The Soldier in Later Medieval England

Walter, Fifth Lord Fitzwalter of Little Dunmow (Essex)

Walter, Fifth Lord Fitzwalter of Little Dunmow (Essex) [1]



The subject of this study is Walter, fifth Lord Fitzwalter. The family were descended from Robert fitzRichard, a younger son of Richard fitzGilbert de Clare. [2] Robert rose in royal service and was rewarded with the honour of Little Dunmow, which had been forfeited by William Baynard, the descendant of the Domesday holder. The barony answered for sixty knights’ fees, concentrated in East Anglia and above all in Essex. In the fourteenth century, the Fitzwalters held thirteen manors in Essex (Ashdon, Burnham-on-Crouch, Cages, Creeksea, Little Dunmow, Henham, Lexden, Maldon, Sheering, Great Tey, Ulting, Wimbish and Woodham Walter). Although the main family estates were in Essex, the Fitzwalters also held Diss, Fincham and Hempnall in Norfolk and Shimpling and Thurstanton in Suffolk, and the family later acquired lands in Lincolnshire and Cumberland. [3] The most famous member of the family is certainly Robert fitzWalter (d.1235), grandson of Robert and great-great-great-grandfather of our subject but the Fitzwalters had a long tradition of military service and this was maintained by Walter.

Seal of Robert fitzWalter (d. 1235) © Trustees of the British Museum

Walter Fitzwalter was born on 31 May 1345. [4] Although he had been granted some of his father and grandmother’s lands (those held in socage rather than by knight tenure) as early as February 1365, it was only in October 1366 that he officially came of age and received the bulk of his inheritance. [5] However, England and France had been at truce since 1360 and this frustrated any hopes that Fitzwalter may have harboured to prove himself in battle. Instead, in March 1368 he received licence to cross overseas with a small retinue, silver plate and a bill of exchange for 600m. [6] It is unlikely that Fitzwalter was planning an elaborate picnic. The most likely explanation is that he was off to pass the season fighting on the Baltic frontier (perhaps the medieval knight’s equivalent of a package holiday). However, we only know about Fitzwalter’s crusading activity from a story recounted by Jean Froissart. In 1380, Fitzwalter (as marshal of the host) was leading the English army through the forest of Marchenoir and past the castle of Vievy-le-Rayé (cant. Ouzouer-le-Marché, dep. Loir-et-Cher), whose lord had assembled a large force of knights and esquires. On seeing this, Fitzwalter departed from the route ‘but not to assault [the castle], but to speak with the knight manning the barrier, whom he knew well, having been with him in Prussia’. [7] The most likely occasion for Fitzwalter to have been in the Baltic is in 1368 (although he also had a similar permission to leave the country in January 1379). Alternatively, it is possible that Fitzwalter was part of the entourage of Lionel of Antwerp, Edward III’s second surviving son, who was travelling to Italy to marry Violante Visconti. [8]


The prospects for a military career brightened considerably in 1369 with the resumption of hostilities between England and France and Fitzwalter’s first definite military service (and certainly his first for the English crown) came in this year. [9] John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, had already crossed over to France with an advance force and in the summer and autumn of 1369 Edward III raised an army to reinforce Lancaster. The original plan was for Edward to lead the second army to France himself and then to assume overall charge of the combined English forces. The untimely death of Queen Philippa disrupted these plans and in his grief, Edward decided not to travel to France himself. In spite of the king’s absence, the second army was sent to join Lancaster. Fitzwalter served in this second army with a retinue of twenty men-at-arms (himself included) and thirty archers. [10] Unfortunately, the particulars of each retinue do not survive, and so we cannot recover the names of the men who served under Fitzwalter. The second army arrived in France in September but, with the exception of a failed attack on Harfleur, Lancaster showed little inclination to force an engagement and returned to Calais in November. [11]


