JiscMail Logo
Email discussion lists for the UK Education and Research communities

Help for MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Archives


MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Archives

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Archives


MEDIEVAL-RELIGION@JISCMAIL.AC.UK


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Home

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION Home

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION  March 2009

MEDIEVAL-RELIGION March 2009

Options

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password

Subject:

Re: Fw: The Italian jobs - Oxford DNB Life of the Day

From:

Rosemary Hayes-Milligan and Andrew Milligan <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

medieval-religion - Scholarly discussions of medieval religious culture <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Sun, 8 Mar 2009 15:55:18 -0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (642 lines)

medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

Not at all Brenda.  George told me not to forward whole life just the link, 
though.  I have been doing it for last couple of years.  Do you want to take 
over?

best
Rosemary
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Ms B M Cook" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, March 08, 2009 3:33 PM
Subject: [M-R] Fw: The Italian jobs - Oxford DNB Life of the Day


medieval-religion: Scholarly discussions of medieval religion and culture

I think this is one for us!
I am quite happy to forward the OBNDLIFEOFTHEDAY to the list if the subject
is pre-1600 and if the list want it, and if Rosemary H-M doesn't think I am
poaching.

BMC

.
----- Original Message ----- 
From: <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, March 07, 2009 12:00 PM
Subject: The Italian jobs - Oxford DNB Life of the Day


New biography podcast: Lawrence Oates, polar explorer:
http://www.oup.com/oxforddnb/info/freeodnb/pod/

There's more on Captain Scott's 1912 Antarctic expedition in Max Jones's
'reference group' essay http://www.oxforddnb.com/public/themes/95/95247.html
and many more groups in Themes:  http://www.oxforddnb.com/themes/


5 March: first Oxford DNB print supplement published - biographies of 819
men and women who died between 2001 and 2004

http://www.oup.com/oxforddnb/info/print/supplement/



========================================================================



To read this Life of the Day complete with a picture of the subject,
visit http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/lotw/2009-03-07



Hawkwood, Sir  John  (d. 1394), military commander, was the second son of
Gilbert Hawkwood, a tanner and minor landowner at Sible Hedingham, Essex,
where the family had held land since the beginning of the thirteenth
century. The date of his birth is not recorded, but he was evidently in his
early manhood by the time of his father's death in 1340, since, along with
his elder brother, also called John, and the vicar of Gosfield, he was made
one of the executors who secured legal possession and power of
administration of the properties mentioned in Gilbert's will.

Military apprenticeship and early campaigns

Little is known about Hawkwood's life before 1340, or his whereabouts during
the next twenty years. The tradition that he was apprenticed to a London
tailor has generally been dismissed, although his father had important
connections with the London merchant community, and apprenticeship of sons
of the gentry was not uncommon. The story may have arisen from a misreading
of Matteo Villani's chronicle, but it is also recounted by the generally
reliable Monk of Westminster, who believed the apprenticeship was to a
hosier. That he was recruited for service in Edward III's wars in France is
certain. This may have been as early as the campaigns in Brittany in 1342-5,
and tradition has it that he fought at Crecy and Poitiers, on one of which
occasions he may have won his spurs; but it is equally possible that he did
not see service in France much before the great campaign of 1359-60. The
appearance of his arms in an Anglo-Scottish roll of arms, which can be dated
to the years 1357-61, is more likely to indicate his participation in a
tournament at Smithfield on St George's day 1358, than his involvement in a
crusade to Prussia during these years.

