|Bristol Castle in 1300|
[Image by artist Chris Nolan from Bristol Past]
|Gilbert de Clare, 7th Earl of Gloucester|
By October 1308, the witnesses to a grant to Badlesmere show him firmly in the midst of Gloucester's household (among which was the knight Sir Roger Damory, who would later have a tremendous role in the Clare inheritance) [*2]. Badlesmere led bands of knights from Gloucester's company in the Scottish campaign of 1310-1311, during at least a portion of which he also acted as deputy constable of England for the Earl of Hereford, who had chosen to work on the Ordinances in London than go on the campaign in person. As a result, Badlesmere was able to enjoy direct patronage from the King, and received favours from him in December 1310 and January 1311. When Gloucester became keeper of the realm on the death of the Earl of Lincoln, Badlesmere took an active part in Gloucester's administration [*3]. Badlesmere appears to have been the steward (chief administrator) of Gloucester, and managed to amass an impressive estate spread throughout several counties as a result. Whether this can be credited to the younger earl eagerly rewarding his senior adviser, or passively rubber-stamping the plans Badlesmere had made for himself, is open for debate. I feel somehow it more likely to be the latter. Whatever the truth, Gloucester trusted Badlesmere and worked closely with him, and the trust Clifford and Edward II had placed in the baron to shepherd the Clare dynasty was being fulfilled ... until the summer of 1314, when Badlesmere made his first of two major failures in regard to the Clares.
Bannockburn was horrific for the English, leaving the king and his surviving military leaders demoralized, and chroniclers and other non-participants scrambling for divine meaning behind the defeat. For Badlesmere the day was devastating on a personal level, for not only was his lord, the Earl of Gloucester, killed, so was his dear brother and former patron, Lord Clifford. In addition, Badlesmere also received the brand of coward, and in at least one political song of the time, was held personally responsible for the death of Gloucester, fleeing the battlefield and leaving the young earl to his fate [*4]. Care should be taken when analyzing secondhand post-battle accounts: depending on which chronicle you read, Edward II himself either fled the field shamelessly, or fought hard and had to be led away. But the fact that Badlesmere achieved this reputation, whether deserved or not, would've tarnished his image enough to knights and soldiers that he wouldn't be able to command any military expedition on his own from that point forward, and indeed, he never did.
|Gloucester's Death in the Battle of Bannockburn|
Seven months after Bannockburn, on 2 January 1315, Edward II held the funeral of Piers Gaveston at Langley in Hertfordshire. Badlesmere was in attendance, as were the Hugh Despensers, father and son. No doubt the three men met many times in the days surrounding the burial to discuss the Clare inheritance, for the countess had yet to give birth, and Hugh the Younger was married to Gloucester's eldest sister and stood next in line for the best part of the inheritance should no baby materialize. Their biggest concern would be Gloucester's other two sisters, Margaret and Elizabeth, both young widows and now the two hottest women on the marriage market that the nobility had seen in decades. As Gaveston's widow, Margaret was firmly under the influence of her uncle the King and a fixture at his court, but Elizabeth was far away in Ireland at the court of her father-in-law the Earl of Ulster. It was vital she be sent for and join her sister in their uncle's court. It would be in this task that Badlesmere would make his second great failure regarding the Clare dynasty.
|de Ros of Helmsley coat of arms|
|Elizabeth de Burgh, Lady of Clare|
By the summer of 1315, while Badlesmere was on Pembroke's campaign in the northern marches, it would have been clear to everyone that the countess of Gloucester was not going to provide the longed-for heir. As Christmas approached, Thomas of Lancaster, who hated Hugh the Elder and had removed both Despensers from the royal household back in January, was continuing to prevent either from having any access to the King. Elizabeth de Burgh, Lady of Clare was ordered to leave Ireland and come to court. All hell had broken loose in Glamorgan due to the actions of Badlesmere's replacement there, Payn de Turberville. On top of it all, Bristol was becoming an issue Badlesmere was unable to control on his own. Then, as if to symbolize the crumbling of Badlesmere's stewardship abilities, Elizabeth de Clare, newly-arrived from Ireland, was abducted from Bristol Castle by Theobald de Verdun in January 1316. Whatever plans the King had been forming regarding the Clare inheritance had now been thwarted. Badlesmere had failed the Clare dynasty in a major way once again.
The poor baron had to work on damage control, and insure that he had influential figures watching the interests of his own back, and that of his family. The best way would be to align himself sacredly to them through marriage, as he had done with Lord Ros. Badlesmere's next two daughters, Maud, born about 1310, and Elizabeth, born about 1313, were both beneath the canonical age of marriage (which was age 7 for consent, and age 12 for consummation), but desperate times called for desperate measures. Badlesmere could be expected to move to strengthen his alliances with the earls of Pembroke and Hereford through marriage, but Pembroke was childless and Badlesmere was apparently not in the position, socially or economically, to approach Hereford for the hand of one of his half-royal children [*7]. Luckily, Badlesmere was included in the February 1316 expedition to Glamorgan to put down the rebellion of Llewellyn Bren, where he had the opportunity to initiate an alliance with one of the most powerful dynasties in the marches of Wales.
