl of Cornwall (1316-1336)”, in Fourtee (...)
  • 25 As noted in Lionel’s will: Francis Jones, Princes and Principality, op. cit., p. 113.
  • 26 The documentation for this act can be found at TNA E 30/1105-1107.

12Edward, better known as ‘The Black Prince’, was created Prince of Wales on 12 May 1343.22 Like his grandfather he received the Principality of Wales in its entirety and the earldom of Chester. From birth he had been regarded as earl and had received the revenues of the county when only a baby.23 His endowment, however, also included the valuable dukedom of Cornwall, awarded on 9 February 1337 following the death of his uncle, John of Eltham, a few months before.24 But, also like his grandfather, his elevation to Prince came as he approached adolescence – he was almost thirteen – and was part of Edward’s introduction to the military and political role to which he was born as heir to the throne. Conversely, Wales was always peripheral to the Prince’s career despite, as said, being created in parliament amidst the insignia of ancient Welsh princes: he never visited his Principality throughout the next thirty-three years during which he remained Prince and apparently passed on his gold coronet to his younger brother, Lionel duke of Clarence.25 And here we have a major difference between the Black Prince and both Edward of Caernarfon and Henry of Monmouth: Edward served for over three decades as Prince; this long period of waiting to become king, which was never fulfilled, was in contrast to the six years Edward of Caernarfon had to wait to be crowned and the fourteen Henry had to wait. This meant that Edward, a naturally gifted and successful military commander and flower of chivalry, who had participated as a sixteen-year-old at Crécy and had led the English to victory at Poitiers in 1356 and Najéra in 1367, gradually carved out a role which gave him considerable independence of action. As we will discuss in more detail shortly, Edward was able to use the financial resources of his lordships, his military successes and the change in political circumstances that they generated to carve out a virtually independent state for himself in Aquitaine. As a consequence of the peace of Brétigny in 1360, the English king ruled Aquitaine as a sovereign state owing no homage to France. This persuaded Edward III to endow his eldest son with a second Principality, of Aquitaine, which he received by performing homage to his father on 19 July 1362.26 His debt was one ounce of gold each year. Over the next eight years Edward administered his lordship largely in person and took the revenues to run his government. Only in 1372 did Edward return permanently to England where, following years of illness, he died in 1376, a year before his father, never having put his training for kingship in England to direct effect. Indeed, unlike both Edward of Caernarfon and Henry of Monmouth, almost everything which can be said about the Black Prince relates to his career as Prince of Wales and as the heir to the throne.

Henry of Monmouth (Henry V)

  • 27 For Richard see Nigel Saul, Richard II, Newhaven/London, Yale University Press, 1999.
  • 28 For Henry see Chris Given-Wilson, Henry IV, Newhaven/London, Yale University Press, 2016.
  • 29 Christopher T. Allmand, Henry V, Newhaven/London, Yale University Press, 1997; Keith Dockray, Henry (...)

13Edward was succeeded by his young son Richard of Bordeaux, though his time as Prince of Wales was exceptionally brief, lasting less than one year before his grandfather, Edward III, died on 21 June 1377.27 Richard ruled without producing a male heir until he was deposed in the autumn of 1399 by Henry of Bolingbroke, duke of Hereford and Lancaster, and earl of Derby, who would become Henry IV having usurped Richard’s throne.28 Henry’s son, another Henry, who had been born in Monmouth in the borderlands of Wales in 1386 and could be presented in the Welsh context in a similar manner to Edward of Caernarfon, attained the Principality therefore by political circumstance not simply as heir to the throne of England.29 Henry, duke of Lancaster had earned the respect of many nobles by defending his and their rights against Richard II’s tyrannical demands, and his military coup removed Richard without a great struggle. But, his claim to the throne, through his late father John of Gaunt (a younger brother of the Black Prince and uncle to the deposed king), was not based on his status as a royal figure with superior rights. Rather, Henry’s claim relied on circumstance, de facto seizure of the Crown, and support of a noble faction. It also had no authority from parliament, since only the sitting king could summon the representatives of the whole realm. Henry IV pointed out his own descent from Henry III, his support from God, and Richard II’s faults as king in depriving nobles of their lands unjustly. How fully the new king’s regime would be accepted would determine how easy it would be for his heir to hold the title of Prince of Wales and fulfil the responsibilities of the role.

14Henry was the son of the new king but his limited visibility as an independent figure within the polity meant that the political elite had to assess his suitability as Prince of Wales and heir to the Crown before he could exercise the role of Prince as his forebears had done. Holding the titles was not enough within a usurping regime. Having just sanctioned the deposition of Richard II on the basis of his inability to uphold the common good of the realm, Henry IV was aware that he had to live up to his claims to be a better king than his cousin and predecessor. Later usurping kings like Edward IV and Henry VII seem to have heeded this lesson when they embedded their eldest sons, from a very young age, within the lordships that they would learn to rule.

  • 30 Chronicon Adae de Usk, A.D. 1377-1422, trans. E. M. Thompson, London, 1904, p. 187; Chronicles of L (...)

15Henry the Prince started his new role with a solemn part in his father’s coronation procession on 13 October 1399, carrying the blunted sword representing justice.30 Such public pageantry could say as much about intent as any number of letters or proclamations. So it was important that Prince Henry became prominent and active. Complex and rapid negotiation ensured that two days later, the Commons in parliament petitioned that he should become Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, and Earl of Chester. This grant provided Henry with the core lands customarily offered to previous holders of the title, Edward of Caernarfon and the Black Prince. The grant did not offer anything explicit about the inheritance of the Crown, however.

  • 31 Chronica monasterii S. Albani: Johannis de Trokelowe et Henrici de Blaneforde, monachorum S. Albani (...)
  • 32 Rotuli Parliamentorum ut et petitiones et placita in Parliamento. Ab Anno Decimo Octavo R. Henrici (...)

16Henry was given a seat in parliament by right of his Principality of Wales. His suitability for high estate was also proclaimed by offering him the Coronet, ring and gold sceptre associated with the Prince. These symbolic trappings of investiture shared some of the religious power of the king’s anointing at his own coronation; all emphasised that the new Lancastrian regime and dynasty represented continuity, tradition and right despite the deposition of the previous king.31 Henry’s part in agreeing to the imprisonment of Richard II on 16 October was rewarded with the grant of the Black Prince’s duchy of Aquitaine (previously held by Gaunt). He was also given the lands and franchises of the duchy of Lancaster, but not the title of duke, in parliament on 10 November 1399.32

17Henry IV couched the grants of these two titles in terms of preserving the estates and the legacy of his honourable ancestors. Henry tried to gain authenticity for his claim by making the transition from the explicit power he demonstrated in seizing the Crown to an emphasis on his right to hold it by linking himself and his son to former Plantagenet rulers. These were important elements in securing the position of the new royal family. The titles and lands gave Prince Henry status and income. What he did with them would go a long way to building national support for the Lancastrian Crown. Prince Henry now had a profile and purpose as a lord, an administrator and, despite his youthfulness, as the most visible member of the aristocracy below the king.

18Henry IV had been duke of Lancaster, but by giving the lands of the duchy to his fourteen-year-old son, even within the county of Lancashire in northwest England, the king was consciously boosting the role of his heir in the polity. He was also increasing the expectation that the Prince would live on the profits of his estates and would occupy himself in running them. Since Prince Henry remained unmarried until he was about thirty-four in 1420 – well into his own reign – the duchy estates had already become absorbed into the parcel of lands supplying the Crown’s income, even if they were administered separately. From that date onwards, the duchy of Lancaster has not been granted out of the monarch’s direct control.