The first real evidence of Hawkwood's life as a soldier is from 1360, when,
following the peace concluded at Bretigny in May, he was serving in one of
the brigades (routes) of freebooters, the 'great companies' (grandes
compagnies), sometimes known as 'latecomers' (tard-venus) because they had
formed together from different bands following the conclusion of peace, and
were in many cases raiding territories already plundered and devastated in
previous raids. During the night of 28-29 December, in an abortive attempt
to seize a part of the money collected for the ransom of Jean, king of
France, a number of these companies occupied Pont Saint Esprit in the Rhone
valley and blockaded Avignon, before being bought off by the pope. Some of
them (as many as three-fifths of the total, according to Froissart;
constituting some 3500 cavalry and 2000 infantry according to Matteo
Villani) including Hawkwood, were recruited to serve the marquess of
Montferrat in his war against the Visconti of Milan. When they first
appeared in Italy, they were known as the great company of English and
Germans (magne societatis Anglicorum et Alamanorum) and subsequently as the
English White Company (compagne bianca degli inghilesi; societatis albe
Anglicorum), and were commanded by a German mercenary called Albert Sterz,
who had seen service in the French wars, and according to the Italian
chronicler Piero Azario was 'so valiant in the field as to inspire others
with courage'  (Azario, col. 380), and who had the advantage that he could
speak English. Before advancing into the Milanese, they created havoc in
Piedmont, which at the time formed part of the territories of the count of
Savoy, who was then allied to the Visconti, taking the count and some of his
principal barons prisoner in a surprise attack on the town of Lanzo in the
autumn of 1361, and ransoming them for 180,000 florins. Some contingents,
Hawkwood apparently among them, may then have returned to France, where they
joined forces with other routes of the great companies, together defeating a
French army commanded by Jacques de Bourbon at Brignais (6 April 1362),
before returning to Italy to rejoin Sterz, who remained in Montferrat's
service until July 1363. Here, they devastated the countryside on either
side of the River Po from Novaro to Pavia and Tortona, crossing the Ticino
to proceed within 6 miles of Milan, before returning to Romagnano and
defeating the Milanese forces commanded by another German mercenary, Konrad
von Landau, at the bridge of Canturino on 22 April.

Following this victory, in July 1363 Sterz was appointed captain-general of
the Pisan army for six months, the republic at that time being allied to
Milan and at war with Florence; but on the expiry of his contract in
December, Hawkwood replaced him as commanding officer, and the companies
under his command were reformed. Sterz, an Englishman called Andrew Belmont,
and later Haneken Bongard (another German mercenary hired by Montferrat),
became Hawkwood's subordinate officers until they deserted Pisan service for
that of Florence in the following summer. Thereafter Hawkwood never left
Italy, and when he was not fighting on his own account he was successively
employed by Bernabo Visconti of Milan (1368-72) principally in his wars with
the Florentine league, by Pope Gregory XI in his attempts to restore papal
authority in Italy (September 1372-April 1377), and subsequently in the
service of the Florentine republic. He fought in the kingdom of Naples for
both Charles of Durazzo (1382-3) and Queen Marguerite (1386 and 1388-9), and
in the Veronese for Francesco Carrara, marquess of Padua (1386-7). But
during the last fourteen years of his life, from the spring of 1380, his
services were principally, although by no means exclusively, contracted to
Florence, latterly as captain-general of the army of the republic.

Hawkwood was undoubtedly one of the ablest military commanders of his day,
and acknowledged as such by his contemporaries; but he was not crowned with
success immediately. He suffered several fairly serious set-backs in the
1360s, and fortune did not come his way until several years into the next
decade. There was no real stability in the composition, nor continuity in
the command, of the various English brigades serving in Italy before they
were brought together under his command in the service of the church in
1372; but from that time onwards his reputation was in the ascendant,
despite continuing evidence of insubordination in the English forces serving
under him. When Sterz and Bongard deserted Pisan service in the summer of
1364, joining forces to form the Company of the Star, which headed south for
the kingdom of Naples, the majority of the English contingents formerly
serving with Hawkwood had joined a new Anglo-Hungarian White Company, of
which Hugh Mortimer, lord of La Zouche, was captain-general, and Hawkwood
was left with only 800 of his men in Pisan pay. The war with Florence went
badly, and his forces suffered continual set-backs and a serious defeat at
the hands of the Florentine army, which had an overwhelming numerical
superiority. After a revolution in Pisa, in which he played no small part,
the Pisans were obliged to make peace on humiliating terms.

Thereafter, although the Florentine republic twice sought Hawkwood's
services (in July 1365 and the spring of 1367), he refused them, preferring
to resume his old profession of free-lance in the Perugino, and still
hankering after Pisan employ. Perhaps it was a mistake. Defeated with
considerable losses in a pitched battle with Bongard on 25 July 1365, he
joined his English forces for a while with those of Ambrogio, one of Bernabo
Visconti's illegitimate sons, to form the Company of Saint George, but
abandoned it in the spring of 1366. In June 1369 he was taken prisoner by
two other German mercenaries, Johann Flach von Reischach and Johann von
Riedheim, who were then in papal service. While in the service of the
Visconti the fortunes of his brigade among predominantly German forces were
mixed. Defeated by a Florentine army before Reggio in August 1370, Hawkwood
subsequently surprised the forces of the Florentine league in an ambush near
Mirandola, taking their commanders-in-chief prisoner. Then, on 2 June 1372,
only a matter of months before quitting Milanese service, he defeated a
considerably larger army under Lutz von Landau, which was coming to the aid
of the marquess of Montferrat, who was once again at war with the Visconti.
After switching from Milanese to papal service in the autumn of 1372, he
pursued and virtually annihilated the Milanese forces on the Panaro between
Modena and Bologna in the following January, but subsequently failed to
effect a junction with the count of Savoy's forces when they crossed the
Ticino in February, an essential part of the strategic plan of campaign in
that year.

