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Eleanor of Provence

Title social-status: 
Queen of England
Biography: 

Eleanor was one of the four daughters of Raymond Berengar V, count of Provence (grandson, nephew and cousin of kings of Aragon) and Beatrice of Savoy, a skilled diplomat from an important family. All four daughters were married to kings, a phenomenon noted by Dante (Par. 6.133-35): Marguerite married Louis IX of France in 1234, Eleanor Henry III of England in 1236(1); Sancha in 1243 married Richard of Cornwall, who became king of the Romans and Emperor in 1257, and Beatrice (heir to her father's land) married Charles I of Anjou, brother of Louis IX, who became king of Sicily in 1246. Eleanor and Henry had five children: Edward I (born 1239), who succeeded his father in 1272, Margaret (b.1240) who married Alexander III of Scotland in 1251, Beatrice (b.1242) who married John II of Brittany, Edmund, earl of Lancaster (b.1245), and Katharine who lived less than four years (1253-57).
Eleanor supervised the education of her son Edward, and watched over him, staying with him for three weeks when he was sick in 1246 in the Cistercian abbey at Beaulieu against Cistercian rules(2). She was the designated keeper of castles for him if Henry died, and worked consistently for his interests, with the support of her Savoyard uncles, who played important roles in the English court in the 1240's and 1250's(3). Edward rebelled against his mother and her family for a time, but he came to respect her abilities and value her devotion during the struggle to retain royal power, and they remained on good terms for the rest of her life.
There were times when Eleanor had to negotiate between her uncle Boniface, archbishop of Canterbury, and her husband, but he and Peter of Savoy were strong and key supporters of Eleanor and the monarchy. Howell describes Eleanor as a "highly significant political figure in the struggle between the king and the baronage," noting that she "encouraged the use of contingents of foreign knights to strengthen the royal power" in times of crisis, that she "gathered an army in the Low Countries, negotiated confidently with Louis IX of France and with the papacy, and by her energy and commitment helped to bring about the overthrow of Simon de Montfort and the rescue of her husband and eldest son from his control" (xviii).
Though Eleanor's political involvement led to some conflicts with Henry in the early 1250's, including her support of Simon de Montfort's actions in Gascony (Howell, chapter 3), he continued to rely on her abilities. When he left to deal with a rebellion in Gascony, Henry made a will leaving care of his heir and other children and all his territories to Eleanor, and appointed her regent, with the counsel (not co-regency) of his brother Richard: "Whereas the king has committed the governance of the realm of England and of the lands of Wales and Ireland to Queen Eleanor with the counsel of his brother Richard, earl of Cornwall, until his return from Gascony...," Patent Rolls, 4.206, July 3, 1253.
While the king was in Gascony, the entries in the Patent Rolls for 1253-54 are usually attested, that is officially issued, by either the queen or the earl of Cornwall, or both together. From August through October, they both "sign" in 5 of 6, but from November through the following May, she is the sole issuer in 40, he in 7.
In 1258, as her son was moving away from her and the Savoyard influence, there was an open split between Eleanor and the Lusignans who attempted to slander her, though the details of the slanders are not clear (Howell, chapter 6). But although she suffered from the anti-foreign feelings — she was once attacked by a mob from London Bridge when she was trying to go upriver (Howell, 196) — and the resentment against heavy taxation in the period of upheaval (1258-1263), Eleanor played a major role in restoring her husband and son to power (Howell, chapters 7 to 10). She was able to work with her enemies when it was in the interests of her husband and son, and she was highly effective at raising diplomatic and military support from her friends on the continent for their cause.
The queen also kept royal authority alive in Gascony, by going there and asserting it herself, while Henry and Edward were under Simon de Montfort's control. The Gascons and the French king Louis IX accepted Eleanor's right to act for Henry even in defiance of writs that were issued in his name at Simon's instance. Her success at raising an army to invade England in support of her captive husband and son was admired even by her enemies. But Eleanor's talents were financial as well as diplomatic. She had some control over her own resources and the appointments of her officials, and she managed to increase her holdings by buying debts and taking or leasing land given in surety for them and she held profitable wardships. She dealt with Jewish and Florentine financeers and her credit was good because she paid her debts(4). As a widow, Eleanor guarded her dowager rights, and kept her holdings even after she retired to the convent of Amesbury in 1286, a daughter-house of Fontevrault. At Amesbury, Eleanor joined two granddaughters, Edward's daughter Mary, and Beatrice's daughter Eleanor (who later became abbess of Fontevrault); they had both entered in 1285 at the queen's urging. She had a disagreement with Edward's wife, Eleanor of Castile, about Mary's enclosure, but they cooperated on behalf of another daughter, Eleanor, together convincing Edward in 1282 to keep his eldest daughter home an extra year after her marriage was contracted at 13 (Parsons, 37).
