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The problematic present: locating and losing meaning in the narrative structure of the Fineshade chronicle.

Our modern canon of English medieval historical writing has traditionally prioritised chronicles that help us to establish the solid 'facts' of history. These are usually longer texts, often written at major religious houses such as Peterborough and St Albans. This approach has its merits, but encourages a relatively narrow view of what the medieval chronicle looks like and why it is written, one reinforced by definitive works of modern scholarship such as Antonia Gransden's Historical Writing in England. (1) A glance at the entries for England in the Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle reveals a host of smaller chronicles of the later Middle Ages that have received little or no critical attention. (2) Written for the most part in minor country houses, these works are frequently less precisely informed about national politics. However, such details are no longer our only priority. The value of these chronicles lies in enriching our understanding not only of the impact of larger affairs on a local level, but of the process and problems of composition, and the very purpose of historical writing for those who took up the pen. One such chronicle of Edward IIs reign, written at the small priory of Fineshade, Northamptonshire, is dismissed by Gransden in a footnote. (3) Even George Haskins, who published it in 1939 under the name 'A Chronicle of the Civil Wars of Edward II', considered the chronicle to be of little value, being 'oversimplified and contain[ing] little appreciation of the interaction of parties and politics'. (4) It is true that this chronicler had neither the flair nor the wealth of first-hand detail of Froissart or Matthew Paris, but he did have considerable literary skill. More intriguingly, however, he was a man writing at a disruptive moment in response to traumatic local and national events, who ultimately failed to carry through his literary ambitions. His emotional and temporal proximity to the events hampered him: lacking the advantage of hindsight, he could not give his story definitive authority in the manner of later chronicles of the same events. It is his very failures, the cracks in the facade, which give us a valuable glimpse into the personal motivations and difficulties of late medieval historical writing.

In this article, I will glance at existing scholarship on medieval chroniclers who used the structure of their narratives to convey meaning; examine the chaotic local context in which the Fineshade Chronicle was written; and finally analyse the deterioration of the structure of the chronicler's story as he struggled to shape his material into a meaningful historical narrative.

I. Locating Meaning in Narrative Structure

We do recognise nowadays that chroniclers frequently wrote even distant history in such a way as to reflect on their own present. Looking back on her own journey towards considering medieval historiography as discursive texts, Gabrielle Spiegel reflects that
   What made the writing of history important in the Middle Ages ...
   was exactly its ability to address contemporary political life via
   a displacement to the past, and to embed both prescription and
   polemic in an apparently "factual", because realistic, account of
   the historical legacy that the past had bequeathed. (5)


In Romancing the Past, she examines the rise of vernacular historiography in thirteenth-century France as a direct response to aristocratic anxieties about their changing role in society, arguing that 'this response was displaced to the past in such a way that vernacular chronicles came to encode in the disguised form of history the most troubling experiences of contemporary life. (6) Spiegel speaks primarily of history that depicts the distant past, or at least a past far enough removed from the moment of writing that it may be perceived as complete in itself: possessing already a comprehensible shape and meaning, onto which the disordered events of contemporary life may be grafted. The common late medieval model of world history as a series of typological figures and patterns, repetitive and comprehensible, would have lent weight to any insights gained by the comparison of present and past. During the reign of Edward III, for example, two independent continuators of the French Brut used precisely this method in dealing with another problematic aspect of the previous reign: Edward II's queen Isabella, possibly complicit in his murder, could not be painted either as wronged saint or conspiring villain without reflecting badly on her son, Edward III. Julia Marvin has found that both chroniclers use the mythic figure of Albine to reflect on - and ultimately to resolve--the narrative tensions implicit in the character of Isabella. (7) Both Marvin and Spiegel posit a chronicler who deliberately makes use of the past to interpret a troubling present.

Recent critical attention to form and structure has also begun to reveal the ways in which late medieval chroniclers might use the shape of the narrative itself to encode this kind of meaning into their work. Several essays in the volume Broken Lines--particularly those by Marvin, John Spence, and Sarah Peverley--examine the use of genealogy in medieval historical writing as an organising principle. By emphasising continuity, or by foregrounding its absence, genealogy can help to negotiate a contemporary sense of historical disjuncture or loss. (8) Philippa Maddern, meanwhile, has found that contemporary chroniclers of the Wars of the Roses would often avoid commenting explicitly on the actions of powerful political figures, and instead imply condemnation or praise by their arrangement of events within the story. (9) Maddern rejects the dismissive attitude of both Tudor and modern historians who speak of fifteenth-century chronicles as fantastical and unstructured in their narrative, arguing instead that these texts should be understood as deliberately juxtaposing worrying contemporary events with ominous supernatural signs, such as meteors and thunderstorms. Some of the chroniclers she cites go to great lengths to associate marvels with the event in question: shuffling dates, telescoping events to give the illusion that the event followed closely on the sign, or simply inventing a comet altogether. (10) Far from neglecting structure, these chroniclers deploy it as a deliberate rhetorical tool to 'infus[e] their story with implicit comments on the spiritual, political and ethical ramifications of events'. (11) In other words, these chronicles are built on a paratactic model: the author refrains from offering explicit interpretative aid but includes it implicitly by placing events side by side to suggest a particular divine ordering to contemporary history.

This sort of judgement by juxtaposition is not, of course, a phenomenon unique to the fifteenth century. The author of the A section of the Annales Paulini, writing in the first few years of Edward IIs reign, never writes 'here is a bad king' in so many words. Instead, he makes the same point through a repeated pattern of magnificent ceremonials that go sour, in contrast to the glories and unity of Edward Is day. (12) And as I will show in Section V below, the Fineshade chronicler is himself perfectly capable, on occasion, of using the same technique to criticise the same king.

But these models assume success. Their central figure is a chronicler who is in command of his material. They require him to be capable of digesting recent events (including events that are messy, painful, and apparently senseless) and turning them into a story, with all that the word implies: structural integrity, narrative arcs and closure, implicit analogies with well-known historical figures or events, and (ideally) some kind of moral judgement or message to give meaning to the rest. The authors of Marvin's Brut continuations had lived through the same disruptive civil wars of 1321-22 that bewilder the Fineshade chronicler, but had the advantage of at least a decade of hindsight. So far as they were concerned, the significance of the clash between Edward and his barons, of the death of Earl Thomas of Lancaster, of the arcs of Edward II's and the Despensers' stories, had been clarified by later events such as Edward's overthrow at the hands of his wife, and the young Edward III's later coup against Isabella's own tyranny to assume personal power. These events were grand denouements: narrative closure and character development on a national scale. Their popularity in later retellings--from fourteenth-century chroniclers through to Marlowe's play, and on to a flurry of recent historical fiction--attests to their narrative power and the very human temptation to reinterpret.