The English companies

Hawkwood's military fortunes were in part determined by the composition of
the forces serving under him. The mercenary companies employed by the
different Italian states in the second half of the fourteenth century,
placed under the command of one or more captains-general, were made up of a
variable number of brigades, each under a captain or constable, depending on
the number of units of which they were composed. Among the English
contingents the essential unit was the lance, introduced to Italy by the
White Company, with its distinctive three-man lance component (two
men-at-arms and a page), and its combination with archers, equipped with
longbows, some accompanied by a page. A lance thus normally constituted four
or five men. The men-at-arms were mounted on war-horses or dextriers, the
archers and their pages on lighter horses or rouncies. Hawkwood's personal
brigade was almost always small in comparison to the total forces under his
command or in which he served; but it was the essential nucleus, with a
greater continuity in its personnel than in the companies under his command,
where the number and personnel of the brigades fluctuated, often because of
the recruitment policies of rival employers. The Visconti had been
accustomed to employing German and Hungarian mercenaries, and it was
alongside these contingents, always in the majority, that he had fought for
Bernabo from 1368 to 1372. However, following his engagement in papal
service in September 1372, the forces which were brought under his command,
and which were styled the English Company (compagnie seu societatis
Anglicorum), was an amalgam of the English brigades that had previously
operated under different commanders, and of which he became captain-general
following the conclusion of the offensive of 1373. A significant number of
the constables serving with him came from Essex, some of the more notable
among them from villages and manors in the neighbourhood of Sible Hedingham.
The English brigades were also distinguished by their habit of dismounting
to fight on foot, and being accustomed to riding at night and fighting deep
into the winter.

These essential features of the forces at his disposal served Hawkwood well;
but they were brought into play by his real talent as a military commander:
in effecting long marches, creating diversions, and pulling victory out of
failure. He also built up a well-organized intelligence service, and was
adept in the use of disinformation, seeking safe conducts for routes he had
no intention of taking, dispatching letters detailing sensitive troop
movements which were intended to be leaked to the enemy, feigning a retreat
while he placed his troops in ambush, or disguising another with a
smokescreen of presence. He was well aware that careless words cost lives,
and played his cards close to his chest. Even his closest councillors were
frequently kept in the dark about his true intentions until the last minute,
and there is ample evidence to show that outside informers were invariably
perplexed as to what his next moves might be.

Hawkwood's military achievements

These characteristics of Hawkwood's military genius were displayed on many
occasions. Following his defeat by Giangaleazzo Visconti at Montechiaro on 8
May 1373, he rallied his forces, pursued the Milanese, routed them, and took
their principal officers prisoner. In command of the Paduan forces in 1387,
he was pursued by a much larger Veronese army which threatened to cut off
his supply lines, and was forced to fall back to Castelbaldo on the northern
bank of the Adige. Here he decided to make his stand at Castagnaro, on the
south side of the river, where he was able to take up a battleground of his
own choosing, with the river at his back, on firmer land with his flanks
protected by marshy ground bisected by irrigation canals. Dismounting his
cavalry, he drew them up in close array, concealing archers, crossbowmen,
and a few cannon on the flanks, pushed forward of the main position. The
Veronese thus had to attack him across a difficult terrain, under heavy
fire, and Hawkwood only gave orders for his men-at-arms to move in after the
archers had done their work and gaps had begun to appear in the Veronese
ranks. The Scaliger army collapsed under the onslaught, and the rout was
complete. Almost half of the Veronese forces were taken prisoner, including
nearly eighty captains and subordinate officers, and the number of killed
and wounded was also high.