Though Amesbury was Benedictine, Eleanor had always been sympathetic and generous to the Franciscans, and had looked to them for spiritual guidance, particularly Robert Grosseteste, Adam Marsh, and Thomas of Hales (Howell, chapter 4). She was rumored to have written a 12,000 line romance, Blandin de Cournouailles, in her youth, but that legend has been discredited; she is known, however, to have purchased romances and she was the dedicatee of several books, the French life of Edward the Confessor perhaps by Matthew Paris and Rossignos by John of Howden (de Hoveden), the latter after her husband's death(5). Its subject matter suggests an interest in classical and Arthurian romance. Eleanor also carried on an extensive correspondence. Howell reports that some 160 of her letters to others are extant, many unpublished (293), and her messenger lists indicate the wide range of her correspondents (Howell, 106) (6). There are references to letters she wrote, which may not be extant: Adam Marsh mentioned in one letter to W. of Nottingham, a provincial minister, that the queen had written him an affectionate and powerful letter, asking him to come to her when he could ("Scripsit mihi domina regina litteram affectuosam et efficacem, ut, cum opportunitas se offeret, praesentiam ipsius adire non omitterem"), which Adam says would be difficult for him. Meanwhile, the countess of Leicester, Henry's sister, has also asked him to come to her, and he is anxious about that as well (ep.172). In another letter to the same person, in which he speaks of his then troubled relations with the archbishop of Canterbury, the queen's uncle, Adam says that there were letters from the queen with petitions for W., and a letter she sent Adam, which he sends on to W. ("A domina regina quoque, ut ipse mihi postea dixit, obtinuit litteras cum propriis petitoriis ad vos, pro beneplaciti sui complemento ad vos destinatas, qui postquam veni Oxoniam misit mihi litteram, quam praesentibus inclusam vobis transmitto," ep.188). Some of her letters are mentioned in the Calendar of the Patent Rolls, e.g. 4.557, "Notification that the king has inspected a letter obligatory of Queen Eleanor and Peter de Sabaudia [Savoy] to the abbot and convent of Cyrencestre touching a loan"; 4.558, "the queen having accepted his said account, and made quittance thereof by letters patent, which the king has inspected"; 4.635, "Inspeximus and confirmation of a writing of the queen to the abbot and convent of Wardon"; 5.123, "The king of France has like letters patent of the queen [of England] sealed with the queen's seal." Many of the documents in the Patent Rolls reflect Eleanor's involvement in financial matters, holding or selling wardships, making or buying loans, recommending or granting the pardon of debts (7): 3.244, 1241, Feb.12: Notification that John Lestrange to whom the king has committed the castles of Muntgumery, Shrewsbury and Bruges and the castles likewise of the county of Chester, during pleasure, has sworn on the Holy Gospels before the king and by letters patent bound himself that, in the event of the king's death, he will deliver the said castles to Eleanor, his queen, to the use of Edward his son and heir or another heir begotten or to be begotten by the king of the said queen; the king has granted to him that from the time when he has delivered the said castles to the queen, or her assigns, or if the king resume them, the said bond shall not be binding, but he and his heirs shall be quit therefore.
3.280 1242, April 8: The like [appointment during pleasure] of Bertram de Cryoyl to the custody of the castle of Dover, in this form, that he shall surrender it to no one but the king,and in the case of the king's death, to no one but Eleanor, the queen, to the use of the king's heirs and if the said Eleanor cannot come personally to receive it, then to no one but one of her uncles, not in the fealty of the king of France, to the use of the said heirs.
3.283 1242, April 26: Notification that Queen Eleanor, by licence of the king, has given to Bernard de Sabaudia [Savoy] the custody of Isabel the younger daughter and one of the heirs of Roger de Akeni, and of the land falling to her of the inheritance of her father, with her marriage, if the matrimony before contracted with her ought not to stand.