The Fineshade chronicler, writing in the direct aftermath of the civil war, had no access to such retrospective interpretative aids. In the midst of the turmoil that followed the war--and the woes that had befallen his local community--he did not find it as simple as the Brut continuators to perceive an orderly and self-contained narrative in these events. He does his best, attempting to use inherited historiographical structures to shape recent events into 'history'. As the story progresses, however, his material begins to escape him, causing the gradual breakdown of the carefully structured narrative with which the chronicle opens.

II. The Manuscript and the Priory

The name 'Fineshade Chronicle' is mine, derived, obviously, from the place of origin and composition. While the chronicle has received some notice before, it has been under the rather unmemorable name bestowed on it by Haskins: 'A Chronicle of the Civil Wars of Edward II'. (13) As his interests were not codicological, Haskins did not consider the manuscript as a whole and consequently did not notice its origin. He conjectured, in passing, that 'the author of the chronicle was a northerner, probably from somewhere in the county of York, for his account becomes at once more accurate and detailed as the scene shifts, in the spring of 1322, to the region of Boroughbridge and Pontefract [for the conclusion of the civil war]'. (14) In fact, as Neil Ker noticed some time later, there is internal evidence regarding the manuscript's origin: (15) notices jotted onto blank versos record several of the priory's financial transactions, and the letters copied into the manuscript are addressed to Sir John Engayne, the priory's patron. The accuracy and detail of the account of the civil war given in the chronicle is perfectly consistent with the chronicler having received his information from the Engaynes, who were actively involved in it.

The manuscript is now bound into BL, MS Cotton Cleopatra D IX, fols 84-90, and it is Fineshade priory's only written legacy. (16) It consists of the chronicle and a few other documents relating to the civil war of 1321-22, in addition to the administrative notices. The chronicle is original to the priory and appears to be autograph, and most of the documents (excepting the financial notices, which are in a variety of later hands) are copied into the manuscript in the chroniclers hand. (17) The date of composition could be anywhere from April 1322, with concluding notes written after the York Parliament in June of that year, to early 1323. (18)

Of the five main documents in the manuscript, the first two are letters to Sir John Engayne. Both relate to the meeting at Doncaster that Earl Thomas of Lancaster called for December 1321, just as war was becoming inevitable. The second letter in the manuscript, written by Lancaster and dated 18 October, summons Engayne to the meeting. (19) The first, dated 12 November, is written in response to the second by Edward II and forbids attendance. (20) According to the Foedera, copies of the king s letter were sent to all his barons, including some firmly on his side, such as his brothers and the Despensers; Lancasters letter, presumably, also had a wide distribution. (21) The third document in the manuscript--the manifesto drawn up at the meeting in Doncaster, now known as the Doncaster Petition--is our only extant copy of the whole text. (22) Fourth is the chronicle itself, which covers Edward IIs reign up to the civil war and concludes with the Boroughbridge Roll, a list of the names of all the knights and barons who died, were imprisoned, or fled as a result of the war. (23) Following the chronicle is a single leaf that is not part of the original quire: it is a copy of the judgement passed on all those who were condemned to death as a result of the civil war. (24)

Unfortunately for the historian, the priory has left little trace of itself in the historical record, and so there is almost no direct information as to the context in which the chronicler wrote. Though reasonably prosperous, Fineshade seems to have been small--with probably only two or three canons in addition to the prior, Richard of Hold--and it lay only a mile from the Engaynes' principal estate at Blatherwycke. (25) The canons had the management of several churches in the district so would have been closely involved in local affairs, (26) and although they were sufficiently independent to have the right to elect their own prior, their relationship with their patron family seems to have remained close. (27) It was also productive: there was clearly some degree of collaboration between the family and the priory in producing this manuscript. Whoever took the initiative--whether it was an active commission or merely cooperation on the Engaynes' part--one or more of the Engaynes must have loaned the documents that were copied into it, and, of course, served as an informant about the war. It seems reasonable, then, that in trying to understand the chronicler's situation and choices in composing the manuscript we look away from the blank that is Fineshade and look instead to where we can find information: that is, to the Engayne family.

III. The Engayne Family: Fortunes and Loyalties in the Civil War

The civil war of 1321-22 involved the rebellion of many earls and barons, most notably Earl Thomas of Lancaster (cousin to the king, with five earldoms and most of the north of England to his name), against Edward II, his favourites the Despensers, and all the barons still on the kings side. Despite widespread opposition to the kings party, when it came to open warfare most of the Contrariant barons never really mobilised, or never met up with the main rebel force: Edward moved too fast, and instead of facing the king together some barons were defeated while others fled (overseas or to Lancaster's protection), or surrendered, or back-pedalled hastily before going quite so far as to commit themselves. The war culminated in March 1322 with the defeat of Lancaster's fleeing army at Boroughbridge, the execution of Lancaster and several other leading rebels at York, and the exile of many other barons and knights. Although the death count was not vast, these events occurred in the context of a country already troubled by what amounted to gang warfare among the barons over lands and offices. It shocked the nation deeply, as did the redistribution of lands that followed.

The Despensers were high on the list of the worst offenders in this regard, and, in the wake of Boroughbridge, the prospect of having them more powerful than ever--unrestrained in that power for the first time in the kings reign--seems to have been a source of deep anxiety. Michael Prestwich says of this phase of Edward IIs reign that '[i]t is impossible to quantify the breakdown of law and order ... but it is plain that the whole equilibrium of society was fragile in this period'. (28) Civil war, the repeated threat from the Scots, the climatic changes of the early fourteenth century, the Great Famine, and widespread disease among humans and livestock, added up to a state of affairs that had more than one contemporary chronicler wondering whether God himself was set on punishing the land; either for its own failings, or those 28 of its king. (29) One symptom of this widespread uneasiness was the popular acclamation of Lancaster as a martyred saint, an interpretation of events that encoded both meaning and comfort in its form, which we glimpse in hesitant infancy in the Fineshade Chronicle and in full, bold flight by the time of the Brut. (30)

The Engayne family did not come through the war unscathed. Sir John had inherited the estate from his father in 1297, and had been supported throughout his life in military and administrative matters by his brother Nicholas. (31) Although John had no son, Nicholas had at least one son already knighted by 1322: another John, heir, after his father, to the family estate. The parentage of the fourth Engayne who plays a visible part in the civil war, one Sir Thomas, is not on record; but given his apparent age and the company he kept, as well as the fact that he was (as we will see) well known at Fineshade, it is likely that he was another of Sir Nicholas's sons.