Titles and representations

19Each Prince of Wales under consideration in this paper was created in circumstances of political or military opportunity or difficulty for the reigning king; the community of the realm in parliament, lords and commons, assented to each creation. Both king and Prince, in whatever reign, therefore had to give attention to effective communication of rights to title and displays of power and magnificence. The self-perception and self-identification of individual princes through the nuanced languages of bureaucratic and material culture developed over the fourteenth century and showed various influences.

  • 33 John Roland Seymour Phillips, Edward II, op. cit., p. 40.

20Before each of the men we are examining was created Prince, they were universally defined by their relationship to their father and, in some cases, to their brothers. At the time of their creation, each man was the eldest son of their father, the king. Edward of Caernarfon, however, had only been Edward I’s fourth son; his elder brothers, John named after his paternal great-grandfather, Henry named after his paternal father, and Alfonso named after his maternal grandfather, all having died in 1271, 1274 and 1284 respectively.33 Edward, named after England’s confessor saint, became heir to the throne at only four months old. Henry of Monmouth, of course, was born into a branch of the royal family destined not to succeed and so he had not been raised to be king. Only upon his father’s usurpation of the throne when he was aged twelve did that become a reality. A proper settlement suitable to his new-found rank was quickly found.

The charters

  • 34 TNA C 59/4, m. 1.
  • 35 TNA C 53/87, m. 9; CChR 1300-26, p. 6. This is also the case with notification of the grant of the (...)

21Early in their lives, therefore, we tend to find these men described as “the king’s most beloved son”, or “the king’s eldest son”, or by their title where a title had been granted very early in life, as with Edward of Woodstock, earl of Chester from the age of three. In documents prepared for the marriage of the six-year-old Edward of Caernarfon to Margaret, daughter of the king of Norway, heiress to the Scottish throne, in 1290 we find Edward unusually described as “natus et heres serenissimi principis domini Edwardi”.34 But in the charter by which Edward was created Prince of Wales in 1301 he is more conventionally termed “filio nostro karissimo”.35

  • 36 TNA C 47/22/7 (31 May 1412).
  • 37 Anthony Goodman, John of Gaunt…, op. cit.; Simon Walker, “John [John of Gaunt], duke of Aquitaine”.
  • 38 Robert Somerville, History of the Duchy of Lancaster…, op. cit.
  • 39 TNA E 30/1106 (19 July 1362).
  • 40 W. Mark Ormrod, “Edward III and His Family”, Journal of British Studies, 26, October 1987, p. 398-4 (...)
  • 41 TNA DL 27/156 (“Jehan filz du Roy Dengleterre e de France Duc de Lancastre Cont de Richemond Derby (...)

22The diplomatic expands radically following each creation. The Crown adapted common royal form to express formally the broad range of titles which each Prince accumulated during his young life. In documents from 1412 Henry of Monmouth was described by his clerks thus: “Henri aisne filz au noble Roy Dengleterre e de France Prince de Gales Duc de Guyen de Lancastre e de Cornwaille e Conte de Cestre” – a relatively common form.36 This would apply whether a document was drafted in Latin or, as here, in Anglo-Norman French. Note that Henry retains the Principality of Wales, the duchy of Cornwall and the county of Chester from his predecessors, but that he has had to accept the lesser title of duke of Guienne rather than Prince of Aquitaine that his uncle, the Black Prince, had claimed, and the duchy of Lancaster. These latter lordships came to him through his father, Henry IV, and his grandfather, John of Gaunt. John had been awarded the duchy of Lancaster upon the death of Henry of Grosmont, his father-in-law in 1362.37 Under the fifteenth-century Lancastrian kings, the duchy, the most prestigious in England, surpassed the Principality of Wales and generally became part of the king’s royal title rather than remaining with the heir to the throne.38 It is also noticeable that the “eldest son” formula has survived. This mirrors the diplomatic in many charters and letters of Edward, the Black Prince, such as the preamble to the performance of homage by Edward in 1362, which includes the style “eldest son of the noble king of England, Prince of Aquitaine and of Wales, duke of Cornwall and earl of Chester”.39 As with Henry, who had three younger brothers, Edward’s diplomatic demonstrated his seniority in succession but also delineated the specific responsibilities he had in relation to his siblings. Edward had four younger brothers who reached adulthood.40 The genius of Edward III, and one of the foundations of his success as a military leader, was the cultivation for each of his sons of an appanage appropriate to his status through the exploitation of territorial expansion and marital diplomacy. This gave them considerable independence of action, a military following and rich estates. In the case of John of Gaunt, it also generated the capacity to pursue an international agenda to win a Crown for himself and, until his son’s usurpation, his family outside of the British Isles. Their diplomatic mirrored that of the eldest son and heir.41

  • 42 Hilda Johnstone, Edward of Carnarvon, op. cit., p. 61; A. F. Marshall, “The Childhood and Household (...)
  • 43 TNA C 53/87, m. 7; Hilda Johnstone, Edward of Carnarvon, op. cit., p. 60-61.
  • 44Florentis adolescentie nobilissimo domino Edwardo, nato illustris regis Anglie, principi Wallie, c (...)

23‘Prince’ or even ‘princess’ were not titles in general usage in the English royal family, then: Edward of Caernarfon’s younger half-brothers, Thomas of Brotherton (b. 1300) and Edmund of Woodstock (b. 1301), remained “the lord Thomas” and “the lord Edmund” until they received earldoms.42 As the first Plantagenet Prince, Edward’s is perhaps the most important diplomatic to look at. As mentioned above, in the charter of 7 February 1301, by which he gained the lordships which made up the Principality of Wales, Edward was only termed “the king’s son”. Nevertheless, Edward I obviously ensured a fairly precise form of words was employed and disseminated widely and quickly. The title Prince was in use by 1 March and the formula settled down by the charter of 10 May in which Edward received Montgomery, where a marginal heading “Pro Edwardo filio regis principe Wallie et comite Cestrense” was used.43 A contemporary entry in the register of Robert Winchelsey, archbishop of Canterbury (1294-1313), reads “Flower of adolescence, to the most noble lord Edward, born to the illustrious king of England, Prince of Wales, earl of Chester, count of Ponthieu and Montreuil, greetings”.44 There would be no turning back.

The seals

  • 45 Chapters in the Administrative History of Medieval England, ed. Thomas F. Tout, 6 vols, Manchester, (...)
  • 46 Thomas F. Tout, Chapters, op. cit., V, p. 369.
  • 47sigillato privato sigillo que utebatur antequam regni nostri gubernaculum suscepimus”: TNA C 81/56 (...)
  • 48 Jones, Princes and Principality, p. 158, 185.

