Feminae: Medieval Women and Gender Index


  • Record Number: 36732
  • Author(s)/Creator(s): Ward , Jennifer
  • Contributor(s):
  • Title: Elizabeth de Burgh, Lady of Clare (1295-1360): Household and Other Records
  • Source: Elizabeth de Burgh, Lady of Clare (1295-1360): Household and Other Records.Jennifer Ward.  Boydell Press, 2014.  Pages 1 - 154.
  • Description: Jennifer Ward has selected and translated sections from Elizabeth de Burgh's account records. An heiress, along with two sisters, to the Clare earls, Elizabeth, as a long-lived widow, exercised great influence due to her connections, income, lands, and patronage.
  • Article Type: Translation
  • Subject (See Also): Elizabeth de Burgh, Lady of Clare Households- Accounts Noble Women Patronage Widows Wills
  • Award Note:
  • Geographic Area: British Isles
  • Century: 14
  • Primary Evidence: Household Account ; Account records translated in the book include those for servants and retainers, goldsmiths, the Lady's private expenditures, feast and fast days, almsgiving, patronage of religious houses, and Elizabeth de Burgh's will. The accounts book are located in the National Archives, London.
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  • Abstract: Noble widows were powerful figures in the later Middle Ages, running their own estates and exercising considerable influence. Elizabeth de Burgh (1295-1360), daughter of one of the most powerful earls in England and cousin of Edward II, lost her third husband at the age of twenty-six, and spent the rest of her life as a widow. In 1317, having inherited one-third of the lands of her brother, Gilbert de Clare, earl of Gloucester and Hertford, who had been killed at Bannockburn three years earlier, she established herself at Clare, which became her main administrative centre for her estates in East Anglia, Dorset and South Wales. She enjoyed a noble lifestyle, was lavish in her hospitality to family and friends, entertaining Edward III in 1340, and she displayed her piety through her patronage of religious houses and her foundation of Clare College in Cambridge. Her life and activities are portrayed in vivid detail in her household accounts and her will, selected extracts from which are provided in this volume. Altogether, 102 accounts of various types survive from the years of her widowhood, and the records here have been chosen to illustrate the great range of information provided, throwing light on Clare castle itself and its furnishings, daily life and religious practice, visitors, food and drink, livery and retainers, travel, and business.
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  • Conference Info: - , -
  • Year of Publication: 2014.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN/ISBN: 9781843838913