Grant to Queen Eleanor of the custody, during the minority of the heir, of the lands of Ralph de Tony, to receive in her wardrobe all the issues thereof, with the wards and escheats belonging thereto.
3.294 1242, April 7: Acknowledgment by Gilbert de Gegrave (sic) that he has received from the king the castle of Kenillewuth to keep in his fealty, during pleasure, in this form, to wit, that he will surrender it to none but the king during his life, and in case of the king's death during the said custody to none but Queen Eleanor to the use of the king's heir, and in case she cannot come personally, to none but one of the queen's uncles not of the fealty of the king of France, to the use of the said heir. And for the faithful observance of this he has sworn on the holy gospels before the king.
In like manner B. de Cryoyl has bound himself for the castles of Dover, Canterbury and Rochester.
In like manner, Richard de Munfichet has bound himself for the castles of Hertford and Colecestre.
4.151 1252, Oct.3: Grant to the king's consort A. his queen of the wardship of the lands late of Margery de Riperiis, countess of Devon, during the minority of Baldwin son and heir of B. de Insula, sometime earl of Devon, for the issues thereof to be delivered into her wardrobe for her expenses; and mandates to the tenants of the lands to be intendant to brother William de Tarente as her bailiff in all that pertains to that wardship.
4.220 1253, Aug.3: Grant to Peter de Sabaudia [Savoy] that if he have an heir male of his wife, he may assign or bequeath the wardship of his lands and heir to whom he will. The king also wills that the said heir shall not be married to anyone without the consent of Queen Eleanor and of Sanchia, countess of Cornwall, and the brothers of the said Peter.
4.452 1255, Nov.?: And because the Jews of Lincoln are bound to the queen in 172l.8s.2d. for her gold it is commanded that the said John and Simon cause to be levied without delay out of the clearer chattels and debts of the said Jews of Lincoln the said sum for the queen's use, and to do with the surplus what had been enjoined on them; for it is to the king's will that the queen be satisfied of her debt first, and they are to bear themselves herein so that she do not lose anything by their delinquency.
4.503 1256, Oct.14: Grant to the queen of the wardship of the lands and heirs late of Matthew de Fornellis, with the marriage of the heirs.
Mandate to the escheator in the county of Somerset to give her seisin thereof, with the receipts since the time of the taking of the lands into the king's hands.
The like to the escheator in the counties of Dorset, Wiltshire, Hereford and Devon.
4.529 1256, Nov.4: Grant to the queen of the wardship of the lands late of Walter Leydet, with the marriage of the heirs.
4.536 1257, Jan.3: Grant to the king's consort E[leanor], of the wardship of the lands and honours and the heir of William Lungespe, tenant in chief.
4.539 1257, Jan.27: Grant to the queen of the wardship of the manor of Cnolle, which was in the king's hands by reason of the death of Richard de Ortiaco, tenant in chief, and which the king committed in tenancy to William de Valers, king's yeoman, until he should assign to the said William 15l. yearly of land, which land has now been assigned to him.
4.540 1257, Jan.29: Grant to E. queen of England of the wardship of the lands late of Ralph de Valle Torta, with the marriage of the heirs, and of the marriage of the sometime wife of the said Ralph and the forfeiture due if she marry without the queen's licence.
4.554 1257, May 15: Ratification of a sale by Edward the king's son to Eleanor the queen and Peter de Sabaudia [Savoy], for 6000 marks in hand paid, of the wardship of the castles and lands of the inheritance of Robert de Ferariis, earl of Derby, which the said Edward had by grant of the king; with all fees and advowsons, wards, escheats and other profits falling in with the lands which Margery, countess of Ferrers holds in dower, if that dower fall in; and in case Robert die before coming of age, then they shall have the wardship during the minority of William, his younger brother, or of any other heir, with the marriage of the said William or other heirs, as is contained in the said sale.
4.557 1257, June 4: Notification that the king has inspected a letter obligatory of Queen Eleanor and Peter de Sabaudia [Savoy] to the abbot and convent of Cyrencestre touching a loan of 1000 marks made to the queen and Peter by Maynettus Spine and his fellows, merchants of Florence, for which loan the said abbot and convent are bound to the said merchants for the said queen and Peter; and gives his assent to the execution of the same.
