Sunday, December 30, 2012

Today's Research snippet. Eleanor of Aquitaine and the chalice

Today's research snippet. On medieval wheeler dealering and diplomacy.
The monks of Bury St. Edmunds offered King Richard I, 500 marks in 1190 for the manor of Mildenhall. (he was off on crusade and needed the cash). But Richard was told by his advisors that the manor's annual income was worth more than that and he demanded 1,000 marks. The monks braced themselves and coughed up even the the price was double. Part of the rule of property transactions was that the Queen was entitled to 100 marks on every transaction of 1,000. The monks, offered her instead a gold chalice that had been donated to them by her late husband Henry II. She accepted it, but then immediately gave it back for Henry's soul.
A few years later, strapped for cash when having to raise their part of the contribution to King Richard's ransom, the monks gave the chalice as part of the payment. Eleanor redeemed it with a payment of her own of 100 marks and returned it to the abbey on the proviso that they made a charter to always keep it there. (Having to keep redeeming it back to them meant she was already 200 marks out of pocket, never mind the spiritual implications!).

Taken from Jocelin of Brakelond's Chronicle of the Abbely of Bury St. Edmunds

Today's random research photo:
The tomb effigy face of Richard the Lionheart taken from the Cast Court effigies at the V&A Museum.

click to enlarge 

1 comment:

Jan Jones said...

sneaky, those medieval monks...