The two older knights have impeccable records of service to the crown: they did their duty against the Scots in all of Edwards campaigns during the 1310s, and fought with him again in 1322 against the Contrariant barons. (32) Unfortunately for both men, they were also with Edward later on in the same year when, buoyed by his success at home, he made another attempt against the Scots. It turned into a rout, and both Sir John and Sir Nicholas Engayne were killed in September, presumably during the harried retreat south to Durham. (33) If either of them had doubts about the king's fitness for rule or the state of the realm, they seem not to have let it affect their feudal duties.

The younger Sir John, at least thirty years old by then according to the findings of the inquisition post mortem, has left no such clear signs of his allegiance. He may have been fighting in the civil war under his father's command. Certainly, he was not in open opposition to the king, as he was allowed to inherit without hindrance or fine after the deaths of his father and uncle. (34) Thomas, however, is another matter. Like his biblical namesake, Sir Thomas Engayne doubted.

In January 1324, two years after the civil war, a royal writ was issued from Newark:
   Writ of aid for John de Weston, commissioned to arrest Walter de
   Lutz, now prior of Bermundseye, Bartholomew de Whytsand his fellow
   monk, Jacominus Darynoun called James de Darynton and Percival his
   brother, and Peter de Mountmartyn, brother of Sir Ponsard de
   Mountmartyn, and Thomas Rosselyn and Thomas Dengayne; it having
   been found by inquisition made by John de Weston and Hamo de
   Chigwell that the said prior and his fellow monks Bartholomew de
   Whytsand and Godfrey de London had received the said Jacominus,
   Percival and Peter and other persons adherents of the rebels, and
   especially of Thomas Rosselyn and Thomas Dengayn, knights, in the
   priory of Bermundseye, co. Surrey, and aided them from the feast of
   Saint Nicholas 16 Edward II until Shrovetide [late December 1322 to
   early February 1323] when they permitted them to go away at the
   expense and mounting of the said prior. (35)


Thomas Engayne, Thomas Roscelyn, and the other knights named here were among the men named as traitors and exiled after the Battle of Boroughbridge, according to the second extant version of the Boroughbridge Roll. The Fineshade version, significantly, omits both Thomas Engayne and Thomas Roscelyn from the list of men exiled after the conflict, although the other knights mentioned here appear in both versions. Roscelyn appears in several other records, giving the impression of a man of opinion and action: he appears with Thomas Engayne in a similar warrant, issued a year earlier, (36) and again in 1326, aligning with Mortimer and Isabella to overthrow Edward II. He crops up in the records on several occasions over the next few years as the right-hand man to Lancaster's younger brother Henry in resisting Mortimer and Isabella's tyranny, then once more in 1330 in a plot by the Earl of Kent, Edward II's brother, to restore the officially dead former king to the throne. (37)

Thomas Engayne, then, was keeping company with a fervent crowd of young men, perhaps driven by the restlessness and vigour of a knighted younger son to follow either strong principle or a spirit of adventure in resisting the Despensers. It may be that Roscelyns influence--or simple affinity of character--was, in fact, what had him on Lancaster's side in the civil wars in the first place, facing his family across the battlefield. It seems likely that the Thomases were close before the civil war: the omission of Roscelyn from the Fineshade copy of the Boroughbridge Roll, whether it is intended as protection or rejection of Thomas Engayne and his friends, implies that Roscelyn and his opinions were well known around Fineshade and Blatherwycke. This, together with the Engaynes' possession of a copy of the Doncaster petition (extant in no other source), suggests that, although the head of the family knew where his fealty lay when it came to open war, the family as a whole may have been less certain about their sympathies.

There is a curious epilogue to this. In 1329, as mentioned, Henry of Lancaster took up arms against Mortimer and Isabella. This rebellion was quashed without major reprisals, but we have a list of names of the knights and barons fined for their involvement. That list includes the names of both Thomases, but also that of John Engayne the younger, he who was now head of the family and therefore liable for the fines for both himself and Thomas Engayne. (38) Somehow, whatever conversations passed between John and Thomas over those years in between, they both ended up fighting on the same side against the new face of tyranny; and, in a family dominated by Johns and Joans and Henrys, John's son and heir, when he was born, was named Thomas. (39)

IV. The Chronicle's Composition: Ghosts in the Text

At the time the chronicle was written, things stood thus: Nicholas and the older John had fought against Lancaster in the civil war, and the younger John was, at least officially, also on the royal side. Nicholas and the older John, still vigorous and active men despite their age, who had been JPs and knights of the shire for years and therefore very prominent in local affairs, were suddenly both dead at once: local disruption mirrored national turmoil. Thomas, on the other hand, had actively fought against king and family, and was at the time of writing on the run with several other exiled rebels seeking refuge in tiny local priories very like Fineshade. The only man left was the younger John, deprived of father and uncle and the man who was probably his brother through the kings wars, in a situation which was surely conducive to doubt and uncertainty even supposing that he had previously felt no sympathy at all with the baronial cause. To compound this, the national disturbance meant that the routine inquisition post mortem into the estate took several months, keeping the community in a state of abeyance until John could inherit. (40)

For the chronicler, whose view of the outside world would have been centred on and filtered through the Engayne family, this must have been a difficult situation to make sense of, and to translate into a simple historical narrative with a clear moral stance. The precise effects of this climate of uncertainty on his writing are difficult to pin down, not least because of the lack of mention of the Engaynes. Their only trace in the manuscript is in the addresses of the letters, and, paradoxically, in their absence, such as the omission of Thomas Engayne and Thomas Roscelyn from the Boroughbridge Roll that closes the chronicle. They are mentioned nowhere else: not by name in any of the engagements recounted, nor in a dedication, nor even implicitly with the conventional truth-formula 'as I heard' or 'as I was told by reliable witnesses'. They are systematically erased from the chronicle itself. Curiously enough, the same is true of the Doncaster meeting. Considered together, the two letters and the petition with which the manuscript opens present a powerful view of the rebellious barons' position and goals and foreground the meeting itself as a pivotal moment in the history of the war; and yet that same meeting and those same arguments are invisible in the chronicle.

I suggest that these absences can be read together: that they work to remove the personal element from the chronicle and hide the Engayne family's experience of the war. Whichever Engayne went to the effort to obtain the petition (either by attending the meeting or by seeking out the document after the fact), within a month, John the elder and Nicholas were marching with the king against the men who wrote it. Did John the elder obey Lancaster's summons after all, before finally committing himself to his king? Did Thomas--with or without the younger John--quarrel with his kin, or try to bring them around to his and Roscelyn's point of view? Was the Doncaster meeting, in other words, some kind of a catalyst or breaking point for the family? If so, this would explain both the inclusion of the documents--explaining the baronial cause and recording this crucial moment for posterity --and the absence of the meeting from the chronicle, as a moment that could not be translated into an impersonal historical voice.