24We can see these developments in charter diplomatic reflected equally as clearly in the heraldry and sigillographic terminology applied on the seals and manuscripts of the fourteenth-century princes of Wales. Personal instructions often given by word of mouth were conveyed under wax attached to or appended from charters and letters. Throughout the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries in England, the Crown developed a variety of official seals through which the personal will of the king was put into effect in an increasingly complex bureaucracy.45 The supreme expression was the great seal held by the royal chancellor, employed for public business at the highest level. Although by the middle of the fourteenth century, kings and their children used secret or signet seals to convey more personal instructions, initially this had been achieved by a privy (or private) seal, kept closer to the king’s person. Each Prince had an independent chancery and an army of clerks and officials to disseminate his wishes. Interestingly, the Black Prince is not known to have owned a great seal,46 and generally issued letters under a privy seal. Similarly, a unique survival from Edward I’s reign is a roll containing transcripts of 741 letters which shows that Edward of Caernarfon largely issued letters under his privy seal, the seal “which was used before we took upon the governance of our kingdom”.47 If we look at their seals we see some fascinating stylistic and heraldic language at play. One thing to stress is that the new Plantagenet princes did not adopt any of the ‘Welsh’ devices on their heraldry such as the red dragon of Cadwaladr ap Cadwallon, the last native Welsh king of Gwynedd.48 Edward I assimilated some aspects of Welsh culture but not that one. It was a King of part-Welsh descent, Henry VII, who employed Cadwaladr’s dragon as a family and royal symbol after seizing the English throne in August 1485.

  • 49 TNA E 41/453 (13 October 1299); printed in CPR 1292-1301, p. 451-453.
  • 50 Hilda Johnstone, Edward of Carnarvon, op. cit., p. 83.
  • 51 Thanks to our former National Archives colleague, Dr Adrian Ailes, for this and other information o (...)
  • 52 TNA DL 10/109, letters patent surrendering the three castles of Monmouthshire – Grosmont, Skenfrith (...)

25A special survival from the Principality of Edward of Caernarfon is a charter of 1305 by which the Prince confirms the dower granted by his father to Margaret of France, his new queen, in 1299.49 Here, in green wax with a diameter of around 8.5 centimetres is the shield of arms of the Prince. It bears the arms of England of three lions passants guardants and a label of five points. The label is the chief mark of difference employed in English heraldry between heirs to the throne and their brothers who all have that device but with varying points. In conventional English heraldry only the eldest son bears the label. Edward is known from a contemporary roll of arms to have had a blue label on his coat of arms on campaign in 1300.50 The shield is slung from a tree and sits within a cusped circle – a traceried octofoil – between foliage. The legend, though broken, reads [EDWARDUS PRIN]CEPS WALLIE COM[ES] CESTRIE ET PON’], effectively repeating charter diplomatic. On the reverse the Prince is viewed armed on horseback galloping to sinister. He wears a surcoat over a mailshirt, and on his head a ‘barrel’ or great helm topped with a crest and banner; on his horse caparison are what may be leopards to reflect the king’s coat of arms. Normally, the leopards run to dexter on a shield but on caparison they run to the sinister so as to face to the front of the horse.51 The legend reads [ED]WARDUS ILLVSTRIS REGIS ANGL[IE FILIVS]. Compare this with the seal and heraldry of Edward I, his father, from 1267 before he came to the throne and there are close stylistic similarities particularly in the five-pointed label and the equestrian figure but also notable differences in the cruder craftsmanship, less elaboration and on the lack of horse caparison.52 Edward of Caernarfon’s seal represents a high point of classic heraldic art.

  • 53 John Roland Seymour Phillips, Edward II, op. cit., p. 1.
  • 54 Thomas F. Tout, Chapters, op. cit., V, p. 381.
  • 55 TNA E 41/444; charter printed in CChR 1341-1417, London: HMSO, 1916, p. 196 (16 July 1354).
  • 56 Thomas F. Tout, Chapters, op. cit., V, p. 369.
  • 57 Ibid., p. 422, n. 1.

26Though following traditional sigillographic practice, it is also to some extent a self-confident expression of a monarch in waiting. As is well known, Edward, to quote his biographer Professor Seymour Phillips, “was a man who did not fit neatly into the traditional and acceptable categories of medieval monarch; the great warrior, the lawgiver, or the man of God”.53 But here in his seal as Prince we have an expression of exactly those military qualities he would lack when king. His grandson Edward of Woodstock, though, would possess almost every quality required of a medieval monarch. The irony was he would never put those qualities into practice as king, but his seal and heraldic devices are powerful statements thereof. With the exception of the great seal he used as Prince of Aquitaine, the Black Prince used a combination of privy seals for his general use for sealing letters from his chancery and household. Eight privy seals were used throughout his life. As a chamber developed around him so he began to use a secret and signet seal from around the time he became Prince of Wales in 1343.54 The seals of his lordships – Wales, Chester and Cornwall – tended to act as great seals for business solely concerning his governance and personnel in those jurisdictions. Many of the surviving examples of the Prince’s privy seal at The National Archives are small and fragile but in figure 1 we have what may be his seal for Chester on a charter inspecting a previous grant for Vale Royal abbey.55 This one-sided small seal displays the three lions of England with a label of probably three, but possibly five, points – the Prince usually had a label of three points.56 It is difficult to be sure, but it is just possible the Prince reused his grandfather’s Chester seal. The legend reads SIGILL[VM] EDWARDI PRINCIPIS WALLIE ET COMITIS CESTRIE, lacking therefore any mention of the dukedom of Cornwall awarded in 1337. It certainly is similar to his second privy seal, in use from around 1337 to 1347, which similarly bears an upright shield of arms of England with the label of three points and a gothic panic of eight cusps with the legend S[IGILLUM] PRIMOGENITI REGIS ANGL[IE] DUCIS CORNUBIE ET COMITIS CESTRIE.57 Following Edward III’s assertion of his claim to the French throne through his mother, Queen Isabella, daughter of Philippe le Bel, in 1340 and his success at Crécy in 1346, the Prince adapted his iconography to include a shield of arms with France quartering England on his seal, which remained current for over ten years.

  • 58 TNA E 30/1106, 1107 (19 July 1362); Thomas F. Tout, Chapters, op. cit., p. 405, n. 4, p. 425-426.
  • 59 Elke Cwiertnia, Adrian Ailes and Paul R. Dryburgh, “Analysis of the Materiality of Royal and Govern (...)
  • 60 TNA E 30/1105 (19 July 1362).

27The best example of the sigillographic changes that reflect England’s successes in the war with France can be seen on the seal of Edward of Woodstock used before he became Prince of Aquitaine in 1362.58 In figure 2 we can see a small round seal in red wax – the more usual colour in England for privy seals and more expensive to produce with its requirement for expensive vermilion.59 The legend is now more of a full expression of the Prince’s titles: S[IGILLUM] EDWARDI PRIMOGENITI REGIS ANGL[IE] PRINCIPIS WALLIE DUCIS CORNUBIE ET COMITIS CESTRIE. Gone is the upright shield of arms of England; it is replaced by a shield of arms of France quartering England; France having prominence in heraldry. It is surmounted by an English lion. As well as the national symbolism, this seal bears the personal devices of the Black Prince. On either side of the central shield, which is topped with a helm, is an ostrich feather. The feather became the personal badge of the Prince, adopted from the aged, blind King John of Bohemia, who had been killed fighting the Prince’s men at Crécy, and in whose honour the Prince now wore it. The ostrich feather became the chief device on Edward’s shield of peace. This can be seen to spectacular effect in the illumination of the charter by which King Edward made his son Prince of Aquitaine in July 1362.60

  • 61 Catalogue of Seals in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum, ed. W. de G. Birch, 6 vo (...)