4.562-63 1257, June 15 [a long entry which is excerpted here]: Bond by the king, Queen Eleanor and Edward their first-born son, to ... citizens and merchants of Florence, in 10000 marks of good, new and lawful sterlings, counting 13s. 4d. to the mark, which money they acknowledge have been paid to them renouncing all exceptions, with promise, singly and jointly, to pay the same before Midsummer, 1258 ... And for the payment of this they bind themselves, the realm, their heirs and all their goods, to wit, more particularly the fruits, rents and profits arising from void archbishoprics ... wardships ... sale of woods or forests and marriages ... escheats of Jewry ... obventions from ecclesiastical revenues ... said merchants shall out of money received ... satisfy king's envoys to court of Rome ... if not, bishops ... shall place king and chapels under ecclesiastical interdict ... until money is fully paid ... letters of indulgence ... shall be of no force ... said merchants can convene them before any judge whether in or out of England.
4.581 1257, Oct.14: Grant and sale to the queen of the wardship of the lands late of John de Dencurt, tenant in chief, with the marriage of the heirs; rendering as much as another would pay for it. Mandate to the tenants of the said John to be intendant to her.
4.614 1258, Jan.28 Grant to E., the queen of the wardship of the lands with the castles and other appurtenances late of Reynold de Mohun, with the keeping and marriage of the heirs, saving to his relict reasonable dower of the said lands; grant to her also of the marriage of the said relict, with the forfeiture thereof if she marry without the queen's licence.
Mandate to sheriffs, escheators and other bailifss in whose bailiwicks the lands of the said Reynold are, to give seisin thereof to Ralph de Aunger, the queen's steward, and Peter de Norton, her bailiff, or one of them.
4.635 1258, June 19 Inspeximus and confirmation of a writing of the queen to the abbot and convent of Wardon, dated at Westminster on 20 April, 42 Henry III, granting to them the keeping of the whole manor of Wardon, late of Barnabus de Stiuecle, the wardship of whose lands and heirs she has by gift of the king, to hold with all reliefs, wards, escheats and other appurtenances within and without the manor, for thirteen years from Michaelmas, 41 Henry III, saving, however, to the queen that her bailiffs shall make two views of frankpledge yearly in the said manor, giving back to the abbot and convent any amercements or other emoluments which they may receive in the said views. At the end of the term, the manor is to be given back to the queen to hold until the heirs of the said Barnabas pay her 300 marks whereof she acquitted the said manor toucing the Jewry towards Richard, king of Almain, to whom the manor devolved by grant of the king for the debt of the Jewry. And if the heir of the said Barnabas, who is in her wardship die before he come of age, and some heir of full age succeed, she will give back to the abbot and convent whatever is in arrear of 300 marks which they have paid to her for the said manor ...
5.48 1259, Oct.28: Confirmation of a lease for twelve years from Michaelmas, 43[rd year of reign of] Henry III, by Queen Eleanor to Henry de Ortiaco, of the manors of Langeport, Curririvel and Stoketristre, at a farm of 100l. a year, saving to her fees and escheats of tenants by knight service and advowsons of churches, at 100L. a year.
5.141 1261, Feb.11: Grant to Queen Eleanor of the wardship of the lands and heirs of Roesia de Dover, tenant in chief, with the marriage of the heirs.
5.225 1262, July 2: Commitment, during pleasure, to Henry Purcel, king's clerk, of all the lands late of Thomas Gresle who held in chief by barony, so that he answer for the issues to the queen or her assign in her wardrobe to the use of John de Britannia or Edmund the king's son.
5.162 1261, July 6: Grant to Robert, bishop of Durham, who paid to Eleanor queen of England, by order of the king, to the use of the king of Scotland, in part payment of a debt wherein the king is bound to the latter, 250L. by the hands of Masters William de Merewe and Robert de Driffeld, which sum the bishop owed the king for corn sown in the lands of the bishopric by the king during the last voidance, of the said crops.
5.170 1261, July 30: Whereas William de Swinburn, clerk of A. king of Scotland, came to the king to receive 1000L. which the king promised to pay to him at last Boston Fair, in part payment of what the king owes to the said Alexander; and the king paid the said William 1000 marks as part of the said 1000L.; and the said clerk has committed Alexander's receipt for 1000L. into the hands of Queen Eleanor, as an indifferent person, until Alexander sends a receipt for 1000 marks; the king promises, that upon receiving the receipt for 1000 marks, he will restore the said receipt for 1000L. [Afterwards his letter was surrendered and cancelled, because the king of Scotland sent a receipt for 1000 marks, and received by the hands of the queen his receipt for 1000L., and the receipt for 1000 marks was handed to H. de Gaunt, keeper of the wardrobe, by the hands of W. de Merton.]