Four years later, when Florence finally decided to make a stand against
Giangaleazzo Visconti, an essential part of the republic's strategy was to
take the Milanese armies in a pincer movement in which Hawkwood would join
up forces on the Po with a mercenary army recruited in France by the count
of Armagnac. On this occasion Hawkwood led an army of 2000 lances and a
large number of infantry to within 10 miles of Milan; but the plan for a
simultaneous attack on two fronts was shattered by Armagnac's failure to
keep to the prearranged timetable, which allowed the Milanese captain,
Jacopo dal Verme, to concentrate his attention on Hawkwood's forces and
pursue them as far as the Adige, where the enemy had broken the dykes,
turning the country into a vast lake around Castagnaro. Hawkwood knew the
terrain well, but his success in getting the greater part of his forces
through the deep waters and across the river to safety at Castelbaldo was a
stroke of military genius which the republic duly acknowledged in a letter
to him of 27 July 1391, praising the forces under his command and his
'incomparable leadership', which would be proclaimed and commended
throughout Italy; they recalled his 'inextinguishable glory', which they
would extol in the future, granting him every favour  (Florence, Archivio di
Stato, Signori, Missive, 1 Cancelleria, reg. 22, fol. 148). In the following
month, when dal Verme invaded Tuscany, Hawkwood impeded his advance by a
succession of attacks, forcing him to retreat towards Lucca and driving him
into Liguria during the course of September. There can be little doubt that
his actions saved Florence from Milanese expansion at a critical juncture.
In two further letters, dated 21 and 23 September, and penned, like that of
27 July, by Coluccio Salutati, the chancellor of the republic, the Signoria
had encouraged him to achieve a glorious victory, for which they would
'magnanimously carry out that which we owe you, to throw light and glory on
your eternal and inextinguishable fame', urging him to emulate Scipio
Africanus, one of Rome's greatest generals, skilful alike in strategy and
tactics, and with the faculty of inspiring his soldiers with confidence
(Florence, Archivio di Stato, Signori, Missive, 1 Cancelleria, reg. 22,
fols. 160v-161r). They did not have long to wait. During the night of 24
September, as the enemy continued to retreat up Monte Albano, Hawkwood
forced dal Verme's rearguard to battle, and completely routed it at the
entrance to the Val di Nievole to the west of Pistoia. The Signoria had
already granted him substantial financial rewards for his services earlier
in the campaign, and it seems that they were now thinking of some monument
to commemorate his victories. It was Hawkwood's last major campaign, and it
sealed his reputation.

The material rewards of service and Hawkwood's investments

There can be little doubt that Hawkwood amassed considerable wealth, not
only from ransoms and booty, and in bribes extracted from different Italian
communes to secure his departure from their contados or to ensure his
goodwill, but also in lands and pensions. The extent of his takings in the
first category is not easily computed. While in the course of his military
career the forces under his command evidently acquired substantial booty and
numerous prisoners, of which he had his share, the surviving evidence does
not permit his gains to be quantified, or his own ransom payments to be
balanced against those extracted from others. More precise calculations can
be made of the moneys paid as bribes by the Italian communes, but even here
there are difficulties, since the global sums negotiated with the communes
had to be divided between him and his subordinate officers, and had
frequently also to be shared with one or more fellow commanders. In 1375,
for instance, Hawkwood extracted 30,500 florins from Siena; but a further
68,000 florins paid over a period of five years between 1379 and 1385 had to
be shared with co-commanders. Moreover, there were often additional payments
to the main sums that were paid out to individual captains and officers, and
these were frequently substantial. When the companies were operating
independently, some of these moneys were effectively in lieu of pay. It is
thus easier to compute the cost of the mercenary activities to the communes
than it is to calculate the profits of military captains. Nevertheless, the
rewards were sometimes considerable. During the course of three months in
1375, the bribes paid by Florence, Pisa, Siena, Lucca, and Arezzo together
amounted to more than 204,500 florins, that is, in excess of 723 kilograms
of gold.