28On this same charter there is a very important illuminated initial capital. In accordance with the Treaty of Brétigny in 1360 Edward III had dropped “King of France” from his style but here, within this “E” for “Edward”, there are the Prince’s arms with England quartering France. This is strange because the Prince’s seal has, as said previously, France quartering England. Taken with the Prince’s other devices used during his period of residence in Aquitaine as Prince in the 1360s, as well as his vigorous campaigning in the southwest of France and northern Spain, this gives little doubt that he, or at least the scribe who illuminated this charter, saw the Prince as a figure of great independence and power and that English power was not on the wane. His great seal of Aquitaine, in use from around 1364, bears the trappings of majesty: on the obverse the Prince sits in majesty under a canopy labelled with an ostrich feather; on the reverse is an equestrian figure in full chivalric garb with the arms, this time, of England quartering France and the Prince’s label of three points. The legend reads S[IGILLUM] EDWARDI PRIMOGENITI REGIS ANGL[IE] PRINCIPIS AQUITANNIE ET WALLIE DUCIS CORNUBIE ET COMITIS CESTRIE.61 Similar iconography can be found on coins minted by the Prince’s Gascon Exchequer around this time. Edward was clearly a master of visual expression and of using pictorial keys and devices to make personal and political points.

  • 62 TNA, SC 13/G 6.

29Henry of Monmouth’s seal has a more straightforward legend S[IGILLUM] HENRICI PRINCIPIS WALLIE DUCIS AQUITANNIE CORNUBIE ET COMITIS CESTRIE. Henry repeats the layout of the Black Prince’s seal. The arms of France quarter those of England with a three-pointed label. The helm is surmounted by an English lion and ostrich feathers are presented, but they are supported by swans – the Bohun swan of Henry’s mother, Mary de Bohun.62 This was a badge adopted by Henry IV and is striking since it identifies Henry’s ancestry within the aristocracy as well as the royal family; something that was entirely absent from the seals of the other princes under discussion. This is a subtle representation of national and personal power which reflected the role that the teenage Prince Henry undertook before 1410.

The Experiences

30We have so far talked about the men and their personal self-representation in the powerful chivalric, political and militaristic language used. But what, finally, did the Prince of Wales do as an adult when his father was alive? What use was he to the Crown in furthering its ambitions? How did the Crown ensure it retained a balance between preparing a Prince for his kingly duty and ensuring the security of succession? The answer is that individual kings followed a similar pattern of presenting their sons to various roles and responsibilities in both royal government and on campaign to broaden their experience, allowing them to demonstrate their capabilities within magnate society and to build up the portfolio of skills they would need as king.

Estates, Rights and Privileges

  • 63 Hilda Johnstone, Edward of Carnarvon, op. cit., p. 68, 71.
  • 64 TNA E 101/405/17; CHES 2/77, m. 3; E 404/18/300.
  • 65 W. R. M. Griffiths, “Prince Henry, Wales and the Royal Exchequer”, Bulletin Board of Celtic Studies(...)
  • 66 TNA C 65/68, m. 18; E 404/18/300; Christopher T. Allmand, Henry V, op. cit., p. 25.
  • 67 W. R. M. Griffiths, The Military Career and Affinity of Henry, Prince of Wales, 1399-1413 (unpublis (...)

31The award to the heir to the throne of several titles endowed them with the wealth and local influence to fund a semi-independent lifestyle, to govern estates and people and to build up a military following. The foundation was the estates, rights and privileges accumulated by each Prince. From 1301, for example, Edward of Caernarfon as Prince took around £5000 a year from north and west Wales and £2000 from Chester and Ponthieu, while his expenses from these estates totalled around £5500.63 These figures are broadly comparable to the appanage given to the Black Prince, who raised around £9000 a year from estates which also included the duchy of Cornwall. Similarly, Henry of Monmouth’s household accounts show how he bankrolled the war in Wales after 1400, drawing in income from his national estates to compensate for the losses to his lands in the Principality and Chester.64 Shouldering up to a third of the cost of the Welsh war put severe pressure on the Prince’s finances in 1403, and his household had to be supported by payments directly from the exchequer. Over the winter and spring of 1404-5, more than £12,000 was processed by the Prince’s officials. Between 1405 and 1413 the cost of the war rose from around £25,000 to almost £48,000.65 Although the exchequer was paying an increasing volume of these costs, it was the Prince’s infrastructure that managed and dispersed the funds. His contribution earned him praise and respect, as the speaker of the Commons expressed in 1406.66 The management of his war machine also built the skills and experience of his administrators, many of whom went on to serve the Crown after the Prince became king in 1413.67 Such wealth gave all three princes a natural role at the centre of national affairs, being summoned to parliament and council meetings to provide advice to the king and raising forces from their estates for campaigns. This meant that when, as part of their training for rule, they were given custody of the kingdom, they were accepted by the community at large and could be figureheads for a government making difficult decisions.

  • 68 For a narrative see Hilda Johnstone, Edward of Carnarvon, op. cit., p. 40-41; John Roland Seymour P (...)
  • 69 For the context see Michael C. Prestwich, Edward I, op. cit., p. 427-435 and id., Documents illustr (...)
  • 70 ODNB. Both Henry V and Henry VII followed precedent and set up regency councils for their young pri (...)
  • 71 CPR 1345-8, p. 72.
  • 72 TNA E 404/18/300. He also appointed deputies to act for him when he was away from the March; TNA CH (...)

32In 1297 and 1298, Edward I fought a prolonged campaign in Flanders. His son, aged only thirteen and so coming into adolescence, was named custos regni, although not before the major magnates of the kingdom had sworn fealty to him as the king’s successor should Edward not return.68 Throughout his period of regency he was advised by councillors and leading men but it was in his name as “Edward, the king’s son” that royal instructions were issued. Late in 1297 he formally reissued Magna Carta, the great charter of liberties by which royal power had been circumscribed for almost a century, to relieve complaints over arbitrary taxation and military summons.69 This had been a moment of serious tension during which Edward had to take refuge inside the walls of the city of London. Being a national figurehead came with risks as well as opportunities to learn. Both Edward of Woodstock and Henry of Monmouth shared similar experiences as teenagers. In July 1338, when Edward III left for Flanders on campaign, his son was named custos Anglie as an eight-year-old.70 He held the same office again in 1340 and 1342, incurring “great charges which it behoved the keeper of the realm to support”.71 Once he had been created Prince of Wales in May 1343, Edward played an increasingly prominent role in national affairs, particularly on the continent. His great-nephew Henry of Monmouth was similarly made the king’s lieutenant in Wales aged fifteen for a year by a grant of 10 March 1403, at a time when the Crown of Henry IV, his father, was threatened by a revolt in Wales led by an individual, Owain Glyn Dŵr, who himself claimed the Principality of Wales.72

Edward of Caernarfon

  • 73 Nicholas Orme, From Childhood to Chivalry. The Education of English Kings and Aristocracy, 1066-153 (...)
  • 74 John Roland Seymour Phillips, Edward II, op. cit., p. 78.
  • 75 Ibid., p. 82, 89-90, 91-95.
  • 76 Ibid., p. 109-111.