5.219 1262, June?: Whereas the queen received a loan to the use of Edward, the king's first-born son, of 1,110 marks from Maynettus Spyne, Ruccus Cambii and their fellows, merchants of Florence, to be repaid on the quinzaine of Michaelmas next, out of the 1,200 marks which the said Edward is to receive from the king's Jewry for Michaelmas term according to a covenant made between the king and him; the king is willing that this be paid out of the Jewry accordingly.
5.381 1264, Feb.14: Appointment of the king's consort Eleanor, queen of England, Peter, count of Savoy, and John Maunsell, treasurer of York, to receive in the king's name the money which Louis, king of France, owes him by the form of the peace; with power to compound and make order with the said Louis touching the said money as they think fit.
The like, with this added, whatever they all or two of them, etc.
Appointment of the same to receive in the king's name his jewels in deposit at the Temple, Paris; with power to dispose thereof as shall be most for his advantage and honour.
Mandate to the treasurer of the said Temple to deliver the jewels to them when requested to do so by them.
5.441 1265, Aug.18: Commitment until further order to Alexander de Monte Forti of the lands of queen Eleanor in the counties of York, Lincoln, Nottingham and Derby, so that he answer for the issues to the king or queen at the king's mandate.
5.574 1266, March 30: Grant to queen Eleanor of the wardship of all lands late of Margaret, sometime countess of Lincoln, who held in chief, to wit, as well the lands of her inheritance as those which she held in dower of the lands which belong by inheritance to Henry de Lascy, the king's ward; to hold to her or her assigns, with knights' fees, advowsons of churches, wards, reliefs, escheats and other things that fall in, during the minority of the said Henry.
5.662 1266, March 20: To Louis, king of France. Whereas Queen Eleanor and Edmund the king's son for the king's urgent need in their own names sold to the said Louis and his heirs for 20,000 pounds of Tours, which they received, whatever of right or lordship the king had by grant made to him by the composition and peace entered into between Louis and the king, in the cities and dioceses of Limoges, Cahors and P‚rigueux; and all that which Louis is bound to compensate the king with in the said cities and dioceses for those things, persons or lands and other things which Louis cannot put out of his hands, according to the form of the said peace; and whatever of right or lordship the said queen and Edmund had therein or could come to the king or them: and whereas the said queen and Edmund promised and bound themselves to Louis to procure the king's ratification of the sales and if they did not procure this, they would restore the said 20,000 pounds of Tours and would also with this give 10,000 pounds of Tours in the name of a penalty; and the king did not ratify the said sale but has paid the said 20,000 pounds of Tours and is bound to send the said 10,000 pounds within a fortnight or three weeks of Whitsunday; the king requests the said Louis to cause the said land to be delivered to such person as the king is sending for this; and the king promises and binds himself to pay the said 10,000 pounds of Tours at the Temple within the said term of Whitsunday.
The Calendar of the Patent Rolls also records numerous actions taken at the queen's instance beginning in 1236:
3.155 1236, July 25: Grant to the abbess of Wilton, in consideration of her having, at the petition of Queen Eleanor, granted to Mabel de Braybof for life two liveries in her house, that she and her successors be quit of receiving into their house another nun at the petition of the said queen or otherwise during the life of the said queen, notwithstanding any privilege by reason whereof it belongs to the queen, as it is said, to make a nun in every religious house of the realm after her first coronation.
3.286 1242, May 4: Mandate to the abbot and convent of Stafford (sic) to pay the 11L.12d. a year, due from them for the farm of the land of Subbiry and Hamme, which the king, at the instance of Queen Eleanor, granted for life to Margery Biset, to the executors of the will of the said Margery or their assigns for three years after her death, to be bestowed on pious uses for her soul. And she has letters patent thereof directed "Omnibus."
4.528 1256, Nov.3: Exemption, for life, at the instance of queen Eleanor and in consideration of his services to the king and queen, of Jacob le Eveske, Jew of London, from all tallages, aids and demands, for 5 marks of silver a year payable at the Exchequer; saving fines (misericordiis) in which he may fall for any forfeiture touching his person.