Perhaps disappointed with the lack of action the previous year, Fitzwalter took part in the ill-fated campaign of 1370, contributing a retinue of forty men-at-arms and forty archers in an army of around 3,000 soldiers. [12] The army set out from Calais in July 1370 and proceeded to advance west towards Brittany, marching across northern France and pillaging the countryside as they went. Despite this provocation, the French refused battle, denying the English the chance of a decisive victory. The English force was led by Sir Robert Knolles, an experienced soldier and freebooter but only of modest birth. Knolles’ elevation, in spite of the fact that several barons of greater social standing were included in the party, was controversial. [13] Furthermore, the expedition of 1370 was a financial experiment; the king promised to pay wages for only the first thirteen weeks of the campaign, and the participants were thereafter to fund themselves from the profits of war, like routiers. This seems to have undermined the discipline of the army and may have prompted the Gloucestershire knight Sir John de Minsterworth to complain of the indignity of serving under Knolles, whom he dismissed as an ‘elde theef’. [14] As a result of this dissension and to soothe the wounded egos of the lords, it seems as though the army was re-organised into smaller divisions, one of which was captained by Fitzwalter. [15] This proved a disastrous error and part of the divided army was picked off by the French at Pontvallain (chief-lieu du canton, dep. Sarthe). Fitzwalter himself was captured and sent to Paris with several other noble prisoners. [16]


This was a major setback for the family. Fitzwalter had left for France hoping to return a richer man but instead he found himself all but bankrupted. There seem to have been considerable difficulties in agreeing and raising a ransom and Fitzwalter was still being held abroad in November 1373. [17] The close rolls contain a series of agreements drawn up with John de Kingsford, Fitzwalter’s attorney in England, to whom Fitzwalter seems to have owed at least £800. [18] Probably in order to clear this debt, Fitzwalter granted his Moulton interests in Cumberland, including the castle of Egremont, to two men who ultimately represented the king’s mistress Alice de Perrers. Fitzwalter was to recover his lands by repaying £1,000 in 1385. After Perrers’ disgrace, her lands, including Egremont, were seized by the king and Fitzwalter may only have recovered Egremont in August 1386. [19] Another leading courtier William Lord Latimer acquired an interest in some of the Fitzwalter’s other lands in Lincolnshire and London. [20] Fitzwalter also sold or leased his manor of Moulton (Lincs.) to Sir Matthew Redman, with whom he had served in 1370, for 200m. [21] The belief that members of the court had profited from his misfortune may have inspired Fitzwalter’s apparent support for the work of the Good Parliament in 1376-7.


Fitzwalter’s capture and subsequent detention in France interrupted his career and he does not appear again until the political upheavals of 1376-7. Fitzwalter’s involvement in these events poses numerous questions about his political connections and motivations. There is no record of his involvement in the Good Parliament of 1376, although he was probably present as a peer and he was definitely appointed to the inter-communing committee between the Lords and Commons in January 1377. However, the initial opposition did include Henry Percy, earl of Northumberland and Fitzwalter’s uncle, and Guy Lord Brian. In 1377 Lancaster, now supported by Percy, launched a royalist counter-attack. In response, Fitzwalter and Brian intervened in a meeting of the council of London to rouse the citizens against Lancaster and Percy. [22] A mob rushed the Marshalsea and Lancaster and Percy were perhaps fortunate to escape the city with their lives. This episode is very difficult to explain, especially given the generally close relationship between Brian/Fitzwalter and Lancaster/Percy. However, there is a hitherto unnoticed document that may shed some light on this confused situation. In July 1376 Fitzwalter and Brian, with three leading Londoners, acted as pledges for a group of Italian merchants whose assets had been seized. [23] This certainly indicates that Fitzwalter and Brian enjoyed particularly close connections with the city at the height of the political crisis and we may tentatively advance the hypothesis that they were acting as liaisons between the Londoners and the noble opposition to the court in 1376. Seen from this perspective, Fitzwalter’s speech to the Londoners takes on a more calculated air. Fitzwalter also had personal grievances against leading courtiers, as we have seen. Furthermore, Percy had been one of the leaders of the opposition to the court in 1376 and Fitzwalter may have felt personally betrayed by his defection.