33Experience of government, then, was vitally important as well as potentially dangerous. Equally so, on both fronts, was experience of military service: every Prince fought with and separately from his father in campaigns across the dominions of the English Crown in protection and expansion of its interests. As part of knightly training, each Prince was assigned a tutor who would have taught him how to ride as he approached manhood.73 So, in 1296, with Edward I on campaign against the Scots, Edward of Caernarfon was placed in nominal charge of the defence of the south coast from French attack. A little over a year later, after dealing with the barons, an army was summoned for Scotland that was to be put under his command.74 This did not march but at the siege of Caerlaverock Castle in 1300, a herald described Edward, who was nearly seventeen and fighting in his own arms, as the leader of the rearguard, a safe commission which gave him experience of warfare and showed him off to his peers. Between 1300 and 1306 Edward fought in Scotland on four separate occasions, commanding the western army of around 300 earls, bannerets, knights and squires in 1301 and remaining in Scotland over the winter of 1303-4, helping to bring Scottish magnates to submission.75 By 1306, Edward I was too ill to command the army sent to Scotland following the usurpation of the Scottish throne by Robert Bruce, so Edward took command. This meant he had to be knighted – unlike either the Black Prince or Henry of Monmouth, he was not knighted before having gained significant experience, although this may reflect his distaste for chivalric culture. To maintain this new status, Edward was granted the duchy of Aquitaine, the isle of Oléron and the Agenais on 7 April 1306. The campaign resulted in widespread devastation in Scotland and the capture of some of the brothers and wife of Robert Bruce.76

Henry of Monmouth

  • 77 English Chronicle of the Reigns of Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V and Henry VI Written Before the Ye (...)
  • 78 A. L. Brown, “The English Campaign in Scotland, 1400”, in British Government and Administration: St (...)

34The military skills of Henry of Monmouth underwent a very rapid transition once his father became King Henry IV. In January 1400 the dukes of Exeter and Surrey led a plot to capture the king at Windsor. The imprisoned Richard II was almost certainly killed after this uprising to prevent him remaining a figurehead for rebels.77 One of the main areas where the new Prince’s estates lay – the earldom of Chester – was also a source of support for the deposed king, having supplied archers to his campaigns. Trouble was also emerging on the border with Scotland. King Henry led troops into Scotland in August 1400 and his son served in the army at the head of archers from his earldom of Chester – his first exposure to military campaigning, aged fourteen.78 The selection of troops from that specific region also suggests how the Prince’s personality drove him to approach difficult situations through personal and direct action – often risky and sometime reckless, but perhaps a symptom of his need to build credibility as a royal leader and make up for the lack of specific training for that role during his earlier life.

  • 79 For the broad context of the rising, see Rees R. Davies, Conquest, Coexistence and Change: Wales 10 (...)

35It was the outbreak of Owain Glyn Dŵr’s uprising the following month, however, that presented the greatest challenge to the new regime. It was also the making of the man who would become Henry V. Not only did Owain declare himself to be Prince of Wales, targeting the principal lands of Prince Henry, he also threatened overall English control in Wales.79 The rebellion and warfare that followed for a decade provided Prince Henry with a huge range of challenges but it also made him into a capable administrator, military planner and tactician, and built the skills of royal leadership that would serve him so well after he became king in 1413.

  • 80 TNA E 404/16/452.
  • 81 K. Williams Jones, “The Taking of Conwy Castle, 1401”, Transactions of the Caernarvonshire Historic (...)
  • 82 Christopher T. Allmand, Henry V, op. cit., p. 22-77; 34-38. The king acknowledged that military suc (...)

36The crucial point to remember is that the teenage Prince took a direct and leading role in the English response to the threat from Glyn Dŵr. By April 1401 the Prince had a ruling council, ‘le consiel de nostre trescher filz le Prince’,80 which was helping him to arrange garrisons in North Wales. He took part in the siege of Conwy Castle and in many other actions during 1401.81 Once his governor, Hugh le Despenser, died in autumn 1401 and the Percies departed to secure the Scottish border, the way was clear for the Prince to take the lead in the strategy against Glyn Dŵr. He showed remarkable energy, enthusiasm and willingness to become heavily involved in military planning. The resources of his Principality were severely diminished by the war, which also threatened his lands in Chester. Henry saw the Welsh uprising primarily as a rebellion against his personal authority, and the Crown was happy to give him and his council a free role in countering Glyn Dŵr. The Prince used the resources of his lands and estates to supply men, provisions and cash for wages. As the rising expanded, so the Prince attracted the support of other Marcher lords whose lands were threatened.82 That was the kind of attitude that endeared the teenage Prince to his older noble companions in arms and forged the relationships that would support the English campaigns in France after 1413.

  • 83 J. M. W. Bean, “Henry IV and the Percies”, History, 44, 1959, p. 212-217; English Chronicle, op. ci (...)
  • 84 TNA C 81/1542/1.
  • 85 Rot. Parl, iii, 569; CPR 1405-08, p. 140.
  • 86 Desmond Seward, Henry V as Warlord, London, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1987, p. 25; W. R. M. Griffiths, “P (...)

37As a sideline to the Welsh rising, Prince Henry was also sufficiently experienced to take a full part in the battle of Shrewsbury in July 1403. The battle was prompted by the revolt of the Percy family. Some of their motivation related to the rise of the Prince’s personal influence in Wales and the Marches and their initial plan was to capture the Prince at Shrewsbury in July 1403.83 Support in Cheshire for the Percy claim that Richard II was not dead further complicated the political landscape that the Prince now nominally led. After being wounded in the face, Henry handed control of his campaign against Glyn Dŵr to deputies while he went on pilgrimage. Even at sixteen years of age, the Prince was confident in the officers that upheld his lordship. But as an independent power against the Welsh, it was under pressure, and during 1404 the Crown was forced to begin to support Henry’s lordship financially. This suggests that the endowment made to the Prince was suitable only for provision of his household and maintenance of his interests in peacetime. Prince Henry led a clever campaign to demonstrate how he and his younger brother, Thomas of Clarence, had organised resistance along the March. When this was acknowledged in parliament there was soon more flexibility in the way the national threat to Henry IV’s kingship was addressed by national resources. That process also initiated the Prince’s role in his father’s royal council.84 At the end of 1406 parliament agreed a lengthy statement settling the succession of the Crown on Henry.85 As with the other three princes, military experience from a young age had a far broader impact upon their experience as leaders, organisers and politicians at the highest social level.86

  • 87 For an overview see Christopher T. Allmand, Henry V, op. cit., p. 52-57.

38As he ended his teenage years, Prince Henry began to dominate government through the council in partnership with a series of able administrators and politicians, such as the Chancellor, Archbishop Arundel, and other aristocratic allies. All of the experience gained in defending the Marches from the Welsh uprising, managing men and mixing strategic and short-term tactical plans, left Prince Henry eager for more responsibility on the national and international scale. This did bring some tension with his father the king, especially after the Burgundian victory against the French at the battle of St Cloud in November 1411 altered the direction of English foreign policy towards the rivals in the French civil war.87

Edward the Black Prince

  • 88 The most recent analysis of the order is Richard W. Barber, Edward III and the Triumph of England, (...)

39Both Henry and Edward of Caernarfon eventually got to put their military training into practice as king, with rather mixed success! Edward the Black Prince, the most remarkable and renowned English chivalric hero of the fourteenth century, of course, did not. He spent his entire adult life as Prince of Wales and was employed in a variety of military roles; ultimately carving out for himself both an immense reputation and set of lands and titles. Much of this was founded on his participation at the English triumph at the Battle of Crécy in 1346. Knighted in the days before the battle, the Prince commanded the vanguard but was advised by the earls of Warwick and Northampton, an amazingly risky commission which had earlier helped capture Caen in July. At Crécy on 28 August the weight of the press actually fell on the Prince and his men, and he may have been captured briefly, showing us just how tenuous the succession could be. Victory at Crécy cast a heroic shadow over Edward, and he was to become one of the founding knights of the Order of the Garter in 1348. This was a confraternity with both religious and military overtones. It gave ultimate expression to the chivalric culture prevalent at the court of Edward III and reflected the team ethic the king had built.88 The Garter became the focus for tournaments and heraldic display and has survived to the present day. The gold and blue garter, probably worn as a tournament badge, reflects the colours of France while the motto ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’ refers to Edward’s claim to France.