4.542 1257, Feb.20: Exemption, for life, at the prayer of the queen — in pursuance of a like exemption made at the instance of the queen of Jacob le Evesk, Jew, deceased, from all tallages, aids and other demands for five marks yearly at the Exchequer — of Benedict son of the said Jacob, Jew of London, from the like, he rendering to the king yearly 5 marks at the Exchequer as his father did, saving to the king any fines for forfeitures into which he may fall.
4.558 1257, June 4: Acceptance of an account which the barons of the Exchequer received by order of queen Eleanor, to wit, of Master James, archdeacon of Salops', king's clerk, late treasurer of the queen, as well of all money received by him or the queen's clerks under him, as of all jewels and other things belonging to his keeping, from the time that he began to be the queen's treasurer until 4 June, 41[st year of reign of] Henry III, on which day he retired from the king and the queen with the king's licence, because he wanted to continue his studies and to attend to the cures of his benefices; the queen having accepted his said account, and made quittance thereof by letters patent, which the king has inspected; so that neither he nor anyone in his name can be disquieted or called to account by the king, the queen or the said barons at any time hereafter.
4.599 1257, July 20: Grant, at the instance of the queen, to the prioress of Cateby, that for three years from St. Peter's Chains she may appoint attorneys by her letters patent to make suits for her at counties, hundreds, and other courts of the king to which she ought to make suits.
4.607 1257, Dec.4: Simple protection, at the instance of the queen, for five years from Christmas for the abbot of Wardon.
4.613 1258, Jan.21: Exemption, for life, at the instance of the queen, of Hugh de Hoyvyle, knight, from being put on assizes, juries or recognitions and from being made sheriff etc. against his will.
4.626 1258, April 30: Whereas Geoffrey de Scalariis, tenant in chief, on account of old age and weakness, cannot henceforth personally do the king the service due at the king's armies and expeditions (equitationes); the king, at the instance of Queen E., grants that Geoffrey de Scalariis, his son and heir, shall do the service in his place for his life, so often as the king or his heirs shall happen to go on an expedition. ...
4.630 1258, May 27: Pardon at the instance of E. the queen and brother John de Derlynton to Gilbert le Bastard for the death of Ralph son of Gocellus.
5.23 1259, May 24 Pardon, at the instance of the queen, to John de Myre, son of Robert le Myre of Slipton in Craven, for the death of Thomas le Blunt, son of William le Blunt, of Derewentfelles, and of any consequent outlawry.
5.175 1261, Sept.15: Grant, at the instance of the queen, to the abbot of Gresting, that Robert Pykard, prior of Welmenton, John de Merse, parson of the church of Bercamsted, and John de Wengrave clerk, to whom in the king's presence he has given power for this, may appoint attorneys in his name to gain or lose for him in all pleas affecting him in England, for five years from the feast of St. Matthew next: and that for that term he shall be quit of common summons of eyres of the king's justices as well for pleas of the forest, as for common pleas.
5.177 1261, Sept.21: Quittance, at the instance of the queen, of Salamon le Evesk, Jew of London, for two years from Michaelmas, from all tallage.
5.241 1263, Jan.22: Pardon, at the instance of the queen, to Richard de Stokelle for the death of Robert le Wyte, as it appears by inquisition made by Martin de Lyttelbyry and Peter de Percy that he killed him in self defence.
5.515 1265, Nov.28: Although Robert son of William de Sutton was against the king in the time of the disturbance in the realm, the king, at the instance of Queen Eleanor, has admitted him to his peace, commanding all bailiffs not to molest him as to his person or his goods, so long as he be of good behavior.
The like for Robert son of Roland de Sutton.
5.515 1265, Nov.28: Pardon, at the instance of Queen Eleanor, to William son of Godwin de Gernemuta for the death of Andrew Bataill of Lenn, and of any consequent outlawry.
5.546 1266, Feb.9: Grant, at the instance of Queen Eleanor and of Isabel, countess of Albemarle, to Maud wife of John de Chirchehull, the king's enemy, who is in prison, that beyond the portion which the king has assigned to her out of the lands late of the said John in Chirchehull and Puplinton, which portion is so small that she cannot be maintained thereof, she shall have a farm of two virgates of land in Brocton which John held for a term of five years and which have been extended at 2 marks yearly, from which the abbot of Persore takes yearly 20s. as is said. Grant to her also of another farm of a virgate of land in the same town which he held for a term of fifteen years and which has been extended at 8s. yearly in augmentation of the sustenance of her and her children; to hold as John held these farms until the end of the terms.
