Monday, 18 June 2012

700th anniversary

Today, June 19th marks 2012 marks the 700th anniversary of Piers Gaveston’s death.    To mark the anniversary this year, I thought I’d take a look at the inscription on the Gaveston Cross memorial.   My first ever post on this blog was about my search for this monument.  It is a Grade II listed monument, hidden away, and no-one seems to know who the monument actually belongs to.  The monument is made of sandstone and is over 6 metres tall.  It was put up by a local squire called Bertie Greatheed who lived nearby at Guys Cliffe.  I’ve never found out what inspired him to put this monument in place.  If he was an admirer of Piers,  why does it have such an awful inscription on it?  The inscription was written by a local curate and friend, Dr Samuel Parr.  It reads –

In the Hollow of this Rock,
Was beheaded,
On the 1st Day of July, 1312,
By Barons lawless as himself,
PIERS GAVESTON, Earl of Cornwall;
The Minion of a hateful King:
In Life and Death,
A memorable Instance of Misrule.

The date is incorrect and it hardly honours Piers, Edward II or those who set out to kill him, so maybe it was purely the local history of the place, that inspired him.   So for the 700th anniversary, I shall write what I would like to see inscribed.

In the Hollow of this Rock

Was unjustly executed

By over-mighty barons

On June 19th 1312

Piers Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall

Devoted and loyal friend of King Edward II

RIP Piers Gaveston.  I shall raise a glass of wine and toast as usual.


Kathryn Warner said...

That's a MUCH better inscription, Anerje! Love it!

I will also raise a toast to Piers today. Ah, what a sad anniversary. :-(

Anerje said...

Thanks Kathryn. I could write an even better one, but decided to keep it relevant:> I think Piers would like the idea of toast in his memory. Gascon wine anybody? :>

Gabriele C. said...

Your version is certainly more just.