40Edward did not fight again until 1355. The twenty-five-year old Prince had now established a household separate from the king. In times of war this functioned as a military headquarters for those knights to whom he paid an annual fee and to others whom he attracted to his banner. This proved critical when Edward was sent to Aquitaine in the autumn of 1355; this was the first theatre of war in which he had independent command, and the campaign was organised by Edward’s household officers and run by a group of highly experienced knights. Formally, Edward was the king’s lieutenant with power to administer the duchy. His chevauchée as far south as Toulouse and Carcassonne, caused much damage; but both cities and Narbonne repelled his sieges and he could not draw the French to battle. This changed, famously, at Poitiers on 18 September 1356, where a smaller English force achieved a spectacular victory against the army of Jean II, securing the French king’s capture – perhaps the single most important moment in the Hundred Years War. The communications within the English army and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances secured victory. The war came to a stop as both sides negotiated over the king’s ransom.

  • 89 For this campaign see Herbert J. Hewitt, The Organisation of War under Edward III, 1338-62, Manches (...)

41A campaign to take Rheims and secure the seat of coronation for the kings of France failed in 1359-60.89 This brought about the peace settlement of Brétigny in May 1360 where the English king won Aquitaine as a sovereign state in return for a reduction in the ransom of the French king. As we have shown above, Edward the Black Prince acquired governance of Aquitaine as duke in July 1362. This was, to that point, the pinnacle of his achievement. His military training and experience, as well as his periods of regency, had trained him to administer what was in effect an independent state. Although he took the homage of Gascon lords in person and resided there for a decade, the administration was, of course, in the hands of his servants. The imposition of an unpopular tax on hearths and the effective manœuvres of Charles V meant that his government was not as successful as it might have been in other hands. Nonetheless, military successes continued: an English army defeating Enrique de Trastamara, the pretender to the throne of Castile and ally of the French, at Nájera on 3 April 1367. However, the effects of disease and the poverty of the English administration and its other Castilian allies brought these triumphs to a close. Local resistance tried the Prince’s abilities as a conciliator and governor to breaking point, particularly over an area which had long shown an independent spirit from England. The peace of Brétigny effectively ended in 1369 and by 1372 the seriously ill Prince returned to England with his achievements in tatters. He died aged only forty-six in June 1376, a year before his father.

*

  • 90 Vita Edwardi Secundi, ed. Wendy R. Childs, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 68-9.

42The Black Prince’s reputation has always been that of a heroic figure, largely thanks to his military successes and chivalric profile. Politically he was rather less successful. But if we look at his period as Prince of Wales, it is arguable that his long career without achieving the throne created a bridge between the first Prince, his grandfather, and the later medieval evolution of the role, in which it developed, expanded and consolidated its position as the principal appanage of the heir to the English throne. Throughout the fourteenth century, England’s heir exercised both personal and deputed power founded on valuable estates. He gained invaluable experience in government and military leadership that would fit him for his role as king. For the Black Prince and Henry V this would result in the cataclysmic triumphs of Crécy, Poitiers and Agincourt, but difficulties in the financial and political legacy bequeathed to their children. For Edward of Caernarfon as Edward II this would end in the disastrous defeat to the Scots at Bannockburn and his unprecedented deposition and probable murder. Writing under the year 1313 a biographer of Edward II wrote “Oh! What hopes he raised as Prince of Wales! All hope vanished when he became king of England”.90 This demonstrates that, ultimately, all the training and experience in the world could not overcome the individual personality of the monarch.

Figure 1 — Kew, The National Archives E 30/1105 illuminated initial (capital ‘E’) of the charter by which Edward III granted Aquitaine to his son, Edward [of Woodstock], Prince of Wales [1362]

Figure 1 — Kew, The National Archives E 30/1105 illuminated initial (capital ‘E’) of the charter by which Edward III granted Aquitaine to his son, Edward [of Woodstock], Prince of Wales [1362]

Figure 2 — Kew, The National Archives E 30/1106 seal of Edward [of Woodstock], Prince of Wales as Prince of Aquitaine [1362]

Figure 2 — Kew, The National Archives E 30/1106 seal of Edward [of Woodstock], Prince of Wales as Prince of Aquitaine [1362]

Figure 3 — Kew, The National Archives E 41/444 seal of Edward [of Woodstock], Prince of Wales, for Chester on an inspeximus for Vale Royal abbey [1354]

Figure 3 — Kew, The National Archives E 41/444 seal of Edward [of Woodstock], Prince of Wales, for Chester on an inspeximus for Vale Royal abbey [1354]

Figure 4 — Kew, The National Archives SC 13/G6 seal of Henry of Monmouth, Prince of Wales [1399-1413]

Figure 4 — Kew, The National Archives SC 13/G6 seal of Henry of Monmouth, Prince of Wales [1399-1413]

Notes

1 This summary of Prince Arthur’s education, training and political role is expanded in Sean Cunningham, Prince Arthur, the Tudor King Who Never Was, Stroud, Amberley, 2016, passim.

2 For which see Philomena Connolly, Lionel of Clarence and Ireland, 1361-1366 (unpublished PhD, University of Dublin, 1977).

3 Anthony Goodman, John of Gaunt. The Exercise of Princely Power in Fourteenth-Century Europe, London, Longman, 1992; Simon K. Walker, “John [John of Gaunt], duke of Aquitaine and duke of Lancaster, styled king of Castile and Leòn (1340-1399)”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography [hereafter ODNB], online at http://www.oxforddnb.com./view/article/14843?docPos=1 (accessed 13 June 2016).

4 Kew, The National Archives [hereafter TNA] C 53/87, mm. 9-8, calendared in English translation in Calendar of Charter Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office London, 1300-1326, London, His Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO), 1908, p. 6. The title ‘Prince’ was not used in the documents of 7 February, where Edward is only called “the king’s son”, but the term was in general use by 1 March: John Roland Seymour Phillips, Edward II, Newhaven/London, Yale University Press, 2008, p. 85; Hilda Johnstone, Edward of Carnarvon, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1946, p. 59-60.

5 Pipton (1265) and Montgomery (1267): J. Beverley Smith, Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, Prince of Wales, Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 1998.

6 See W. Mark Ormrod, Edward III, Newhaven/London, Yale University Press, 2010, p. 604, for discussion.

7 Edward succeeded to Ponthieu and Montreuil at Eleanor’s death in November 1290: John Roland Seymour Phillips, Edward II, op. cit., p. 77. Eleanor had inherited the county in 1279 on the death of her mother Joan, queen of Castille and daughter of Marie, countess of Ponthieu: Hilda Johnstone, Edward of Carnarvon, op. cit., p. 65, n. 4.

8 TNA C 53/87, m. 7; Francis Jones, The Princes and Principality of Wales, Cardiff, University of Wales, 1969.

9 Calendar of Patent Rolls Preserved in the Public Record Office London, 1247-1258, London, HMSO, 1908, p. 382. For comment, see Michael C. Prestwich, Edward I, Newhaven/London, Yale University Press, 1997, p. 10-14. For more on the Lord Edward and Chester see the forthcoming doctoral thesis Rodolphe Billaud, The Lord Edward and the Earldom of Chester: Lordship and Community, 1254-72 (unpublished PhD thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University, 2018).