|Wigmore Castle, Herefordshire|
On 2 May 1316 in London, Badlesmere contracted with Robert, Lord FitzPayn, for the marriage of FitzPayn's son and heir, also named Robert, aged about ten [*8], to Badlesmere's six-year-old daughter Maud. It was agreed that Lord FitzPayn would provide Maud with a dower of 200 marks’ worth of land, and that he would not grant out any of his land, save £200 worth, without Badlesmere’s permission. Badlesmere agreed to pay FitzPayn 1,200 marks in instalments as the marriage portion, and to keep Maud in his own custody for a year after the marriage. FitzPayn also agreed to enter into a recognizance (formally entered into on 16 July 1316) to Badlesmere for 20,000 marks to guarantee the marriage (which took place by October 1316, when Maud was formally assigned her dower by FitzPayn) [*9]. One week later, on 9 May 1316, also in London, Badlesmere contracted with Roger, Lord Mortimer of Wigmore, for the marriage of Mortimer's thirteen-year-old son and heir, Edmund, to Badlesmere's three-year-old daughter Elizabeth. Mortimer would provide Elizabeth with a dower of 500 marks' worth of land (300 coming from manors under his control, with the other 200 coming from manors after the death of Mortimer's mother Margaret). Badlesmere agreed to pay Mortimer 2,000 marks as the marriage portion, and entered into a recognizance of 20,000 marks to guarantee the marriage, which took place at the Mortimer manor of Ernwood in Shropshire on 27 June 1316. Badlesmere was with the king throughout June and so did not attend, but Mortimer hosted the nuptials with several officials, including the king's knights William de Montagu and Roger Damory, and Badlesmere's nephews Bartholomew and Henry Burghersh [*10].
Badlesmere's reasons for the alliance with Lord FitzPayn remain obscure. The FitzPayn barony was in Dorset, the chief seat being the manor of Okeford Fitzpaine. The estate stretched into Somerset and Wiltshire, but remained localized in those three counties. Badlesmere would have gotten to know Lord FitzPayn's father on the Scottish campaigns of the early 1300s, and especially when Lord FitzPayn senior served as steward of Edward II's household from March 1308 to December 1310.
|FitzPayn coat of arms|
Ian Mortimer surmises that the advantages Roger Mortimer of Wigmore obtained by marrying his heir to Badlesmere's toddler-aged daughter "were not so much military as political" (p. 78), and financial. It was Badlesmere's position at court and great wealth which attracted the then cash-poor Lord Mortimer. If so, Badlesmere certainly got his money's worth: an alliance with a powerful Marcher lord and the muscle of an acclaimed military captain. The payoff was immediate: Mortimer joined Badlesmere on the Bristol campaign and took the military lead. Hopefully Kathryn Warner will have a post with full details of the Bristol incident at a future date. Meanwhile, the Wheel of Fortune would turn little Elizabeth Badlesmere around several times in the next few years, her fate intertwined with those of her father and of her new father-in-law.
 Conway Davies, The Baronial Opposition to Edward II (1918), p. 208, citing Cal. Patent Rolls 1307-13, p. 51, as his source.
 Kathryn Warner, "The Rise and Fall of a Royal Favourite: Roger Damory (1)", January 2010.
 Davies, Baronial Opposition to Edward II, pp. 427-428.
 Many thanks to Kathryn Warner for providing details of the political song. The author of the Vita Edwardi Secundi states Gloucester was abandoned to death by his knights, but doesn't name Badlesmere specifically.
 Ian Mortimer, in his 2006 book, The Greatest Traitor: The Life of Sir Roger Mortimer, Ruler of England 1327-30, pp. 73-74, states Badlesmere was the overseer of the lordship of Glamorgan until July 1315, but unfortunately doesn't cite his source for this. It's likely Badlesmere was initially overseeing much more of the inheritance than just Glamorgan, but more research is needed.
 Colm McNamee, "Ros, William de, first Lord Ros (c.1255–1316)," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004). Complete Peerage says only that William de Ros and Margery Badlesmere were married by December 1316. As eldest daughter though, her marriage would necessarily have been arranged before those of her sisters in May 1316. It likely was not arranged until after the birth of Badlesmere's son and heir Giles in October 1314, for until that point, Margery was Badlesmere's senior coheiress. So Badlesmere's time on the northern march in 1315 seems the likeliest time. Curiously, Sir John de Ros would be attacked a few months later by Hugh Despenser the Younger at the Lincoln Parliament of February 1316.
 "Item, to Monsire Bartholomew de Badlesmere the black charger which I brought from beyond the sea." From Hereford's August 1319 will, as translated by Melville M. Bigelew in "The Bohun Wills", American Historical Review, Volume 1 Number 3 (April 1896), pp. 422-426. Though Hereford thought enough of Badlesmere to bequeath him a warhorse (the only bequest to any earl or baron in Hereford's entire will) and had five young unmarried sons, no marriage alliance occurred in their lifetimes. Ironically, Badlesmere's daughter Elizabeth would eventually marry Hereford's son William, but not until 1335, and for far a different reason.
 As Lord FitzPayn was found to be aged 28 and more, or 30 and more, in the inquisitions taken in September and October 1315 following his father's death, so born about 1285/6, his son and heir was likely born about 1305/6.
 Michael Prestwich, Plantagenet England 1225-1360 (2005), p. 415. A portion of the original document (Harl. Charter, 45, F 11, in Anglo-Norman French), was transcribed by George Wentworth Watson in Complete Peerage, Volume V (1926), p. 454 n. a (sub FitzPayn).
 Mortimer, The Greatest Traitor, pp. 77-79; George A. Holmes, The Estates of the Higher Nobility in Fourteenth Century England (1957), pp. 43-44.
 Watson, Complete Peerage Vol. V, pp. 448-455 (sub FitzPayn). Watson has young Robert FitzPayn dead before 10 December 1322, and surmises he may have been killed in the rout at Byland Abbey on 14 October. But as Robert was buried at the Grey Friars church in York, where the Earl of Hereford was buried after Boroughbridge, and given the fact that Lord FitzPayn had his lands restored to him by the King on 30 May, it's more likely that Badlesmere's son-in-law was killed with Hereford at Boroughbridge.