Whatever the relationship between Edward II and Piers– whether they were part of a brotherhood or, more likely lovers, - Edward’s devotion and loyalty after the death of Piers is surely one of the most positive things anyone could say about Edward II. My last post dealt with the elaborate funeral of Piers – for which Edward II waited almost 3 years to carry out. After the funeral – either 2nd or 3rd of January 1315, Edward remained at Langley until January 18th. He more than likely took the time to come to terms that finally he had buried Piers, whilst still seeking to avenge his murder. In years to come, Edward would continue to send money to pay for prayers to be said for Piers and sent gifts such as fine cloths to the Priory.
Edward did not forget the servants of Piers. Many had previously been in his own service, but now he received many of them back into his service or provided for them. No doubt the rebellious nobles quietly seethed at Edward’s continued love and loyalty to the memory of Piers.
Piers widow, Edward’s nice, Margaret de Clare, was also taken care of. Of course, she was part of Edward’s family anyway, that was part of the reason Edward had married her to Piers – to bring him into his family. She was endowed with castles, manors and grants. He would later arrange another marriage for her – to his favourite Hugh Audley, in 1317. Edward also arranged for the daughters of Piers to be taken care of. Piers had 2 daughters – his daughter with Margaret, Joan, and an illegitimate daughter, Amie Gaveston. Joan was only a few months old when her father died. Edward sent her to be raised at a convent at Amesbury. Here she received an allowance and was educated in comfortable surroundings. He also planned a grand marriage for her – first to Thomas Wake, who went on to marry someone else against the King’s wishes, and then to John, the heir of the Earl of Egremont, Thomas de Multon. The marriage would take place when Joan was of a suitable age. Sadly, the marriage never took place, as Joan died of an unknown illness in 1325.
Piers illegitimate daughter, Amie, fared better. Her mother is unknown, but Amie secured a position at court, serving both Queen Isabella and Edward II’s daughter-in-law Philippa. A marriage to John de Driby was arranged for her.
I often wonder what Edward II thought when he saw Piers daughters. Did they resemble their father? He must have seen Amie around the court, a constant reminder of his loss. It is a credit to Edward that he cared for the family and servants of his beloved Piers Gaveston.
Sources - J S Hamilton 'Piers Gaveston, Politics and Patronage in the reign of Edward II'.