10 Stephen D. Church, King John. England, Magna Carta and the Making of a Tyrant, London, Macmillan, 2015, p. 19-20; Mark Morris, King John. Treachery, Tyranny and the Road to Magna Carta, London, Hutchinson, 2015, p. 32-33. For John and Ireland, see Sean Duffy, “John and Ireland: the Origins of England’s Irish Problem”, in King John: New Interpretations, ed. Stephen D. Church, Cambridge, paperback edition, 2003, p. 221-245.

11 For Chester generally see Paul Howson W. Booth, The Financial Administration of the Lordship and County of Chester, 1272-1377, Manchester, 1981 (Chetham Society XXVIII, third series), p. 1-10. Edward III, for example, as Edward of Windsor received the earldom shortly after his birth in November 1312: John Roland Seymour Phillips, Edward II, op. cit., p. 422, 439.

12 See below, p. 152.

13 John Roland Seymour Phillips, Edward II, op. cit., p. 33 (and references).

14 Discussed by John Roland Seymour Phillips, Edward II, op. cit., p. 36, which is also the basis of what follows.

15 R. R. Davies, The Age of Conquest: Wales 1063-1415, Oxford, 2001, p. 386.

16 Around the same time as the ceremony Edward received a copy of Geoffrey of Monmouth’s Historia Regum Britannie, which is full of the legends from the ancient ‘British’ (and Arthurian) past: Hilda Johnstone, Edward of Carnarvon, op. cit., p. 18; London, British Library Additional MS 7966A, f. 31.

17 Hilda Johnstone, Edward of Carnarvon, op. cit., p. 60.

18 The Arthur of the Welsh: The Arthurian Legend in Medieval Welsh Literature, eds Rachel Bromwich and Brynley F. Roberts, Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 2008; The Medieval Quest for Arthur, eds Robert A. Rouse and Cory Rushton, London, 2005, p. 92-98, 100-105.

19 CPR 1343-5, p. 228-35; John Roland Seymour Phillips, Edward II, op. cit., p. 87. On 13 April 1301 he took the homage and fealty of the English tenants of the earldom of Chester; on 21 April he entered Wales and on 22 April more than 200 Welshmen performed homage and fealty at Flint. Another couple of hundred other men came in across northern Wales in the following fortnight.

20 Adam Chapman, Welsh Soldiers in the Later Middle Ages, Woodbridge, Boydell Press, 2015.

21 Natalie M. Fryde, The Tyranny and Fall of Edward II, 1321-1326, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1979, gives the best overall account. For the death of Edward II, see A. C. King, “The Death of Edward II Revisited”, in Fourteenth Century England IX, eds G. Dodd and J. Bothwell, Woodbridge, 2016, p. 1-21.

22 For narratives of the life and career of the Black Prince, see Richard W. Barber, The Black Prince, London, 2003; David S. Green, Edward the Black Prince: Power in Medieval Europe, London, 2007; Michael Jones, The Black Prince, London, 2017.

23 He was formally named as earl of Chester on 18 March 1333: R. W. Barber, “Edward [Edward of Woodstock; known as the Black Prince]”, ODNB, online at http://www.odnb.com/view/article/8523?docPos=1 (accessed 12 June 2016).

24 Paul R. Dryburgh, “Living in the Shadows: John of Eltham, earl of Cornwall (1316-1336)”, in Fourteenth Century England IX, p. 24-39; Tom B. James, “John of Eltham, History and Story: Abusive International Discourse in Late Medieval England, France and Scotland”, in Fourteenth Century England II, ed. Chris Given-Wilson, Woodbridge, 2002, p. 63-80.

25 As noted in Lionel’s will: Francis Jones, Princes and Principality, op. cit., p. 113.

26 The documentation for this act can be found at TNA E 30/1105-1107.

27 For Richard see Nigel Saul, Richard II, Newhaven/London, Yale University Press, 1999.

28 For Henry see Chris Given-Wilson, Henry IV, Newhaven/London, Yale University Press, 2016.

29 Christopher T. Allmand, Henry V, Newhaven/London, Yale University Press, 1997; Keith Dockray, Henry V, Stroud, 2004.

30 Chronicon Adae de Usk, A.D. 1377-1422, trans. E. M. Thompson, London, 1904, p. 187; Chronicles of London, ed. Charles L. Kingsford, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1905, p. 49.

31 Chronica monasterii S. Albani: Johannis de Trokelowe et Henrici de Blaneforde, monachorum S. Albani, necnon quorundam anonymorum Chronica et annales, regnantibus Henrico Tertio, Edwardo Primo, Edwardo Secundo, Ricardo Secundo, et Henrico Quarto, ed. H. T. Riley, London, 1866 (Rolls Series), p. 311-312; Chronica monasterii S. Albani: Thomae Walsingham, quondam monarchi S. Albani, Historia Anglicana, ed. H. T. Riley, London, 1864 (Rolls Series), ii, p. 240.

32 Rotuli Parliamentorum ut et petitiones et placita in Parliamento. Ab Anno Decimo Octavo R. Henrici Sexti ad finem ejusdem Regni, eds J. Strachey et al., London, 1767-1832, iii, p. 426-429; Robert Somerville, History of the Duchy of Lancaster, 1265-1603, London, 1953, i, p. 144, n. 4.

33 John Roland Seymour Phillips, Edward II, op. cit., p. 40.

34 TNA C 59/4, m. 1.

35 TNA C 53/87, m. 9; CChR 1300-26, p. 6. This is also the case with notification of the grant of the duchy of Aquitaine to Edward in 1306, noticeably after the grant of the Principality of Wales: C 47/27/5/13, 14. See also DL 27/217, a quitclaim in which Henry is described as “Henri filz du dit Henri”.

36 TNA C 47/22/7 (31 May 1412).

37 Anthony Goodman, John of Gaunt…, op. cit.; Simon Walker, “John [John of Gaunt], duke of Aquitaine”.

38 Robert Somerville, History of the Duchy of Lancaster…, op. cit.

39 TNA E 30/1106 (19 July 1362).

40 W. Mark Ormrod, “Edward III and His Family”, Journal of British Studies, 26, October 1987, p. 398-422.

41 TNA DL 27/156 (“Jehan filz du Roy Dengleterre e de France Duc de Lancastre Cont de Richemond Derby Nicole [e] Leycestre e Seneschal Dengleterre”).

42 Hilda Johnstone, Edward of Carnarvon, op. cit., p. 61; A. F. Marshall, “The Childhood and Household of Edward II’s Half-Brothers, Thomas of Brotherton and Edmund of Woodstock”, in Reign of Edward II: New Perspectives, eds Gwilym Dodd and Anthony Musson, Woodbridge, York Medieval Press, 2006, p. 190-204.

43 TNA C 53/87, m. 7; Hilda Johnstone, Edward of Carnarvon, op. cit., p. 60-61.

44Florentis adolescentie nobilissimo domino Edwardo, nato illustris regis Anglie, principi Wallie, comiti Cestrensi, Pontivi et Montis Trollii […] salutem”: Registrum Roberti de Winchelsey, archiepiscopi Cantuariensis, 1294-1308, ed. R. Graham (Canterbury & York Society), 1917, p. 739; Hilda Johnstone, Edward of Carnarvon, op. cit., p. 48.

45 Chapters in the Administrative History of Medieval England, ed. Thomas F. Tout, 6 vols, Manchester, 1931-1937, esp. vol. V (1936).