Whatever the true interpretation of Fitzwalter’s role in the crisis of 1376-7, he was soon reconciled with Lancaster and Percy. In April 1377 he was summoned to a great council at Windsor by Edward III, along with Lancaster, Buckingham, Percy, Latimer and other great magnates. [24] This may have been the occasion for Fitzwalter to have rebuilt some bridges with these men. It would also not be the first time that a young lord who had proved his ability in opposition to the king was subsequently taken into royal service. Afterwards Fitzwalter moved firmly into the orbit of Thomas of Woodstock, earl of Buckingham. In 1377 and 1378 he served under Buckingham in the fleets that patrolled the English coasts. [25] In the latter year, although he clearly played an important role within the English army (the St. Albans chronicler names him fourth after Buckingham, the duke of Brittany and Lord Latimer), Fitzwalter served within Buckingham’s retinue and did not led his own contingent. [26] Rather, he appears as part of Buckingham’s retinue on the muster-roll, described as a banneret and listed second after Buckingham himself. [27] There is therefore no separate muster or account for Fitzwalter and his followers and so the names of those who served under him are not known, although we can perhaps identify some Fitzwalter followers within the larger Buckingham retinue. [28] He was put in charge of one of the naval squadrons and, despite a near-mutiny among the sailors of his squadron, was still involved in Buckingham’s victory over a Castilian fleet that resulted in the capture of eight ships. [29] In the context of Fitzwalter’s relationship with Buckingham and his local connections in Essex, it is notable that his attorneys were Sir Robert de Tey and John de Gildesbrough, both Essex landowners with close ties to Buckingham. [30]


Fitzwalter was abroad again in 1379, but, for once, not on campaign. On 17 January he was granted licence to travel abroad with six men and horses and to take a bill of exchange for 100m. [31] It is possible that this was the occasion when he went to Prussia, as per Froissart’s anecdote, but, given his recent and future activity in English armies and his financial woes, it is perhaps more likely that he was setting out on a pilgrimage or resolving unfinished business from his capture in 1370. Again, it is interesting that one of his attorneys was his uncle Sir Thomas Percy (brother of Henry), and this suggests that any ill-feeling from the events of 1376-7 had been smoothed over. [32] In a further indication of his close relationship with Buckingham, and also of the high regard in which he was held by the earl, Fitzwalter acted as Buckingham’s deputy (as constable of England) in a Court Martial case in March 1380. [33] From 1378 onwards, Fitzwalter also served with Buckingham as a tryer of parliamentary petitions concerning Gascony and overseas. [34]


However, it was not long before Fitzwalter was back on active duty and he served as Marshal of Buckingham’s army in Brittany between July 1380 and April 1381. [35] His duties as Marshal included responsibility for the route of the army, as we have seen, and arranging the numerous tourneys that were held during the campaign. [36] Fitzwalter also played a key role in the one notable military event of the whole campaign, namely the siege of Nantes. He was assigned to guard the gate of Saint-Pierre and this seems to have been a strategically-important position, since it was the target of two strong sorties by the French garrison, both of which were driven back. [37] Eventually, Buckingham admitted failure and broke of the siege. The English army remained in Brittany over the winter and preparations were made to renew the war in the spring. However, the campaign had to be abandoned when the duke of Brittany, on whose behalf the English army was fighting, agreed a peace settlement with the French.  


A further point about this campaign may require some clarification. Froissart states that Fitzwalter’s son and heir (imaginatively-named Walter) was knighted by Buckingham during the campaign. [38] This may conflict with modern ideas of good parenting (even in the age of ‘bring your child to work’ days), since the younger Walter could only have been eleven or twelve years old at the time. [39] Perhaps he was unusually precocious, although it was not unusual for boys in their early teens to be knighted on campaign. [40] The presence of the younger Walter also seems to receive some support from the records. In particular, a certain ‘Water Fitzwalter’ juniore (the younger) appears in the French roll recording the appointment of attorneys, and it would be tempting to identify this man with the young son of Lord Fitzwalter. [41] However, there is an alternative explanation. Walter Fitzwalter juniore is described as the ‘lord of Wodeham’ and he can actually be identified with our Walter Lord Fitzwalter. This leaves us with the question of why the thirty-five year old Fitzwalter should require the designation ‘junior’. In fact, we can find some contemporaneous documents in which he appears as the lord of Woodham, in order to distinguish him from his uncle, another Walter Fitzwalter, who is described as ‘the elder’. [42]