With regard to his lands and property, some of these were acquired by
conquest, or came to him in lieu of pay, which was by no means negligible;
others were granted by appreciative employers, or as bribes similar to those
referred to above. In April 1391, during the course of the campaign against
the Visconti, the annual pension of 1200 florins first awarded to him by the
Florentine republic in 1375 to secure his goodwill was raised to 3200
florins, a jointure of 1000 florins per annum settled on his wife, and 2000
florins granted on the marriage of each of his three daughters. In addition
he and his male heirs were granted Florentine citizenship, excepting the
right to hold office. The lands and property he acquired were extensive and,
like the campaigns he fought in, were geographically widely spread. From his
service with the church he secured castles and lands in the Romagna and in
the marches of Ancona, notably Castrocaro, Bagnacavallo, Cotignola,
Conselice, and Montefortino, and a house in Bologna. While in Neapolitan
service he acquired estates in Naples, Capua, and Aversa, and secured a
number of strongholds in the Aretino (notably the castle of Montecchio and
the strongholds of Badia al Pino and Migliari), possibly acquired while
returning to central Italy from that service in 1384. He had a house called
Polverosa in the Florentine suburb of San Donato di Torre, an estate called
La Rochetta in the Val d'Elsa near Poggibonsi, a property at Gazzuolo in the
Cremonese (probably granted to him by Ludovico Gonzaga, either in
appreciation or as a bribe), and a mansion with a cloister in Perugia,
granted to him by the priors of that city in 1381. What explanation can
therefore be given for Hawkwood's claim, in the summer of 1393 that,
considering his innumerable daily expenses, his income was insufficient to
support his family? It is probable that the administrative costs of his
numerous estates were high, and there is little doubt that he had been
scrupulous in paying and rewarding the men who had served him both in war
and peace. He may also have been living beyond his means, or in modern
parlance have been capital-rich but income-poor; but there was another
factor which sheds much light on his ambitions and how he saw himself in the
world.

The lure of the ancestral lands

Hawkwood clearly had no desire to carve out a patrimony and establish a
dynasty in Italy. From as early as 1375 he had sought and secured an
assurance that the annual pension of 1200 florins then offered to him by
Florence would be paid to him even if he left that country, and this was
confirmed by the Signoria in July 1376. From this period in papal service he
was sending some of his pay and subsequently other moneys back to England by
way of Luccese merchants operating through Bruges, and these were used to
buy property in London and Essex, and to advance some moneys to the English
crown in aid of the war in France. Some time between June 1377 and February
1380, through his agents in England (including, perhaps significantly, John
Cavendish and Robert Lyndeseye, a draper and tailor of London,
respectively), he acquired the reversion of the Leadenhall in London from
the widow of Sir John Neville, with whom he may have served in the
expedition to Brittany under the earl of Northampton in 1345, and whose
family seat was at Wethersfield in Essex, less than 5 miles from Sible
Hedingham. However, the story was not altogether a happy one. Other moneys
he advanced to the Luccese in 1382 were not passed on to his agents and were
the subject of subsequent litigation, and some of the lands that he
purchased, and which were enfeoffed to his use, were subsequently detained
by his feoffees. Hawkwood's intention to return to England was thus evident,
but there were hurdles to be overcome, some of them new, others dating from
his past life in France. In the parliament held at Westminster in January
1377 he had sought, and in the following March secured, a royal pardon for
his youthful misdemeanours 'in like manner to that granted to Sir Robert
Knowles'  (RotP, 2.372). The latter had embraced, among other things, 'all
disobediences, takings of towns, castles and fortresses and prisoners
surrendered without licence, breakings of truces and safe-conducts, sales of
castles, cities and boroughs, towns, manors, lands, rents, services and
prisoners to the king's enemies and others'  (CPR, 1374-7, 435). In the
fragmented political structure of fourteenth-century Italy, where the king
of England had no claims and where the royal writ did not run, he had
encountered no such obstacles. But two months after his pardon had been
granted he married Donnina, one of Bernabo Visconti's illegitimate
daughters, which brought him, in addition to handsome presents and the
benefits of a sizeable dowry, powerful family connections, which included
his fellow condottiere, Count Lutz von Landau, who was married to Donnina's
sister, Elisabetta, on the same day, and doubtless for the same reasons. The
unity of purpose between Florence and Milan at this juncture was also
critical, for it allowed Hawkwood simultaneously to serve two masters, who
were subsequently bitterly opposed, to take up his appointment as commander
of the forces of the Florentine league, and to enjoy the benefits of the
life annuity granted to him by the republic, now apparently backdated, on
the conditions already noted.