46 Thomas F. Tout, Chapters, op. cit., V, p. 369.

47sigillato privato sigillo que utebatur antequam regni nostri gubernaculum suscepimus”: TNA C 81/56/5684. For the roll see Letters of Edward Prince of Wales, 1304-1305, ed. Hilda Johnstone, Cambridge, 1931 (Roxburghe Club).

48 Jones, Princes and Principality, p. 158, 185.

49 TNA E 41/453 (13 October 1299); printed in CPR 1292-1301, p. 451-453.

50 Hilda Johnstone, Edward of Carnarvon, op. cit., p. 83.

51 Thanks to our former National Archives colleague, Dr Adrian Ailes, for this and other information on the seals.

52 TNA DL 10/109, letters patent surrendering the three castles of Monmouthshire – Grosmont, Skenfrith and White – to his brother, Edmund of Lancaster.

53 John Roland Seymour Phillips, Edward II, op. cit., p. 1.

54 Thomas F. Tout, Chapters, op. cit., V, p. 381.

55 TNA E 41/444; charter printed in CChR 1341-1417, London: HMSO, 1916, p. 196 (16 July 1354).

56 Thomas F. Tout, Chapters, op. cit., V, p. 369.

57 Ibid., p. 422, n. 1.

58 TNA E 30/1106, 1107 (19 July 1362); Thomas F. Tout, Chapters, op. cit., p. 405, n. 4, p. 425-426.

59 Elke Cwiertnia, Adrian Ailes and Paul R. Dryburgh, “Analysis of the Materiality of Royal and Governmental Seals of England with a Focus on the Great Seals (1100-1300): Methodology and Findings”, in A Companion to Medieval Seals, ed. Laura Whatley, Leiden, Brill, 2018.

60 TNA E 30/1105 (19 July 1362).

61 Catalogue of Seals in the Department of Manuscripts in the British Museum, ed. W. de G. Birch, 6 vols, London, 1887-1900, ii, no 5551.

62 TNA, SC 13/G 6.

63 Hilda Johnstone, Edward of Carnarvon, op. cit., p. 68, 71.

64 TNA E 101/405/17; CHES 2/77, m. 3; E 404/18/300.

65 W. R. M. Griffiths, “Prince Henry, Wales and the Royal Exchequer”, Bulletin Board of Celtic Studies, 32, 1985, p. 211; Christopher T. Allmand, Henry V, op. cit., p. 28-29.

66 TNA C 65/68, m. 18; E 404/18/300; Christopher T. Allmand, Henry V, op. cit., p. 25.

67 W. R. M. Griffiths, The Military Career and Affinity of Henry, Prince of Wales, 1399-1413 (unpublished, University of Oxford, MLitt thesis, 1980), p. 119-125.

68 For a narrative see Hilda Johnstone, Edward of Carnarvon, op. cit., p. 40-41; John Roland Seymour Phillips, Edward II, op. cit., p. 48-49, 79.

69 For the context see Michael C. Prestwich, Edward I, op. cit., p. 427-435 and id., Documents illustrating the crisis of 1297-98 in England, London, 1980 (Camden Society, fourth series 24), passim.

70 ODNB. Both Henry V and Henry VII followed precedent and set up regency councils for their young princes when they themselves were active on campaign in France. See TNA C 82/329/53, discussed in M. M. Condon, « An Anachronism with Intent? Henry VII’s Council Ordinance of 1491/2 », in Kings and Nobles in the Later Middle Ages, eds Ralph A. Griffiths and James W. Sherborne, Gloucester, Alan Sutton, 1986, p. 228-253.

71 CPR 1345-8, p. 72.

72 TNA E 404/18/300. He also appointed deputies to act for him when he was away from the March; TNA CHES 2/76, m. 4d. For Owain see Rees R. Davies, Owain Glyn Dŵr, Prince of Wales, Aberystwyth, 2011.

73 Nicholas Orme, From Childhood to Chivalry. The Education of English Kings and Aristocracy, 1066-1530, London/New York, Methuen, 1982.

74 John Roland Seymour Phillips, Edward II, op. cit., p. 78.

75 Ibid., p. 82, 89-90, 91-95.

76 Ibid., p. 109-111.

77 English Chronicle of the Reigns of Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V and Henry VI Written Before the Year 1471, ed. J. S. Davies, London, 1856 (Camden Society, original series), p. 22.

78 A. L. Brown, “The English Campaign in Scotland, 1400”, in British Government and Administration: Studies Presented to S. B. Chrimes, eds H. Heardes and H. R. Loyn, Cardiff, University of Yale Press, 1974, p. 46.

79 For the broad context of the rising, see Rees R. Davies, Conquest, Coexistence and Change: Wales 1063-1415, Oxford, 1987, ch. 17.

80 TNA E 404/16/452.

81 K. Williams Jones, “The Taking of Conwy Castle, 1401”, Transactions of the Caernarvonshire Historical Society, 1978, p. 7-43; W. R. M. Griffiths, “Prince Henry, Wales and the Royal Exchequer”, p. 202.

82 Christopher T. Allmand, Henry V, op. cit., p. 22-77; 34-38. The king acknowledged that military success was also due to Henry’s leadership as Prince of Wales. See Royal and Historical Letters During the Reign of Henry IV, ed. F. C. Hingeston, London, 1860 (Rolls Series), I, p. 71-72.

83 J. M. W. Bean, “Henry IV and the Percies”, History, 44, 1959, p. 212-217; English Chronicle, op. cit., p. 28.

84 TNA C 81/1542/1.

85 Rot. Parl, iii, 569; CPR 1405-08, p. 140.

86 Desmond Seward, Henry V as Warlord, London, Sidgwick & Jackson, 1987, p. 25; W. R. M. Griffiths, “Prince Henry and Wales, 1400-1408”, in Michael A. Hicks (ed.), Profit, Piety and the Professions in Later Medieval England, Gloucester, Sutton, 1990, p. 57-60.

87 For an overview see Christopher T. Allmand, Henry V, op. cit., p. 52-57.

88 The most recent analysis of the order is Richard W. Barber, Edward III and the Triumph of England, London, Allen Lane, 2013, p. 259-492.

89 For this campaign see Herbert J. Hewitt, The Organisation of War under Edward III, 1338-62, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1966, p. 34. Protections for the army can be found at CPR 1358-61, p. 375-402.

90 Vita Edwardi Secundi, ed. Wendy R. Childs, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2005, p. 68-9.

Table des illustrations

Titre Figure 1 — Kew, The National Archives E 30/1105 illuminated initial (capital ‘E’) of the charter by which Edward III granted Aquitaine to his son, Edward [of Woodstock], Prince of Wales [1362]
URL http://books.openedition.org/psorbonne/docannexe/image/54207/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 98k
Titre Figure 2 — Kew, The National Archives E 30/1106 seal of Edward [of Woodstock], Prince of Wales as Prince of Aquitaine [1362]
URL http://books.openedition.org/psorbonne/docannexe/image/54207/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 90k
Titre Figure 3 — Kew, The National Archives E 41/444 seal of Edward [of Woodstock], Prince of Wales, for Chester on an inspeximus for Vale Royal abbey [1354]
URL http://books.openedition.org/psorbonne/docannexe/image/54207/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 97k
Titre Figure 4 — Kew, The National Archives SC 13/G6 seal of Henry of Monmouth, Prince of Wales [1399-1413]
URL http://books.openedition.org/psorbonne/docannexe/image/54207/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 94k

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