Buckingham and Fitzwalter returned to England in time for the Peasants’ Revolt. Their activites during the initial stages of the crisis are unclear but both were to play an important role in suppressing the peasant’s revolt in Essex. Fitzwalter was named third, after the earls of Buckingham and Oxford, in the powerful commission appointed to restore order to the county. [43] Although Buckingham was nominally in charge of the suppression of the remaining rebels in the county, it was a force led by Fitzwalter and Sir John de Harleston (another Buckingham retainer) that ambushed and routed a force of rebels at Sudbury. Goodman thought that ‘this rapid success against hardened rebels, taking refuge in difficult country, was no mean achievement’. This praise was directed towards Buckingham, but Fitzwalter was perhaps at least as deserving of such recognition. [44] In the years following 1381 Fitzwalter seems to have played a particularly prominent role in Essex, serving on commissions of the peace and array and receiving orders to seize named rebels. [45]


In the years after 1381 Fitzwalter appears more often independently rather than serving with Buckingham or Lancaster. This does not mean that he had severed his ties with these two, but rather that he had become one of their most valued allies and they had sufficient confidence to trust him with a more autonomous role. In October 1382 Fitzwalter was appointed admiral north of the Thames and while he may have served until December 1383, when the next admiral was appointed, although there are no orders to Fitzwalter as admiral after March 1383. [46] This is not as surprising as it may sound to modern ears, since at this time there was no permanent navy and the specialist role of admiral had yet evolved. Rather, naval battles were decided by a series of melee combats between men-at-arms fighting from ship to ship, supported by fire from the archers. Moreover, as we have seen, Fitzwalter had some naval experience from 1378. This was also a position of some financial responsibility, since Fitzwalter was responsible for collecting the export custom from the ports along the east coast of England between London and Berwick. [47]


By December 1383, Fitzwalter was serving as one of three wardens of the West March of Scotland. [48] This also requires explanation. Although Fitzwalter was not the most obvious choice for this role, since the bulk of the family lands lay in East Anglia, he did enjoy sufficient landed and family connections in the north to justify his appointment. He had inherited Egremont (Cumbs.) from his grandmother Joan de Moulton, although it had been mortgaged back in 1375, and was related by marriage to the Percy and Clifford families. [49] It is also an interesting appointment because Lancaster and Buckingham led an expedition into southeast Scotland in spring 1384 and, rather than include Fitzwalter in their force, they preferred to entrust him with an independent position of some responsibility. [50] In particular, they needed someone able and trustworthy to monitor the situation in the north while they were absent on campaign, especially given the recent distrust between Lancaster and Henry Percy, now earl of Northumberland and the dominant figure in northern England. In 1385 Fitzwalter was again summoned for service against the Scots and, since he does not appear to have led a retinue himself, he may have served in Buckingham’s contingent. [51]


Fortunately, the muster roll listing the men who served under Fitzwalter on the west March in 1384 survives. The roll names sixty-four men-at-arms (Fitzwalter himself, with five knights and fifty-eight esquires) and 124 archers. [52] This can be used to identify members of Fitzwalter’s following. Based on a cursory examination, it is possible to identify three of the knights (Walden, Goldingham, Cornard) and ten of the esquires (Tey, Bigod, Wrench, Lynde, Donesby, Blomster, Pentlow, Aldham, Dengaine, and Masham) as being linked either to Essex or to the Fitzwalters. [53] A more detailed examination of the names in this list would undoubtedly reveal more men with Essex connections. Furthermore, this is far from a complete list of Fitzwalter’s military following. He led retinues of twenty men-at-arms and thirty archers in 1369 and forty men-at-arms and forty archers in 1370 and, when he served as part of the retinue of Buckingham or Lancaster in 1380-1, 1385 and 1386, he doubtless contributed his own men to their larger forces. For example, in 1386 Peter de Boxted, son of a former sheriff of Essex, was ‘minded to pass out of the realm in the company of Sir Wauter fitz Walter’. [54] This confirms what we know from other sources, namely that Fitzwalter enjoyed strong ties with local gentry in Essex.


