Seneschal of Gascony

Last updated

The Seneschal of Gascony was an officer carrying out and managing the domestic affairs of the lord of the Duchy of Gascony. During the course of the twelfth century, the seneschalship, also became an office of military command. After 1360, the officer was the Seneschal of Aquitaine. [1] There was an office above the seneschalcy, the Lieutenancy of the Duchy of Aquitaine, but it was filled only intermittently (in times of emergency).

Duchy of Gascony

The Duchy of Gascony or Duchy of Vasconia was a duchy in present southwestern France and northeastern Spain, part corresponding to the modern region of Gascony after 824. The Duchy of Gascony, then known as Wasconia, was originally a Frankish march formed to hold sway over the Basques (Vascones). However, the Duchy went through different periods, from its early years with its distinctively Basque element to the merger in personal union with the Duchy of Aquitaine to the later period as a dependency of the Plantagenet kings of England.

The word seneschal can have several different meanings, all of which reflect certain types of supervising or administering in a historic context. Most commonly, a seneschal was a senior position filled by a court appointment within a royal, ducal, or noble household during the Middle Ages and early Modern period – historically a steward or majordomo of a medieval great house. In a medieval royal household, a seneschal was in charge of domestic arrangements and the administration of servants, which, in the medieval period particularly, meant the seneschal might oversee hundreds of laborers, servants and their associated responsibilities, and have a great deal of power in the community, at a time when the much of the local economy was often based on the wealth and responsibilities of such a household.

The Lieutenant of the Duchy of Aquitaine was an officer charged with governing the Duchy of Aquitaine on behalf of the King of England. Unlike the seneschalcy of Gascony, the lieutenancy was not a permanent office. Lieutenants were appointed in times of emergency, due either to an external threat or internal unrest. The lieutenant had quasi-viceregal authority and so was usually a man of high rank, usually English and often of the royal family.

Contents

The seneschal managed the household, coordinating between the receivers of various landholdings and the chamber, treasury, and the chancellory or chapel. The seneschals of Gascony, like those appointed in Normandy, Poitou, and Anjou had custody of demesne fortresses, the regional treasuries, and presidency of the highest court of regional custom. Detailed records of the Gascon Exchequers during the reign of Henry III of England indicate that there most likely was a functioning exchequer.

The Seneschal of Normandy was an officer carrying out and managing the domestic affairs of the lord of the Duchy of Normandy. During the course of the twelfth century, the seneschalship, also became an office of military command.

The Seneschal of Poitou was an officer carrying out and managing the domestic affairs of the lord of the County of Poitou. During the course of the twelfth century, the seneschalship, also became an office of military command.

A seneschal was an officer of an aristocratic household assigned to manage the domestic affairs of the lord. During the course of the twelfth century, the seneschalship also became an office of military command.

List of Seneschals

Robert of Thornham was an English soldier and administrator. The namesake of his landowner father, he was the younger brother of Stephen of Thornham. Robert made his reputation in connection with the conquest of Cyprus in 1191 during the Third Crusade. On order of King Richard I, he led half the fleet in that battle. Subsequently, he was responsible for controlling the island when the Crusaders moved on, first jointly with Richard de Camville and then independently, when he defeated a group of Cypriot rebels. After he left Cyprus, Robert became more closely identified with Richard I. As the king's familiaris, he carried Richard's equipment from the Holy Land to England. When Richard I was captured in 1192 in Vienna, among the terms of his release was the presentation of men to stand as "pledges" that the ransom would be paid. Robert was among these hostages, though evidently not for long, as he was back by the king's side in 1194 at Poitiers. Appointed Seneschal of Anjou, he served in France with Richard I, primarily in Anjou and Normandy, throughout the rest of Richard's reign. At around the same time, he was also appointed High Sheriff of Surrey, but he did not return to England until after Richard's death. In 1196, he led troops at Richard's behest into Brittany on an unsuccessful attempt to capture the child Duke of Brittany Arthur, whose mother Constance was resistant to Richard's control. In 1197, King Richard arranged for Robert to marry Isabella Fossard, daughter and heiress of the powerful Yorkshire baron William Fossard. The Fossard inheritance included the castle, honor, and lordship of Mulgrave with 34.5 attached knight's fees.

Philip of Oldcoates was an English nobleman and royal official.

Hugh de Vivonne French knight

Hugh de Vivonne was a French knight from Vivonne in the County of Poitou. He was loyal to the Plantagenet family and supported their right to vast lands in France. From 1215 onward he made his home in England, where he was constable of Bristol Castle and later High Sheriff of Somerset and Dorset (1241–49). He married an English lady and became lord of Chewton and Curry Mallet. He received further English estates in compensation for the loss of his lands in France. Yet, as a foreign soldier in the king's pay, he has been described as merely a "Poitevin mercenary captain".

Notes

Related Research Articles

Sir John de Benstede KB (c.1275 –1323/4) was a prominent member of the English royal household in the late 13th and early 14th century. He was Prebendary of Sandiacre from 3 February 1297 until, presumably, 1308, when he married. He was also King's Secretary, and he served variously as keeper of the Great Seal and controller of the wardrobe. He also served as Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1305-1306, and as a royal judge from 1309 onwards.

Wardrobe (government) department of the kings household in medieval England

The King's Wardrobe, together with the Chamber, made up the personal part of medieval English government known as the King's household. Originally the room where the king's clothes, armour, and treasure were stored, the term was expanded to describe both its contents and the department of clerks who ran it. Early in the reign of Henry III the Wardrobe emerged out of the fragmentation of the Curia Regis to become the chief administrative and accounting department of the Household. The Wardrobe received regular block grants from the Exchequer for much of its history; in addition, however, the wardrobe treasure of gold and jewels enabled the king to make secret and rapid payments to fund his diplomatic and military operations, and for a time, in the 13th-14th centuries, it eclipsed the Exchequer as the chief spending department of central government.

Henry I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, called the Admirable, a member of the House of Welf, was the first ruler of the Principality of Grubenhagen from 1291 until his death.

John de Cheverston, Captain of Calais, Seneschal of Gascony was a 14th-century English noble.

Thomas d'Ippegrave was an English official who had "a career fairly characteristic of the more capable clerks" in the household of the Lord Edward, future Edward I of England. He was a member of the Privy Council of Ireland in 1264, served as Constable of the Tower and Lord Mayor of London in 1268 and then served as Seneschal of Gascony from 1268 until 1269.

Drogo de Barentyn English knight and administrator who served as Warden of Guernsey and Jersey, Seneschal of Gascony and Constable of Windsor Castle

Sir Drogo de Barentyn was an English knight and administrator who served as Warden of Guernsey and Jersey, Seneschal of Gascony and Constable of Windsor Castle. He held a manor at Chalgrove, South Oxfordshire, known as Barentin's Manor.

Sir John de Wisham of Little Ellingham, was an English knight and administrator who served as Constable of St Briavels Castle, Justice of North Wales, Seneschal of Gascony (1324–1325) and Captain of Berwick-upon-Tweed (1316).

Rostan de Soler was a 13th-century Gascon knight and administrator who served as lieutenant of the Seneschal of Gascony in 1231 and then Seneschal of Gascony 1241–43. During his seneschalcy, King Henry III of England, who was also the hereditary Duke of Aquitaine and Gascony, launched the a war against France. One of the lead citizens (prud'hommes) of Bordeaux, he served two terms as mayor there in 1237–38 and 1241.

The Seneschal of Ponthieu was an officer carrying out and managing the domestic affairs of the lord of the County of Ponthieu. During the course of the twelfth century, the seneschalship, also became an office of military command.

References