In 1387, following the conclusion of his services with the Carrara of Padua,
Hawkwood may once again have considered returning home. Later that year he
disposed of his properties in the kingdom of Naples and was planning the
sale of those at San Donato and La Rochetta; but it was not until five years
later, on the conclusion of the war with Milan, and when he was doubtless
aware that his days were numbered, that the die was cast. During the winter
of 1392-3 he was making the necessary dispositions: providing husbands for
his two eldest daughters by Donnina, who were of marriageable age, settling
his debts, attempting to recover sums of money and other properties due to
him and his wife in Milan and Bologna, and seeking the necessary safe
conducts for his passage to England. Allowing for the possibility that he
might die before his return, he made known to Thomas Coggeshall of Essex, by
way of a nuncupative will, his wishes with regard to the disposal of his
properties in England. These included the sale of the Leadenhall, and the
foundation of chantries in the church at Sible Hedingham and in the priory
of Castle Hedingham with some of the proceeds. In the event of Donnina's
surviving him and coming to England, she was to be enfeoffed with his
properties of Liston in Gosfield and Hostages in Sible Hedingham, to be held
during her lifetime with reversion to their son John. Hawkwood's other
properties in England were to be held by his feoffees until his son came of
age, when they were to be surrendered to him.

A year later, in March 1394, 'weary by reason of his great age', and, as he
himself asserted 'weighed down by infirmity' and wishing to return 'to his
old country'  (Florence, Archivio di Stato, Capitoli, reg. 1, fol. 164v),
Hawkwood concluded an arrangement with the Florentine Signoria for the
commutation of the pensions and other payments granted to himself and his
family, and the disposal of his remaining possessions in the Aretino. It is
clear that by this time Hawkwood was confined to his house at San Donato,
and then to his bed. Five days later, during the night of 16-17 March, he
died of a stroke. On the 20th the republic gave him a magnificent funeral,
and his body was temporarily laid to rest in the choir of Santa Maria del
Fiore (Florence Cathedral). It was left to Sir John's widow and his
Florentine attorney to conclude the arrangements for the disposal of the
patrimonial estate in Italy and the liquidation of the accounts between
Hawkwood's heirs and the Signoria.

Two cenotaphs and two families

Even before Hawkwood's death, in August 1393, the Signoria had determined
that an elaborate marble tomb would be constructed in his honour, and early
in 1395 they commissioned Taddeo Gaddi and Giuliano d'Arrigho to design and
paint a monument in fresco on the north wall of the cathedral. In the event
the tomb itself was never executed, following a request from Richard II that
Hawkwood's body be returned to England, and on 3 June 1395 the Signoria
acceded to this request. In 1436 the original fresco was replaced by another
in terra-verde by Paolo Uccello, which represents Hawkwood mounted on an
ambling charger, wearing a short doublet over his armour, a light cap or
berret in place of the helmet worn in battle on his head, and carrying the
baton of a captain of war in his right hand. In the early nineteenth century
the painting was transferred to canvas and moved to the west wall of the
church. As for Hawkwood's remains, there is no reason to doubt that they
were returned to Sible Hedingham, and buried in the parish church of St
Peter, where a noble cenotaph was constructed with the moneys raised by his
feoffees. The tomb recess, and parts of the canopy with spandrels bearing
carvings of a hawk and other animals in a wood, may still be seen; but the
tomb chest itself has long since vanished. Unfortunately, there is no
mention of the church in John Leland's account of his tour through England
and Wales in 1535-43, and by the time John Weever published his Ancient
Funeral Monuments (1631) the tomb had largely been destroyed. But both
Weever and Philip Morant, in his History and Antiquities of the County of
Essex (1768) were of the opinion that it had been paid for by the abundant
money Hawkwood sent back to England, and Morant, who must have seen some old
drawings, adds 'From the effigies on this monument it should seem that he
had two wives'  (Morant, 2.288).