Fitzwalter’s next and, as it turned out, last action was to serve in Lancaster’s Spanish campaign of 1386. Again, two Walter Fitzwalters served under Gaunt and both appointed the same attorneys. One is described as a banneret (Walter VII) and the other as a knight. Again, this could refer to Walter son of Robert Fitzwalter (‘the elder’) or to Fitzwalter’s son and heir, Walter, now aged eighteen. [55] At this point in time, however, Walter son of Robert must have been into his sixties and, since we know that he was dead by January 1387 at the very latest, it is perhaps more likely that it was the future Walter VIII who set out with his father. En route to Galicia, Lancaster’s fleet stopped in Brittany to relieve the English-held port of Brest, which had been besieged by the duke of Brittany, who had been an English ally in 1380, and Fitzwalter was singled out for praise for his role in the storming of the Breton forts. [56] This proved a fitting final appearance for Fitzwalter as he died late in September 1386. [57] This was doubly-unfortunate: first he was then aged forty-one and in the prime of his military and political life, and second he died not in battle but of disease. [58]

Tony Moore

[1] I am grateful to Adrian Bell, David Simpkin and Andy King for their comments and suggestions on this e-article.

[2] For the family, see I. J. Sanders, English Baronies: a study of their origin and descent (Oxford, 1960), pp.129-30; G. E. Cokayne, The complete peerage of England, Scotland, Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, extant, extinct and dormant (rev. ed., 13 vols., 1910-69), v, pp.472-92; Christopher Starr, ‘Fitzwalter family (per. c.1200–c.1500)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 [, accessed 27 April 2008].

[3] This list has been compiled from the Inquisitions Post Mortem for John Fitzwalter, Walter Fitzwalter (the subject of this article) and his son Walter Fitzwalter (Calendar of Inquisitions Post Mortem, xi, pp.56-7; ibid, xvi, pp.135-43; ibid, xix, pp.90-2.

[4] Complete Peerage, v, p.477 notes b and c.

[5] Calendar of Fine Rolls 1356-68, pp.284-5, 305; Calendar of Close Rolls 1364-8, p.247.

[6] Calendar of Patent Rolls  1367-70, pp.129, 131.

[7] Chroniques de Jean Froissart, eds. S. Luce et al (15 vols., Paris, 1869-1975), ix, p.278. The translation and identification of Vievy-le-Rayé are my own. For the popularity of the Reisen, see N. J. Housley, The Later Crusades, 1274-1580: From Alcazar to Lyons (Oxford, 1992), pp.341-3. Fitzwalter’s son later campaigned in Prussia in 1391 and was one of the English lords who became involved in a violent dispute with the Scottish knight Sir William Douglas outside a church in Konigsberg, during which Douglas was killed (The Westminster Chronicle, 1381-1394, ed. and trans. L.C. Hector and B. F. Harvey.(Oxford, 1982), pp.474-6).

[8] W. M. Ormrod, ‘Lionel, duke of Clarence (1338–1368)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 [, accessed 30 April 2008].

[9] For an introduction to the chronology of this phase of the ‘Hundred Years War’, see A. R. Bell, War and the Soldier in the Fourteenth Century (Woodbridge, 2004), pp.9-33.

[10] J. W. Sherborne, ‘Indentured retinues and English expeditions to France, 1369-80’, EHR, lxxix (1964), pp.721-2.

[11] For the participation of the second army in the campaign of 1369, see J. W. Sherborne, ‘John of Gaunt, Edward III’s retinue and the French campaign of 1369’, Kings and nobles in the later middle ages: a tribute to Charles Ross, eds. R. A. Griffiths and J. W. Sherborne (Gloucester, 1986), esp. pp.53-5.

[12] For the appointment of attorneys by Fitzwalter, serving overseas, see TNA C 76/53, mm.17, 21. For the size of his retinue, for which he was paid £724 16s 8d, see TNA E101/30/25, mm.1-3. Information on soldiers has been taken from from the AHRC-funded 'The Soldier in Later Medieval England Online Database',, 28/04/2008. Interestingly, one of Fitzwalter’s pledges for this sum was John de Grandson, another of those young nobles who rejected Knolles’ command. For the composition of this army, see Sherborne, ‘Indentured retinues’, pp.723-5.

[13] Michael Jones, ‘Knolles, Sir Robert (d. 1407)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 [, accessed 30 April 2008].

[14] C. J. Rogers, The wars of Edward III: sources and interpretations (Woodbridge, 1999), pp.90-1; J. Capgrave, The chronicle of England (London, 1858), p.227; Sherborne, ‘Indentured retinues’, p.724.

[15] V. H. Galbraith, The Anonimalle chronicle 1333 to 1381 : from a MS. written at St. Mary's abbey, York, and now in the possession of Lieut.-Col. Sir William Ingilby, bart., Ripley Castle, Yorkshire (Manchester, 1927), pp.63-4.

[16] Fitzwalter’s Essex neighbour John Bourchier also took part in this campaign and was also captured (although Michael Jones suggests that his capture should be dated to 1371 rather than 1370). For further details on the defeat at Pontvillain and the ransoms of some prisoners, see M. Jones, 'The fortunes of war: the military career of John, second lord Bourchier (d.1400)', Essex Archaeology and History, 3rd series, 26 (1995), pp.147-51. This article is available online at:

[17] In July and November 1373 Fitzwalter appointed attorneys to represent him in England and the roll describes him as having been captured by the king’s enemies in France and detained in prison (TNA C 76/54, mm.7, 10).

[18] CCR 1374-7, 71, pp.197, 267-70, 456-7. Kingsfold acted as Fitzwalter’s attorney every year between 1370 and 1373, and again between 1377 and 1380 (TNA C 76/53, m.21; /54, m.13; /54, m.29; /56, m.13; /61, m.22; /63, mm.9, 20; /64, m.3).

[19] CCR 1374-7, pp.274-6; CCR 1381-5, p.505; CPR 1385-9, p.204

[20] CCR 1371-4, p.572.

[21] CCR 1374-7, p.424. This led to further action, and Fitzwalter submitted a petition to parliament complaining that Redman had occupied his lands in Moulton (TNA SC 8/146/7253). This may occur to this transaction or, more likely, a later dispute. For Redman’s service in 1370, at the head of a company of 149 men-at-arms and 150 archers, see Sherborne, ‘Indentured retinues’, p.725.

[22] The St Albans chronicle: the Chronica maiora of Thomas Walsingham, vol. 1, 1376-1394, eds. J. Taylor and W. R. Childs and trans. L. Watkiss (Oxford, 2003), pp.84-8. Holmes’ judgement was that ‘Their intention seems to be explicable only on the grounds that they wanted to create trouble for Lancaster and Percy’ (G. A. Holmes, The Good Parliament (Oxford, 1975), p.190).

[23] CCR 1374-7, p.440. The Londoners were John Aubrey, John Philpot and John Donet. Philpot (mayor in October 1378) was a particularly significant figure as one of what Nightingale terms the ‘staplers’, an alliance of wool exporters who wanted the re-establishment of the wool staple at Calais. It was probably this concern that brought them into contact with the opposition to the court in 1376 (P. Nightingale, 'Capitalists, crafts and constitutional change in late fourteenth-century London'. Past & Present, cxxiv (1989), pp.17-24). 

[24] W. M. Ormrod, The reign of Edward III (Stroud, 2000), p.119.

[25] TNA C 76/61, mm.26, 22.

[26] St Albans Chronicle, p.170.

[27] TNA E 101/38/2, m.1.

[28] Sir Alexander de Walden and the esquires Thomas Poyl and Thomas Wrench served under Buckingham in 1378 and under Fitzwalter in 1384 (TNA E 101/38/2, m.1; E 101/39/38, m.3).

[29] For the mutiny, see St Albans Chronicle, pp.212-15; Anonimalle Chronicle, p.117.

[30] TNA C 76/61, m.22.

[31] CPR 1377-81, p.295.

[32] TNA C 76/63, m.9

[33] CPR 1377-81, p.485. On 8 March an accusation was made before ‘lord Fitzwalter supplying the place of the constable of England’ and, furthermore, even when Buckingham returned to preside over the court on 10 March, Fitzwalter was present and is named first after the three earls then present.

[34] Rotuli Parliamentorum, iii, pp.34, 99, 123, 133, 145, 151, 185, 204.

[35] For this campaign, see Sherborne, ‘Indentured retinues’, 731-3. Fitzwalter received a protection for one year in June 1380 and also appointed attorneys to represent his interests in England (TNA C 76/64, mm.3, 4). Froissart names Fitzwalter as the marshal of the host on several occasions (e.g. Chroniques de Jean Froissart, ix, p.239).

[36] Ibid, ix, pp.262-3, 273-4.

[37] Ibid, x, pp.13-14, 22-3.

[38] Ibid, ix, pp.240-42. This provides a good demonstration of the loyalty that Buckingham could inspire in people. Also knighted by Buckingham was Lord Morley, who was to join with the younger Fitzwalter in denouncing Buckingham’s alleged murderers at the parliament of 1399 (C. Given-Wilson, Chronicles of the revolution, 1379-1400 : the reign of Richard II (Manchester, 1993), pp.205-18).

[39] Complete Peerage, v, p.480 and note f.

[40] Several of the men who gave testimony in the Scrope/Grosvenor dispute were, according to their own accounts, of a similar age at their first service. For example, Sir Thomas Chuddleigh was aged eleven when he first served. For this and other examples, see Bell, War and the soldier, pp.140-5.

[41] TNA C 76/64, m.3.

[42] CCR 1274-7, pp.449-50, 457; Feet of fines for Essex, eds. R. E. G. Kirk et al (6 vols., Colchester, 1899-1993), iii, p.186.

[43] CPR 1381-5, pp.73, 79.

[44] The Chronica Maiora of Thomas Walsingham, 1376-1422, eds. D. Preest and J. G. Clark (Woodbridge, 2005), p.154; A. Goodman, The loyal conspiracy: the Lord Appellant under Richard II (London, 1971), p.126.

[45] CPR 1377-81, pp.81, 85, 86,245, 250, 253.

[46] Handbook of British Chronology, eds. E. B. Fryde, D. E. Greenway, S. Porter and I. Roy (3rd ed., London, 1986), p.139; CCR 1381-5, pp.182, 188, 256, 264, 281.

[47] Ibid, p.192.

[48] Storey dates Fitzwalter’s appointment to February 1384 (R. L. Storey, ‘The wardens of the marches of England towards Scotland, 1377-1489’, EHR, lxxii (1957), pp.597-8, 611), but Fitzwalter is described as keeper in a writ of 18 December 1383 (Rotuli Scotiae in turri Londonensi et domo capitulari Westmonasteriensi asservati, eds. D. Macpherson et al (2 vols., London, 1814-19), ii, pp.57-8); also cf. the account in Westminster Chronicle, 1381-1394, pp.50-1.

[49] Complete Peerage, v, p.477.

[50] S. Armitage-Smith, John of Gaunt, king of Castile and Leon, duke of Aquitaine and Lancaster, earl of Derby, Lincoln and Leicester, seneschal of England (London, 1904), pp.267-9.

[51] Complete Peerage, v, p.478. For more details about the organisation of this campaign, see N. B. Lewis, 'The last medieval summons of the English feudal levy, 13 June 1385', EHR, lxxiii, 1-26; and cf. the subsequent debate with John Palmer (J. J. N. Palmer, 'The last summons of the feudal army in England (1385)', ibid, lxxxiii, 771-5; N. B. Lewis, 'The feudal summons of 1385', ibid, c, 729-46).

[52] TNA E101 39/38 mm.3-3d. This list can be found on this website by searching the project database for the string “Fitz Walter, Walter Lord” (enclosed in quotation marks) in the Commander field.

[53] I hope to return to the question of the local connections of the Fitzwalter family at another time and at (much) greater length. Many of these men were very active soldiers, such as Alexander de Goldingham, who had served in Italy and perhaps even further abroad (A. R. Bell, ‘The fourteenth-century soldier; more Chaucer’s knight or medieval career?’, Mercenaries and paid men: the mercenary identity in the middle ages, ed. J. France (Leiden, 2008), pp.306-7.

[54] CCR 1385-9, pp.137-9.

[55] TNA C 76/70, m.12.

[56] St Albans chronicle, p.788; The Chronica Maiora of Thomas Walsingham, 1376-1422, p.238; Armitage-Smith, John of Gaunt, p.311.

[57] Complete Peerage, v, p.479.

[58] Armitage-Smith, John of Gaunt, p.326.