Grant, by way of grace and humanity and at the instance of the said queen and countess and because of the small value of the lands, to the same Maud that of the lands of her husband in Chirchehull and Pupplinton which the king lately gave to Thomas Boterel and which have been extended at 4l. 13s. 5d. yearly, of which the recluse of St. Nicholas, Worcester, takes yearly 31s. whereby the residue of the lands does not exceed 62s. 5d. she shall have a moiety of the lands, with the escheats, wards, reliefs and other things pertaining to such moiety, which have been extended at 31s. 2 1/2d. yearly, for the sustenance of herself and her children for her life, by the title of a free tenement, and she shall have, besides 16s. yearly of rent of four free tenants in Aston and 4s. yearly of rent of one free tenant in Spechele, which are her frank marriage, as is said, for her sustenance as above.
5.678 1266, Sept.27: Exemption, at the instance of Queen Eleanor, of the abbess and convent of St. Edward's, Shaftesbury, from any further livery during the life of the abbess, for their courtesy in granting, at the like instance, to Hawise de Weston, damsel of the queen, a livery of two nuns in all things from their house of Shaftesbury whenever she shall stay there, to be taken by herself or her attorney.

Biographical notes: 

(1)Letters about the marriage between Henry and Eleanor's parents, her uncle, and the pope can be found in Rymer, Foedera 1.341, 343, 344-5, 345-6, 448-9, 478. (2) Margaret Howell, Eleanor of Provence, Queenship in Thirteenth-Century England (Oxford: Blackwell, 1998), 100. Howell is the source for most of the information given here about Eleanor. Eleanor had, however, been granted permission by Innocent IV in 1243, to enter the oratories and cloisters of Cistercian monasteries for prayer, accompanied by ten honorable women, Rymer, Foedera, 1.417. (3) There were conflicts at court between the Savoyards and Henry's Lusignan relatives (his half-brothers from his mother's second marriage). J.C. Parsons, Eleanor of Castile (New York: St. Martin's, 1995), says the Savoyard relatives were "better behaved and less odious to the realm at large" than the Lusignans, 21, but they were all caught in the zenophobia of the 1258 revolution, Howell, chapter 7. (4) For details on Eleanor's financial dealings and references to unpublished material mentioned below, see Margaret Howell, "The Resources of Eleanor of Provence as Queen Consort," EHR 102 (1987), 372-93, from which the material in this passage is drawn. Records of holdings assigned to her by Peter of Savoy can be found in Rymer, Foedera, 1.848, 860, and by Henry III in 1.874; and a tithe assigned to her by Henry in 1.864-5. Other records of Eleanor's financial dealings that appear in the Calendar of Patent Rolls are listed below in the biography. (5) J. C. Parsons, "Of Queens Courts, Books," J.H. McCash, ed., The Cultural Patronage of Medieval Women (Athens: University of Georgia, 1996), 176 and 188. Parsons describes Eleanor's literary interests as devotional and dynastic. (6)Howell mentions letters from Eleanor to her son Edward, p.296, to be found in special collections of Ancient Correspondence (SC 1/16/197, 1/47/108, 1/16/152, 1/16/203 and a letter from Eleanor to John Kirkby (SC 1/10/42). John Parsons mentions one to Edward, 1/23/21 [Ancient Correspondence of the Chancery and Exchequer, Marlborough, 22 April, 1287] after Eleanor's profession in July 1286, in Eleanor of Castile (New York: St. Martin's, 1995), p.270, note 104). (7) Matthew Paris, who did not approve of the queen or her Savoyard relatives, speaks of tyrannies committed in her wardships by her representatives: "At that time, the custody of lands of William de Cantelupo which had been given to Edward, and of William Longsword, were granted to the queen and immediately committed to her seneschal brother WIlliam de Tarente, who swallowed the profits as a bloodsucker does blood. Whence, the bailiffs who were established under that brother William, assuming horns from the patronage of such a lady, oppressed the neighbors and with little or no cause impoverished them. And thus, as in ancient days, many kings tyrannized in England," CM, 5.621 for 1257.