Neither the date nor the fact of Hawkwood's first marriage has been
established, but before his marriage to Donnina he had two sons, who may or
may not have been legitimate, but who were only boys when they were held
hostage in Bologna in 1376. He also had a daughter, Antiocha or Mary, who by
March 1379 was married to Sir William Coggeshall, apparently the cousin of
Sir Thomas, afterwards of Codham Hall, Essex, then in Hawkwood's service in
Italy and residing in Milan. There may also have two other daughters:
Fiorentina, who married a Milanese noble, Lancellotto del Mayno, and
Beatrice, who married John Shelley, an ancestor of the poet. With Donnina
Hawkwood had one son, John, and three daughters. The eldest daughter,
Giannetta, was married on 7 September 1392 (aged fifteen) to Brezaglia, son
of Count Lodovico di Porciglia, formerly captain of the Bolognese forces,
subsequently podesta of Ferrara and, for a brief period after Hawkwood's
death, captain of the Florentine forces. The second, Caterina, was married
on 20 January 1393 (aged fourteen), to Konrad von Prassberg, a German
captain who had served with Hawkwood. In March 1395 the Signoria had
envisaged that the son and the third daughter, Anna, who were both under
age, would go to England with their mother, as Hawkwood and Donnina had
clearly planned. However, it seems unlikely that mother and daughter ever
made the journey, and Anna was subsequently married to Ambrogiuolo di Piero
della Torre of Milan; but the son, John, went, and settled on the ancestral
lands at Sible Hedingham. Naturalized in 1407, two years later he secured
possession of the estates in Essex purchased by his father, which were then
released by his principal feoffee, who in 1412 also obtained licence to
found the two chantries his father had envisaged, where three priests were
to incant the offices and pray for the souls of his father and two of his
military companions, both from Essex, who had also died in Italy, namely
John Oliver and Thomas Newenton. That no will has come to light in Italy is
not surprising. Hawkwood had realized his estate there, and made settlements
on those members of his family who were to remain behind when he left.
Doubtless the greater part of the proceeds were sent to England, but too
late to make the formal testamentary bequests, of which the essentials were
conveyed orally to Thomas Coggeshall by way of one of Hawkwood's squires,
John Sampson, in two of the earliest private letters in the English language
to survive. The oral testament was drawn up in the form of an indenture on
Sampson's arrival in England, which gave the necessary instructions to his
feoffees, who had now become his executors.

Noblesse oblige?

There can be no doubt that Hawkwood was one of the greatest military
commanders of his day, but what distinguished him from other condottieri of
his own generation, and others who came before him, was the loyalty that he
showed to his principal employers, firstly Pisa and then, more notably,
Florence. This was a quality also evident in his relations with the men
serving under him, and with his compatriots from Essex. It gave a greater
cohesion and esprit de corps to his own brigade than was common in other
companies (including other English brigades) in the period. His failure to
obey Bernabo Visconti's orders during the siege of Asti in 1372, and his
desertion of Milanese service, may well have been connected with the
position in which he then found himself, rather than a question of pay. For
among the opposing forces attempting to relieve the town were other English
contingents under his old comrade-in-arms, John Musard, an Englishman from
Worcestershire who had risen to eminence and respectability in the service
of Count Amadeus (VI) of Savoy, a founder member of the count's order of the
Collar, and who had fought with him in France, notably at Pont Saint Esprit.
Nor was money the reason for his switching from papal to Florentine service
in April 1377. He may well have been disillusioned by the way the church
leaders were conducting the war, especially after the massacres of
significant numbers of the civilian population at Faenza and Cesena in March
1376 and February 1377 respectively, in which the forces under his command
had played their part. He had in fact been courted by the Florentine
republic for some time, and remained loyal to his employer; but the evidence
suggests that the life pension promised to him, and the possibilities of a
more permanent contract, if not a contract for life, were a tempting
prospect, which held out new opportunities as well as greater stability and
the chances of a family life. What he got, initially, was in effect a series
of short-term contracts, of which some were a specie of condotta in aspetto,
which allowed the republic to secure the first option of his services during
periods in which he was free to serve elsewhere. It is against this
background that his military career after 1377 must be interpreted.

Many questions remain to be answered about Hawkwood's life, not least why he
should have wished to return to England when he had been so successful in
Italy, was well married and powerfully connected, and probably prosperous
enough, for all his protestations to the contrary; he was respected, even
revered in governing circles in Florence, with whom he was on easy terms as
he was also with some of her leading citizens. That he spoke reasonably
fluent Italian seems certain, frequently attending meetings of the war
council, the Ten of War, when he was in Florence, and arguing details of
military policy with them. Was it some distant memories of youth that
beckoned him to return to his native soil, and to Sible Hedingham in
particular? For it was there that he early decided to extend the family
patrimony, and that ambition never deserted him.