This is speculative, of course, but the absence in the chronicler's own words of an event emphasised elsewhere in the manuscript is not the only sign that he was uncertain which story he wanted to tell, or how to tell it. On closer examination, the structure of the chronicle itself reveals an author who, although competent in some matters, was ultimately unable to make sense of his material.

Despite Haskins's and Gransdens dismissive attitude towards its literary qualities, considerable skill did go into this chronicle's composition. It is far from an amorphous ramble, or a series of annalistic dot points: the chronicler made a real literary effort here, had very firm ideas about narrative and sentence structure, and deliberately related that structure to an overall moral message in order to assign meaning to events. But, as the chronicle proceeds --that is, as it approaches the events of the war--the structure begins to collapse, together with the corresponding moral certainty.

V. Telling the Story: The Chronicle's Structure, and its Disintegration

The chronicle is structured around four apostrophes: that is, exclamatory moments when the chronicler addresses the reader directly, to provide an authoritative interpretive aid to the events in process. These apostrophes are placed at pivotal points in the narrative. As we will see, the moralising tone of the earlier apostrophes, and their emphasis on connecting events just recounted with events to come, help to set up these authorial interventions as a decisive framework. They suggest a story divided into two instructive parallel halves--the rise of a royal favourite and its disastrous results, followed by the rise of another royal favourite with even worse results--and so they create the expectation of future apostrophes, of similar tone and with similar confidence in their ability to mediate between the reader and the events. This structural confidence is at first matched by the chronicler's clear-sighted handling of his material, but neither structure nor clarity is sustained through to the end.

The chronicle opens in the year 1295, with Edward I crossing to Flanders and returning to England with an addition to his household: Piers Gaveston. We are told that the king's son, on seeing Gaveston, 'was immediately struck with such love that he formed a strong union with him, and he decided and firmly determined to be bound with him before all other mortals'. (41) There follows the tale (infamous in many variations by the time this chronicle was written) of the young Edwards increasing infatuation and folly in regard to Gaveston, showering him with more gifts, titles, and royal attention than the realm could stand. The chronicler, at this point, offers the first apostrophe: a proverb on the intolerable behaviour of the ape raised to a high seat. This leads naturally into mention of Gaveston's own rude behaviour toward the other magnates and their decision to do away with him (with no mention of the intervening years between Edward Ils coronation and Gaveston's death). The chronicler gravely names those magnates most strongly implicated in the murder, including the Earl of Lancaster. This is the occasion for the second apostrophe, which emphasises that their hands are as bloody as those of the men who swung the sword and that Gaveston's infamy does not excuse his slaughter: 'O accursed death of man accursed, O abominable death of an abominable man, O death as impious as the dead, O death as scandalous as he!' (42) With all the confidence of authorial omniscience, the chronicler predicts Warwick's illness and death in 1315, as if they were a natural result of his part in the conspiracy, and he also hints at Lancaster's later death.

This second apostrophe closes the first half of the chronicle. The next chapter of events begins anachronistically with the Ordinances (they were, in reality, passed as a restraining measure against Edward and Gaveston well before Gavestons death), and the appointment, as part of those Ordinances, of Hugh Despenser the Younger as Chamberlain. The younger Despenser immediately shows himself to be worse than Gaveston: not a vain spendthrift but a malicious and scheming traitor, who attempts to sell the queen to the Scots and blame the deed on Lancaster, and successfully conspires with the Scots to murder the Earl of Gloucester so that Despenser himself might inherit his lands. (43) Another apostrophe follows, execrating iniquity in pointed but general terms, then predicting the woes to come. The baronial reaction against the Despensers is then recounted in some detail, followed by the manoeuvres of the civil war and the barons' defeat.

Lancaster's parody of a trial and execution is the occasion for the last apostrophe, which is the most emotional and least certain of the four. The remainder of the chronicle has little narrative force, noting only the other executions that took place after Lancaster's and the proceedings of the Parliament called at York, and then closing with the long list of names that forms the Boroughbridge Roll.

The early years may be taken as a model of how the chronicler wants to be writing, of how he wanted to understand and represent historical events. While the first half of the chronicle is imprecise in terms of historical fact, these inaccuracies (whether introduced by design or through memory's tendency to smooth away rough edges) all serve to make it far more coherent as a story, through a sort of retrospective telescoping of events. For example, while listing the extravagances that Edward committed for Gaveston, the chronicler mentions the death of the old Earl of Gloucester:
   What more? There were old treasures and precious jewels in the
   treasury of the kings at Westminster, safely stowed there by his
   ancestors time out of mind: these he lavished on the same Piers, to
   his own shame and with grave harm to himself and to all the people
   of England. For, having exhausted his own treasury, he demanded the
   aid of the people and imposed tallages upon them. Thus he extorted
   and forcibly raised money, to the great impoverishment of his
   people. During these events the Earl of Gloucester departed the way
   of the flesh, leaving behind him three daughters and only one son,
   his heir, which that Earl had begotten on lady Joan of Acre,
   daughter of King Edward. The said king gave one of these daughters
   to the aforementioned Piers in marriage, and gave him that same
   earldom of Cornwall according to his earlier desire and
   determination. (44)


The sequence of events here is wrong: the old Earl of Gloucester had died in 1295, before the events of the chronicle begin, and Gaveston married Margaret de Clare in 1307. But placing the death at this point in the narrative is not a neutral change. The wedding becomes associated with the theme of the death of the patriarch and the betrayal of his memory, which Edward is at that moment acting out in respect of his own father. This change is characteristic of the first half of the chronicle, and, whether deliberate or not, recalls the shuffling of historical events discussed by Philippa Maddern. Temporal distance and a possibly hazy knowledge have allowed the chronicler to retell a sort of legend of the first period of Edward's reign: the tale of Piers Gaveston and Edward II, a story with a clear crescendo of infamous deeds and a terrible conclusion, from which a clear moral can be drawn.

The apostrophes provide the backbone of the story, but even between them the chronicler at first adheres to a careful structural system. The story is told in a neat series of sections which recall, to a certain extent, the 'fact-event' proposed by William Brandt. (45) Brandt's event blocks are miniature stories in three parts: a statement of the existing situation; an intrusive disturbance; and an outcome. He gives an example of an event block from Matthew Paris's chronicle: the grief of King Louis at the failure of his crusade in 1254 (the grounds); the intervention of a bishop who rebukes him and advises patience (intrusive action); followed by the kings penance and consolation (consequence and resolution). (46) According to Brandt, all chronicles are made up of these blocks (or of simpler event statements, which are not tripartite), and they are rarely, if ever, causally linked to each other: a deficiency, in Brandt's theory, of the medieval world view, which can only perceive isolated incidents, not cause and effect, or the process of time. (47)

In the first half of the chronicle, the Fineshade chronicler does shape his story into a series of tripartite events, similar to those described by Brandt. These are not, however, self-contained, but marked off by little conjunctive phrases, which close and open each block: 'And so, these things being done, Ordinances were passed ...';'Thus it was arranged that ...';'... and so it was done in that manner'. (48) Although they are not visually delineated on the page the event blocks function something like our paragraphs, with these temporal phrases signalling to the mental ear (whether one is reading aloud or silently) that one event is concluded before launching on another, separating the story into digestible portions. At the same time, they establish a narrative connection between the events, both temporal and causal. Edward I dies; this leads to Edward II recalling Gaveston and showering him with gifts; resulting in ruination and shame for the land and the increase of Gavestons pride; which causes the resentment of the barons. Like the grander structure suggested by the apostrophes, these event blocks suggest an author in full command of his material, capable of analysing the bewildering mass of historical events and shaping them into a single, confident narrative.

Each event block is concerned with the disturbance (to use Brandt's term) caused by one intruding individual. This individual provides the main action of the section; others react to this disturbance. This actor is usually the subject of the first sentence, and of the majority of sentences within that section. The chronicler will often go to careful lengths with passive or subordinate constructions to avoid making anyone but the actor the subject of a main clause. So, for example, the first event block opens with 'When this king crossed the sea to Flanders', as if to begin an account of the political actions of Edward I. But this is a subordinate clause: the main clause is 'a certain Piers Gaveston joined him' . (49) Piers Gaveston is the subject of the opening sentence of this event block, and his intrusive actions make him the disturbing influence with which it is concluded. The son of the king is the subject of the next sentence, but responds to and confirms Gaveston's disruptive action rather than initiating one of this own. The block concludes with young Edwards passionate devotion to his new favourite. In the first half of the story, the dominant moral tone is easy to follow, as the reader has only to disapprove of anybody who acts; that is, anybody who disrupts.

However, as the story progresses the number of lines between apostrophes increases, the event blocks become longer and less clearly delineated, and the action of each event block is less firmly contained by the ostensible close of the last. Before the first apostrophe there are five blocks, each between four and eight lines long; the two between the first and second apostrophes are a little longer but still contained, at ten lines each. Between the second and the third, however, there is only one event block, and it is almost twice the length of any before it. When the civil war erupts, after the third apostrophe, the blocks break down altogether. Forty-five lines follow with no trace of a division or an ending. The only conclusion is offered by the apostrophe that follows Lancaster's execution, and its structural power is minimal: since there is no sense of an event block ending before it, the apostrophe seems to jut out into the middle of a paragraph, and it does not provide a clear moral response to the events that precede or follow it.

The second half of the chronicle is marked not only by an absence of divisions but by the chronicler's increasing reluctance to specify an actor--frequently even a grammatical subject--and therefore, by implication, to allocate responsibility. The magnates react to Edward's actions rather than initiating action of their own, and passive constructions abound. The barons, and Lancaster in particular, are usually direct objects rather than subjects in sentences, but rarely are the king and the Despensers actors either, strictly speaking: events like the appointment of Despenser as Chamberlain--the crucial moment at which the Despensers become a political force--are told in the passive voice without an agent. (50) When we reach the harassment of Lancaster on the way to his execution, the chronicler almost avoids verbs altogether in favour of nouns, reluctantly mentioning 'the insults and taunts, the indignities and abuse heaped and hurled odiously upon him'. (51) The chronicler is biased towards the barons' part, but cannot lay outright blame for the worst actions onto their opponents. He even flirts with hagiography at one point--there are shades of a via dolorosa in the crowd s abuse--but this sits uneasily with the earlier Lancaster whose death was predicted for his part in Gavestons murder, and neither idea is followed through. Structure in this section seems to have quite broken down, together with the expected possibility of closure and the ability to specify agent and culpability. The action simply continues, as does the conflict, with devastating results. The effect is a sense of disturbance upon disturbance, with no chance to re-establish order, and no hope of a real conclusion beyond the recital of the many dead.

VI. The Advantage of Hindsight, and the Problem with Proximity

Later accounts of these events are not so hampered. Julia Marvin's Brut chroniclers, though they may not have explicitly passed judgement on Isabella, nevertheless found meaning in the parallels between her and the legendary figure of Albine. Their violent retelling of the stories of Isabella and Albine is, in Marvin's reading, ultimately positive: it suggests a reading of Edward IIs reign and sudden death within the context of 'regicide leading not to catastrophe but to rightful succession' and a flourishing kingdom, as Albine is ultimately defeated and her own actions pave the way for Brutus's establishment of Britain. (52)

The Middle English Brut uses the advantage of hindsight to turn the civil war sequence into a magnificent martyr narrative for Lancaster, shaping the other events and personalities to fit that powerful and deeply meaningful trope. Several versions of the Brut tell of Lancaster being dragged from the church at Boroughbridge by Edwards men, in clear parallel to Thomas Beckets legendary murder by Henry II's men. While the story is almost certainly apocryphal, it had obvious advantages both for the martyr narrative in general and for the clergy managing the local church. Even outside of the chronicle record, the rapid growth of the martyr cult of Lancaster can in part be explained by the sense of a need for exactly that sort of powerful story to give meaning to recent traumatic and incomprehensible events. Lancaster's namesake, Thomas Becket, is a frequent point of historical comparison in manuscript art and pilgrim badges, as well as in the Brut: the pious man resisting royal tyranny who spilled his blood for the good of the land. (53) Writing several years later to the pope to request Lancaster's canonisation, Edward III himself envisaged Lancaster's death as a martyrdom that provided England with both glory and succour, drawing on the language of the martyr cult that had already by that time given Lancaster's death powerful meaning within the tradition of hagiography. (54)

Although the Fineshade chronicler reaches for images of hagiography in one moment of high rhetoric and emotional appeal, it is a weak shadow of this later conviction. The impression of uncertainty is strengthened by several layers of revision; at this point, a few lines were erased completely and rewritten, and another sentence added in the margin (sadly indecipherable, having been trimmed by a later rebinding). This chronicler could offer no prophecy of the rise of a great future king, nor even the definite ending that the death of the current one would provide. Writing within only a few months of these events, he had no such advantage of hindsight, and any potential comparisons with historical figures who might bestow meaning on the narrative were never fully realised. Although earlier sections of the Fineshade chronicle seem to anticipate a meaningful structure similar to the Brut's--shaped around the figure of the prodigal king, perhaps, or Lancaster as a repentant sinner, or the twinned murder-executions of Gaveston and Lancaster--the story does not deliver on its promises, and these possible storylines vanish into the recital of messy fact. In that crucial rhetorical moment, the final apostrophe, when we might expect to see these narrative threads pulled together, none of the anticipated story lines is present:
   O royal blood, excellent blood, noble blood, blood of great price,
   why so contemptibly spilled? What evil had you done? What
   treacheries had you stirred? Against what man or men did you bear
   arms? Against the king, or against other disturbers of the peace?
   If against the king, that would be a sin; if against enemies of the
   land, that may be born. Which of these did you do? This complaint
   was as much repeated as it is sorrowful, and therefore because it
   offers no comfort nor can undo the scandalous deed, may this
   tiresome complaint greatly displease his enemies. Of his death we
   must be silent for now. (55)


Rather than a reference back to past events and an acknowledgement of the future, or a firm moral stance quoting Claudian proverbs, we have a series of questions. As rhetorical questions, they seem at first to contain their own answers--'what evil?' seems to anticipate 'no evil', 'against what man?' suggests 'against no man'--but the uncertainty of 'if against the king' and 'which of these did you do?' betrays the questions as genuine. The apostrophe finally backs away and disguises itself as reported speech, implicitly acknowledging its own impotence; the rest is silence.

VI. Conclusion

The Fineshade Chronicle was clearly composed with a good deal of forethought and care. The decisive and structured narrative of the earlier sections, and the use of established organisational forms such as the event blocks, suggest that the chronicler planned his story out in advance as a carefully mediated narrative. He was skilled in Latin and composition, and, like Philippa Maddern's fifteenth-century chroniclers, he was clearly capable of organising his material so as to impose meaning on events.Yet, as he approached his own present, his skills failed him. He became increasingly uncertain of how to translate recent experience into a stable, controlled historical narrative: that is, how to close it off and contain it in the historical past, when it insisted on intruding chaotically on his everyday life.

The greatest value of the Fineshade Chronicle to modern scholarship does not lie in any contributions that it might make to the 'History'--in the sense that George Haskins meant it -of the major political affairs of Edward Ils reign. It lies rather in what this manuscript can tell us about the author's process and goals of composition, in direct response to his own experience and that of his immediate community. His organisation of his material--and his failures of organisation--reveal the authors desire to divide contemporary events into a tidy, comprehensible story, into something that belongs on the grand pages of histories like those of Henry of Huntingdon. Recent scholarship has begun to recognise the ways in which medieval chroniclers may employ form and structure to encode meaning below the surface of the text. However, form may also reveal failures of meaning: the disintegration of structure can allow us to access those very human moments when a chronicler finds him or herself simply unable to comprehend the disturbances of lived experience.

The University of Melbourne ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions

(1) Gransden, Historical Writing in England: c. 1307 to the Early Sixteenth Century (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1982).

(2) Graeme Dunphy, ed., Encyclopedia of the Medieval Chronicle, 2 vols (Leiden: Brill, 2010) (hereafter Encyclopedia).

(3) Gransden, p. 3, n. 13.

(4) Haskins, 'A Chronicle of the Civil Wars of Edward II', Speculum, 14.1 (1939), 73-81 (p. 74).

(5) Spiegel, 'Theory into Practice: Reading Medieval Chronicles', The Medieval Chronicle, 1 (1999), 1-12 (p. 2).

(6) Spiegel ('Theory into Practice', p. 10) is paraphrasing the premise of her Romancing the Past: The Rise of Vernacular Prose Historiography in Thirteenth-Century France (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993).

(7) Marvin, 'Albine and Isabelle: Regicidal Queens and the Historical Imagination of the Anglo-Norman Brut Chronicles.With an Edition and Translation of the Prose Prologue to the Long Version of the Anglo-Norman Brut', Arthurian Literature, 18 (2001), 143-91.

(8) Raluca L. Radulescu and Edward Donald Kennedy, eds, Broken Lines: Genealogical Literature in Medieval Britain and France (Turnhout: Brepols, 2008).

(9) Philippa Maddern, 'Weather, War and Witches: Sign and Cause in Fifteenth-Century English Vernacular Chronicles', in A World Explored: Essays in Honour of Laurie Gardiner, ed. Anne Gilmour-Bryson (Melbourne: University of Melbourne History Department, 1993), pp. 77-98.

(10) Maddern, pp. 83, 85.

(11) Maddern, p. 82.

(12) Annales Paulini, in Chronicles of the Reigns of Edward I and Edward II, ed. William Stubbs, 2 vols (London: Longman, 1882), I, 254-370. For section A, covering the years 1307-08, see I, 255-66.

(13) For Haskins's publication of the chronicle itself, see n. 4, above. He published two other excerpts from the same manuscript: 'Judicial Proceedings against a Traitor after Boroughbridge, 1322', Speculum, 12 (1937), 509-11; and 'The Doncaster Petition, 1321', English Historical Review, 53 (1938), 478-85. At the time of writing, Edward Donald Kennedy's entry on the chronicle in the Encyclopedia (I, 317) follows Haskins's information.

(14) Haskins, 'A Chronicle', p. 74.

(15) Ker, Medieval Libraries of Great Britain: A List of Surviving Books (London: Royal Historical Society, 1964), p. 87.

(16) Hereafter Fineshade Chronicle. In addition to folio references, line numbers have been provided for ease of reference.

(17) Several emendations in the text of the chronicle tweak phrasing and word order in a way that suggests authorial revision rather than correction of copyists' errors, including two that must have been made before the sentence was completed. See Fineshade Chronicle, fol. 87r, line 78, and fol. 87v, lines 23-24. Given the relatively small size of the priory, and the fact that the hands all belong to the first quarter or so of the fourteenth century, it seems more reasonable to assume a single authorial copy than that there would be any occasion to replicate it so soon.

(18) No awareness of events later than 1322 is shown in the chronicle. Speaking of the 1322 Parliament, the chronicler notes (Fineshade Chronicle, fol. 87v, line 31) that Andrew Harclay was later created Earl of Carlisle for his part in capturing Lancaster, but not that he lost title and life within a year when he himself was executed for treason on the same charge as Lancaster--a turn of events of which other chroniclers made much. An early date is also suggested by the chronicler's ignorance of the permission that was given in 1324 to bury the remains of the executed rebels (Fineshade Chronicle, fol. 87v, lines 18-19: he speaks of their bodies as still rotting where they hang), or of the martyr cult of Thomas of Lancaster that burgeoned rapidly across the nation in the wake of his execution in March 1322.

(19) Fineshade Chronicle, fol. 84v, line 28-fol. 85r, line 12.

(20) Fineshade Chronicle, fol. 84v, lines 1-26.

(21) Thomas Rymer, ed., Foedera, Conventiones, Litterae, et cujuscunque generis Acta Publica etc., with English Syllabus, 20 vols (London, 1704-35; digital edn, Burlington: TannerRitchie, 2006-08) (hereafter Foedera), II.2 (2006), 26-27. As the Fineshade manuscript provides our only surviving witness of Lancaster's letter, we have no evidence as to how many barons received a copy. We cannot assume, as Haskins ('Doncaster Petition', p. 479) did in 1938, that it was sent to 'lords of his party' and that Engayne was therefore 'one of his adherents'. As we will see, Sir John Engayne was clearly not an open adherent of Lancaster, and in fact fought for the king against the rebels. It is likely that Lancaster's letter was more akin to a royal letter of summons to Parliament and therefore sent to every member of Parliament --that is, to the same list of recipients as Edward's own letter--which would explain both the strong language of Edward's response, and his accusation that Lancaster was usurping royal prerogative to himself. See Fineshade Chronicle, fol. 84v, lines 15-16: 'iurisdictionem nostram regiam sibi in hac parte vsurpans, de quo miramur plurimum.'

(22) Fineshade Chronicle, fol. 85r, line 14-fol. 86r, line 3. Oxford, MS Bodleian Rolls Kent 6 box I (f) contains a mutilated and incomplete copy of the Petition sent by Lancaster to the City of London on 2 December, with his accompanying letter. J. R. Maddicott transcribes this letter in a footnote in Thomas of Lancaster, 1307-1322: A Study in the Reign of Edward II (London: Oxford University Press, 1970), pp. 297-98.

(23) Fineshade Chronicle, fol. 86r, line 5-fol. 88r. One other copy of the Boroughbridge Roll survives: BL, MS Egerton 2850, which is reproduced in Francis Palgrave, ed., The Parliamentary Writs and Writs of Military Summons, 4 vols (London: Eyre, 1827-34), ii (1830), Appendix, pp. 200-01. Each witness contains some names not present in the other: Haskins details the differences in his edition of the chronicle ('A Chronicle', p. 74, and pp. 79-81, notes).

(24) This manuscript appears to have been among those issued in 1322 to be read out before the various condemned. See George Sayles, 'The Formal Judgement on the Traitors of 1322', Speculum, 16 (1941), 57-63. No other witness survives of these general condemnations, but the same text is preserved in several later copies dated 1324-25, addressed to specific individuals, in the appendix to Palgrave, ed., Parliamentary Writs (ii, 261, 262, 263, 265, 266-67).

(25) Victoria County History: A History of the County of Northampton, 7 vols (London: Boydell, 1902-2013), II (1906), eds R. M. Serjeantson, W Ryland, and D. Adkins, 135-36; David Knowles and R. Neville Hadcock, Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales (London: Longman, 1953), pp. 137, 361; John Engayne is described in at least one record as 'of Blatherwyk'. See Calendar of the Patent Rolls: Edward II, 5 vols (London: Public Record Office, 1894-1904) (hereafter CPR), III: 1317-1321 (1903), p. 549.

(26) See Calendar of Charter Rolls, 6 vols (London: Public Record Office, 1903-27), iii (1908), 463-64. An inspeximus of April 1324 confirms grants and privileges, including church management, dating back to Henry Ills reign.

(27) See Victoria County History, II, 135. Pope Honorius III confirmed Fineshade s right to elect its own prior in May 1223.

(28) Prestwich, The Three Edwards: War and State in England 1272-1377, 2nd edn (London and NewYork: Routledge, 2003), p. 97.

(29) Notable examples are Vita Edwardi II, ed. and trans. Wendy R. Childs (Oxford: Clarendon, 2005), pp. 110-13, 120-23; and The Brut; or, the Chronicles of England, ed. Friedrich Brie, EETS, o.s. 131 and 136, 2 vols (London: Paul, Trench, and Trubner, 1906), i, 209-10.

(30) For the early development of the cult of 'Saint' Thomas of Lancaster, see John T. McQuillen, 'Who was St Thomas of Lancaster? New Manuscript Evidence', in Fourteenth Century England IV, ed. J. S. Hamilton (Woodbridge: Boydell, 2006), pp. 1-25; Danna Piroyansky, Martyrs in the Making: Political Martyrdom in Late Medieval England (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008); and Simon Walker, 'Political Saints in Later Medieval England', in Political Culture in Later Medieval England, ed. Michael Braddick (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2006), pp. 198-223. The most hagiographic chronicle sources are The Anonimalle Chronicle 1307-1334: From Brotherton Collection MS 19, ed. and trans. Wendy R. Childs and John Taylor (Leeds: Leeds University Press, 1991), itself a Brut continuation; and the Brut edited by Friedrich Brie (see previous note). This latter is a later Middle English translation of one of the Anglo-Norman Brut continuations discussed by Marvin, specifically the continuation to 1333 which Lister Matheson (The Prose Brut: The Development of a Middle English Chronicle (Tempe: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, 1998), pp. 34-37) classifies as the ' Long Version', written between 1333 and 1350. I cite Brie's edition because, with the exception of the excerpts included as an appendix by Marvin ('Albine and Isabelle', pp. 184-91), the Anglo-Norman has not yet been published. The Middle English translation was written a few decades after the composition of the Anglo-Norman original, and Matheson (p. 80) finds that it 'corresponds closely to the Anglo-Norman source'.

(31) For the estate and inheritance of 1297, see Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem and Other Analogous Documents, 8 vols (London: Public Record Office, 1901-13), III (1912), 279-80; iv (1913), 83-84; and Kew, The National Archives (hereafter TNA), Chancery Records, C 133/80/2. For Nicholas, see CPR, i: 1307-1313 (1894), 250, 269, 542; II: 1313-1317 (1898), 170; and Calendar of Inquisitions Miscellaneous (Chancery), 3 vols (London: Public Record Office, 1916-2003), ii (1916) (hereafter Inquisitions Misc.), 149.

(32) See CPR, I, 545, 549. John Engayne was summoned to military service against the rebels in 1322. His compliance is indicated by the fact that both men received commissions at the York Parliament immediately following the rebels' defeat. See Calendar of Chancery Warrants, 1244-1326 (London: Public Record Office, 1927), p. 587; Inquisitions Misc., p. 149.

(33) TNA, C 134/77/2.1. The writ ordering an inquisition post mortem into the Engayne estate is dated 28 September, from Durham.

(34) TNA, C 134/77/2.2 details the findings of the inquisition.

(35) CPR, iv: 1321-1324 (1904), 358 (emphasis added).

(36) CPR, iv, 238. This suggests that these knights, and possibly many others, never actually crossed the Channel at all during this period. The usual narrative for the years between the civil war and the invasion of 1326 has the Boroughbridge exiles meeting up with Isabella and Mortimer on the continent then invading with them, but it is likely that many of the poorer or unlanded knights relied on sympathetic help like this to stay in hiding during that time and only emerged when Isabella landed.

(37) Inquisitions Misc., pp. 274-75; Scott L. Waugh, 'Henry of Lancaster, third earl of Lancaster and third earl of Leicester (c. 1280-1345)', ODNB; Calendar of the Close Rolls: Edward III. Volume 1: 1327-1330 (London: Public Record Office, 1896), 425, 530-31, the latter being misfiled under December 1329 rather than 1330; see also Adam Murimuth, Continuatio Chronicarum, in Adae Murimuth Continuatio Chronicarum et Robert de Avesbury De Gestis Mirabilibus Regis Edwardi Tertii, ed. Edward Maunde Thompson (London: Longman, 1889), pp. 1-276 (p. 254).

(38) Inquisitions Misc., pp. 274-75; Calendar of the Close Rolls: Edward III, 437, 529.

(39) William Dugdale, The Baronage of England (London, 1675), p. 467.

(40) See TNA, C 133/80/2; TNA, C 134/77/2.1-2. Two men were assigned to conduct the inquisition post mortem in 1297; in 1322, thirteen were assigned to inquire into the inheritance of the same estate. There is no trace of such administrative pother in 1272, which was also a case of inheritance by a nephew, so lack of a direct heir cannot account for the difference.

(41) Fineshade Chronicle, fol. 86r, lines 12-14: 'Quem filius regis intuens in eum tantum protinus amorem iniecit quod cum eo firmitatis fedus iniit. & pre ceteris mortalibus indissolubile dileccionis vinculum secum elegit & firmiter disposuit innodare.' Punctuation and spelling follow the manuscript, with abbreviations expanded silently. Translations of the Chronicle are the author's own.

(42) Fineshade Chronicle, fol. 86v, lines 19-20. The full passage (lines 19-25) reads: 'O uiri execrabilis mors execranda. O mors nepharii quam nephanda. O mors impii impiissima. O mors scelerati sceleratissima. Nec immerito est mors eius tam vilis & reproba censenda, cuius pretextu tantus cruor & tam preciosus falso & maliciose effunditur subsequenter. Ecce nobilis Comes Warwici vir utique sapientissimus non longo postea tempore vitam finuit & suspicatur a multis quod non morte naturali sed impotionatus interiit. Aliorum quidem qui mortis dicti Petri fuerunt conscii. mors in tempus futurum exportatur [read 'expectatur'?]. de qua in suo forsitan euentu ad plenum dicetur.'

(43) Gilbert de Clare died in 1314, at the age of 23, during the Battle of Bannockburn, leaving the great Gloucester estate to be divided between his three sisters. The eldest, Eleanor, was married to Despenser, who was allotted the lions share of the Gloucester lands. Margaret, the second of Gloucester's sisters, was already Gavestons widow, and both she and the third sister, Elizabeth, were remarried to favourites of the king by 1317.

(44) Fineshade Chronicle, fol. 86r, lines 25-34: 'Quid plura? Antiquos thesauros & preciosa iocalia in gazophilacio Regis apud Westmonasterium per suos antecessores a tempore a quo non extitit memoria salvo depositos eidem Petro contulit & distribuit in proprium dedecus & dampnum grauissimum sui ipsius & totius populi anglicani. Quia exhausto thesauro suo proprio, statium indigebat auxilio populari talliagiaque eis imposuit. Sic pecuniam extorsit & leuare fecit non modicam ad depauperacionem gentis sue. Inter hec Comes Glouernie vniuerse viam carnis est ingressus relinquens post eum tres filias & vnicum filium heredem suum quas & quem idem comes de domina Johanna de Aconio filia regis Edwardi suscitauit. Quarum vnam dictus Rex prefato petro dedit in vxorem & ipsum Comitem fecit Cornubie iuxta sui desiderium prius conceptum & ordinatum.'

(45) Brandt, The Shape of Medieval History: Studies in Modes of Perception (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1966).

(46) Brandt, pp. 70-71.

(47) Brandt, pp. 76, 171, and elsewhere.

(48) Fineshade Chronicle, fol. 86v, lines 25-26: 'Hiis ita peractis; facte fuerunt ordinaciones pro custodia domus domini Regis'; fol. 86v, line 7: '[h]oc itaque sic prouiso cum transitum faceret versus castrum Bamptone'; fol. 86r, lines 20-21: 'factumque est ita'.

(49) Fineshade Chronicle, fol. 86r, lines 6-11: 'Cum idem Rex transfretasset in flandriam ... in ipsius mora ibidem sic facta accessit ad eum quidam Petrus de Gaualstona nomine de eadem prouincia oriundus ...'

(50) Fineshade Chronicle, fol. 86v, lines 27-28: 'Inter quas assignatus fuit dominus Hugo Dispencator filius non pater ad officium Camerarii domini Regis.'

(51) Fineshade Chronicle, fol. 87v, line 8: 'De opprobriis & iniuriis, contumeliis & conuiciis odiose sibi illatis & obiectis in eundo ad mortem mentis compassio & augustia dicere non permittunt.'

(52) Marvin, 'Albine and Isabelle', p. 176, anticipated on p. 174.

(53) Brut, ed. Brie, I, 219, 222 and elsewhere; McQuillen, 'Who was St Thomas of Lancaster?', p. 11; Piroyansky, Martyrs in the Making, p. 35.

(54) Foedera, II.2, 181.

(55) Fineshade Chronicle, fol. 87v, lines 9-16: 'O sanguis regius, sanguis egregius, sanguis generosus, sanguis etiam preciosus, cur tam contemptibiliter effusus? Quid mali fecisti? Que sunt insidie quas parasti? Contra quem vel quos arma portasti? An contra regem an contra alios pacis perturbatores? Si contra regem nephas extitisset. si contra inimicos terre tolerabile. Quod horum fecisti? Querela ista quanto plus recitata, tanto magis lamentabilis, & ideo quia non affert commodum nec factum sceleratum potest reuocari, maxime cum inimicis suis huius querela tamquam odiosa displiceat. De eius morte tacendum est ad presens.'
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