Kenneth Fowler

Sources  Chancery records + A. H. Thomas and P. E. Jones, eds., Calendar of
plea and memoranda rolls preserved among the archives of the corporation of
the City of London at the Guildhall, 3 (1932) + M. Villani and F. Villani,
Istorie, ed. L. A. Muratori, original edn, 28 vols., Rerum Italicarum
Scriptores (1723-51), 14, cols. 9-770 + P. Azario, Chronicon, vol. 16 of L.
A. Muratori, Rerum Italicum scriptores, 25 vols. in 28 (1723-51), cols.
297-424 [and other works in this edn and the new ser., from 1900, in
progress] + Chroniques de J. Froissart, ed. S. Luce and others, 15 vols.
(Paris, 1869-1975) + Oeuvres de Froissart: chroniques, ed. K. de Lettenhove,
25 vols. (Brussels, 1867-77) + L. C. Hector and B. F. Harvey, eds. and
trans., The Westminster chronicle, 1381-1394, OMT (1982) + J. Temple-Leader
and G. Marcotti, Sir John Hawkwood: story of a 'condottiere' (1889) + K. A.
Fowler, Medieval mercenaries [forthcoming], 1-2  (2001-) + K. A. Fowler,
'Sir John Hawkwood and the English condottieri in Trecento Italy',
Renaissance Studies, 12 (1998), 131-48 + K. A. Fowler, 'Condotte e
condottieri. Mercenaires anglais au service de Florence au XIVe siecle',
Melanges Contamine [forthcoming] + F. Gaupp, 'The condottiere John
Hawkwood', History, new ser., 23 (1938-9), 305-21 + D. M. B. de Mesquita,
'Some condottieri of the Trecento and their relations with political
authority', PBA, 32 (1946), 219-41 + W. Caferro, Mercenary companies and the
decline of Siena (1998) + M. Mallett, Mercenaries and their masters: warfare
in Renaissance Italy (1974) + B. G. Kohl, Padua under the Carrara, 1318-1405
(1998) + W. Paravicini, 'Heraldische Quellen zur Geschichte der
Preussenreisen im 14. Jahrhundert', Ordines Militares 4: Werkstatt des
Historikers (1987), 111-28 + A. H. Thomas, 'Notes on the history of
Leadenhall, 1195-1488', London Topographical Record, 13 (1923), 1-22 + An
inventory of the historical monuments in Essex, Royal Commission on
Historical Monuments (England), 1 (1916) + J. Weever, Ancient funerall
monuments (1631) + P. Morant, The history and antiquities of the county of
Essex, 2 vols. (1768) + S. L. Thrupp, The merchant class of medieval London,
1300-1500 (1948) + RotP, vol. 2 + Archivio di Stato, Florence, Capitoli,
reg. 1 + Archivio di Stato, Florence, Signori, Missive, 1 Cancelleria, reg.
22
Likenesses  P. Uccello, fresco transferred to canvas, 1436, Santa Maria del
Fiore, Florence [see illus.]



========================================================================
    Oxford     University    Press,    2004.    See     legal    notice:
http://www.oup.com/oxforddnb/legal/

We hope you have enjoyed this Life of The Day, but if you do wish to stop
receiving   these   messages,   please   EITHER   send   a   message   to
[log in to unmask] with

signoff ODNBLIFEOFTHEDAY-L

in the body (not the subject line) of the message

OR

send an  email to  [log in to unmask], asking us  to stop  sending you
these messages.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------



No virus found in this incoming message.
Checked by AVG - www.avg.com
Version: 8.0.237 / Virus Database: 270.11.8/1987 - Release Date: 03/06/09
07:20:00

**********************************************************************
To join the list, send the message: join medieval-religion YOUR NAME
to: [log in to unmask]
To send a message to the list, address it to:
[log in to unmask]
To leave the list, send the message: leave medieval-religion
to: [log in to unmask]
In order to report problems or to contact the list's owners, write to:
[log in to unmask]
For further information, visit our web site:
http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/medieval-religion.html

**********************************************************************
To join the list, send the message: join medieval-religion YOUR NAME
to: [log in to unmask]
To send a message to the list, address it to:
[log in to unmask]
To leave the list, send the message: leave medieval-religion
to: [log in to unmask]
In order to report problems or to contact the list's owners, write to:
[log in to unmask]
For further information, visit our web site:
http://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/lists/medieval-religion.html

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

JiscMail Tools


RSS Feeds and Sharing


Advanced Options


Archives

October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
July 2001
June 2001
May 2001
April 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
June 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
October 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998
April 1998
March 1998
February 1998
January 1998
December 1997
November 1997
October 1997
September 1997
August 1997
July 1997
June 1997
May 1997
April 1997
March 1997
February 1997
January 1997
December 1996
November 1996
October 1996
September 1996
August 1996
July 1996
June 1996
May 1996
April 1996


JiscMail is a Jisc service.

View our service policies at https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/policyandsecurity/ and Jisc's privacy policy at https://www.jisc.ac.uk/website/privacy-notice

Secured by F-Secure Anti-Virus CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager