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Saturday, June 19, 2010

General John Hawkwood

1477526. General John Hawkwood

1323, John born in Sible Hedingham parish, Essex, England, 2nd s/o 2955052. Gilbert Hawkwood.

1/24/1327, Edward III, age 14, succeeded Edward II as King of England.

1330’s, John bound as an apprentice to a merchant-tailor in London. [He would be later known in Italy as “John of the needle”.]

1330’s, John studied warfare under an uncle who had served with distinction in France.

7/18/1340, Gilbert [John’s father] wrote his will: … sons John the elder, John the younger, Nicholas, … to John junior 20£.100s. and a bed … John named an “executor” in his father’s will. [His older brother John was actually the heir and of majority.]

1340, John’s father died.

8/14/1341, Assignment to William de Bohun, earl of Northampton, for wages of 280 men of arms, whereof 7, himself included, shall be with the standard and 74 shall be knights, 200 armed men and 250 archers for 40 days … 1,085£ … (S) CPRs. [John served in France under William de Bohun.]

8/18/1342, William de Bohun with Robert of Artois, lands in Brest, and then advances across Brittany and captures Vannes.

9/30/1342, In the opening phase of the Hundred Years War, William de Bohun, Earl of Northampton, defeated Charles of Blois at Morlaix. 50 French knights were killed, and 150 captured. William then and took the town of Roch-Dirien by assault.

1344, John, under his older brother John with his wife Margery, held court at Gosfield.

8/26/1346, Battle of Crecy, north of Paris. Edward III vs. Philip VI, heralded the rise of the longbow as the dominant weapon, and also saw the use of the ribauldequin, an early cannon, by the English. The English longbowmen could fire much more quickly than the Genoese, with a killing range of 250 yards. John rose to captain in the military in command of 250 archers.

9/1346, The English began the year-long siege of the port of Calais. [Ended 8/1347.]

6/1349, The Plague reached Dorset, and had spread across England by the end of 1349.

By 1350, John returned to England.

3/16/1350 at London, The King granted to John de Coggeshale and to Isabel late the wife of John Baynard the custody of all the lands which belonged to the inheritance of John Baynard, … Witnesses: Peter de Boxstede, John Haukwode, … (S) CCRs.

9/19/1356, John in the Battle of Poitiers in France. Edward, the Black Prince, defeated a larger French and allied army led by King John II of France, leading to the capture of the king, his son, and much of the French nobility. By treaty, England was permitted to annex much of western France. In addition, France would pay a ransom of 4 million écus for the king.

Bef. 1360, John knighted.

1360, John was “out of work” because of the peace of Bretigny. He became a mercenary, attacking Burgundy and the Pope’s territory of Avignon.

5/1361, The Pope paid the Marquis of Montferrat to employ John’s band of soldiers in his wars against Milan. John’s group received 10,000 of 60,000 francs paid on enlistment of soldiers.

11/1361, Contract of Sir Joh Hawkwood. [Oldest contract with his name.]

4/6/1362, John led Englishmen in the battle of Brignais against French forces under the command of Jacques de Bourbon [who died in the battle]. The English were part of ‘routier’ [free] forces under Sequin de Badefol. [The 3 groups making up the army disbanded after the battle.]

1363, The Marquis ended his war with Milan. John and his band of 1000 lances took service with the Pisans [Italy was not a nation, but a collection of independent city-states.] John became commander-in-chief in the wars against Florence. He was described as “rather above the middle height, with libs strongly knit, a fresh complexion, and brown hair and eyes.” His group was called the White Company of Free Lances.

1363, John heir to his older brother John. His brother Nicholas and others held the manoral court as trustees for Sir John who was “in the wars beyond the seas.”

1363, John at the Victory at Canturino.

1363-64 [Winter], John, captain of the Pisan forces, army involved in battles against the Count of Montfort, of Florence, Italy.

12/1363, In a document giving the pay of the soldiers ‘lately received’ into the service of the Pisan Republic, and forming the guard of Signor Giovanne Acuto [Italian name for John Hawkwood], captain general of war for Pisa. [The body guards consisted of 2 constables, 2 pages, 38 foot soldiers, and 6 ‘boys’.]

2/1364, John in the 1st winter offensive against Florence, which was unsuccessful, mostly due to German forces fighting for the other side.

5/1/1364, John, joined with other free German forces, from the hills of Fiesole, attacked the fortifications protecting Florence, reaching the city gates. [Florence eventually bought off the attacking forces, the English army receiving 70,000 of 100,000 florins for a 5-month truce agreement. The German force, led by Bongarden, of about 600 left the group for the pay of Florence, leaving John with 800 in support of Pisa.]

8/1364, John, commissioned by Pisa, at the defeat at Cascina in Tuscany in support of Pisan forces. Florence had 11,000 foot soldiers and 4000 horse. Inside the city were additional Genoese crossbow soldiers, who effectively defeated the attacking Pisan foot soldiers. The Florence force then attacked, capturing 2000 of the Pisan force.

1364, Returning to Pisa, after a peace agreement with Florence, Giovanni Agnello, a rich merchant, usurped power in Pisa with John as his principal assistant receiving 30,000 florins for his army.

1/1365, Queen Joanna of Naples contracted the White Company for 160,000 florins to keep peace towards the kingdom for 5 years, and to fight for it against the Germans led by Bongarden. The White Company was joined with a large Hungarian contingent and various other groups under the command of Hugh de Mortime as captain-general.

7/1365, The White Company was near Perugia where they lost a battle to the Germans led by Bongarden.

10/12/1365, A peace agreement between Florence and multiple parties signed by 42 persons including John, his band of mercenaries now called the Company of St. George, under Abrogio Visconti as Captain, and John Hawkwood, the Count of Hapsburg and Giovanni de Buda as constables.

1366, John’s group besieged Siena and eventually received a 10,500 florin settlement. [Soon after the group broke up due to a defeat of the main forces under Abrogio Visconti.]

3/29/1367, John, joined up with another English group, at the victory over the Sienese forces at Montalcinello.

6/15/1368, Sir John attended Lionel, Duke of Clarence, 3rd s/o King Edward III, on his wedding at Milan. [The famous writers Froissart and Petrarch were in attendance, and both wrote about Sir John from personal knowledge.]

10/1368, Lionel, duke of Clarence died. his father-in-law suspected of his poisoning. Sir John and Edward Lord Despenser joined forces in battle againt Galeazzo Visconti. A peace agreement was eventually made at the Court of Savoy.

6/1369, John captured at the Battle of Arezzo against the Pope’s forces.

1369, John ransomed by Ingelram de Coucy, husband of King Edward’s daughter Isabel.

12/1369, John fighting for Milan at the victory of Cascina, with large losses on both sides, but eventually taking 2000 prisoners.

1370-71, Sir John return to visit England.

8/1/1371, Sir John named an executor in the will of Thomas de Vere, 8th Earl of Oxford.

11/4/1371, IPM of Thomas de Veer, Earl of Oxford. Essex: … Hengham ad Castrum. Half a knight’s fee, held by Elizabeth Pichard and John Haukwod. … (S) CIsPM.

6/1372, John fighting for Milan at the victory of Rubiera.

1372, John left the Milanese service to serve the Pope. [This would be contentious because the promised payments from the church were never realized.]

10/1372, John’s children and mistress taken hostage by Milanese ruler Bernardo Visconti.

6/1373, Grant from Pope Gregory for his illegitmate children and property near Bologna.

1374, In a time of peace, Sir John returned to Tuscany.

7/1375, John made successful raids into Tuscany, while only on good terms with Florence. [Between Florence, Pisa, Lucca and Arezzo, in just over 4 months, the English Company of John had obtained 174,800 florins in gold, which when combined with the money from Siena amounted to a total of 2.5 million francs.]

1/1376, John took the Abbot of Montemaggiore, recently created a Cardinal by his kinsman the Pope, as a prisoner; demanding the 100,000 florins owed to him for his services to the church. The Pope in compensation gave a lordship of an area the size of a principality to John called Bagnacavallo.

1376, John’s two sons were take hostage at Bologna. John made a peace treaty for their return.

8/1376, John a part of the massacre at Cesena, although he attempted to save many of the cities persons.

1377, John returned to England. King Edward granted Sir John and Sir John de Clifford a full pardon for all penalties incurred by an English subject in making war against the King’s allies. [Necessary for employment by the crown. John also requested a pardon for Sir Robert Knolles.]

4/1377, Induced by a salary of 250,000 florins, Sir John agreed to support Bernabo Visconti.

5/1377 in Milan, Italy, Sir John married 2nd Donnina, natural d/o Bernabo Visconti, sovereign of Milan. [Donnina mother of John the heir, and 3 daughters.]

6/21/1377, Richard II, age 10, son of the Black Prince, succeeded Edward III as King of England.

11/14/1377, As a majore land holder, John Haukewode appointed to a commission to levy and collect taxes in Essex. (S) CFRs. [John was not in the country to perform the service.]

5/1378, Sir John and the lord of Milan received Sir Edward de Berkekely and Geoffrey Chaucer [the poet] as ambassadors of King Richard II of England.

1378, Sir John brokered a peace between his patron and Verona.

1378, ‘Johannes Haukwood’ wrote a letter on which he placed his seal. (S) Extant.

3/3/1379, Letter from Sir John Hawkwood to Louis de Gonzaga of Mantua requesting safe conduct for ‘son-in-law Sir William de Coggeshall’, who had been for some time residing in Milan.

1379, John dismissed from the Milanese service.

7/30/1379, To escheator in Essex. Order to cause William Coggeshale knight, son and heir of Henry Coggeshale knight and of Joan his wife, to have seisin of the lands of his father and mother in the wardship of Thomas de Coggeshale … at the petition of John Haukewode, witnessing by letters that the said William is over sea in his company and of full age, the king has respited his homage and fealty until his coming to England. (S) CCRs.

1379-80, John living in Romagna, and in a feude with Astorre Manfredi of Faenza.

1380, Sir John built and endowed the English Hospital at Rome for the reception and entertainment of poor English pilgrims to the tombs of the Apostles.

9/3/1380, John Haukwode found guilty of treason because he denied the king’s laws. [Eventually reversed.] (S) The Law of Treason in England, Bellamy, 2004, P94.

5/1381, Sir John appointed an ambassador to Pope Urban by King Richard II; and empowered to conclude treaties with states of northern Italy.

8/1381, Sir John sold his Romagna properties to Niccolo d’Este, buying estates in Tuscany and Umbria.

3/8/1382, John Fordam bishop of Durham … and Piers Brunel merchants of Lukes of the one part … Indenture of defeasance of the foregoing bond, upon condition that £666 13s. 4d. be paid … for payment by Sir John Haukwode to the attorneys or fellows of the said Francis and Piers at the city of Florence or Lukes, at Boloigne la Grasse or Pyse of 4,444½ ducats or new florins of Florence … (S) CCRs.

1382, Sir John appointed by King Richard II as ambassador to Pope Urban VI and Charles of Durazzo.

1383, John in service of the Kingdom of Naples.

5/1/1385, Bernabo was disposed by his son-in-law Carlo Visconti. “The magnificent and noble Knight Sir John Hawkwood” was contracted to the son-in-law by an annual stipend of 1000 florins in service to Milan. The treaty was executed at Sir John’s residence at Cavezzo in Modena.

1387, John in the service of Florence had a major victory at Castagnaro. A short battle of with 716 casualties and 846 wounded. But John’s forces captured 4620, of which 284 were men-at-arms.

1388-89, John in the service of the Kingdom of Naples.

1390, Sir John joined forces with the Florentines against his former benefactor to overpower Milan. French and German forces were involved. Sir John managed to extricate himself from a trapped position and became famous as a strategist. He then successfully defended Tuscany.

1391, Pier Paolo Vergerio witnessed John’s speech to his troops near Verona and descrbed him as “more able with hand and industry than tongue.”

4/1391, John and his son John made citizens of Florence, Italy; given a pension of 2000 florins a year, and exempted from all taxes. Sir John was also appointed General in Chief for life of all forces of the Republic. [Machiavelli stated that a less conservative Sir John might have made himself master of the state.]

11/8/1392 in Florence, Italy, John Haukwode, chivaler wrote a letter to Thomas Cogsale which he sent by Johan Sampson. (S) Calendar of Plea and Memoranda Rolls of London, V3, 1932, Roll A 41. [This is a very early example of a letter written in English.] “Dere S' I grete you wel and do you to wytyn þt at the makyng of þis lettre I was in god poynt I thank god... I sende Johan Sampson bryngere of þis lettre to you enformed of certeyn thyngs quiche he schal tellyn you be mouthe Qwerfore I preye you þat ye levyn hym as my persone Wrytyn at Florence þe vii day of Novembre.”

2/20/1393 in Florence, Italy, John Haukwode wrote a letter to Thomas Cogsale [uncle of his son-in-law] which he sent about his “well beloved squire” Jankyn Sampson. (S) Calendar of Plea and Memoranda Rolls of London, V3, 1932, Roll A 41.

4/20/1393, Indenture made between Thomas Coggesale and John Sampson, servant of John Haukwode. “This endenture mad bitwen my maister Thomas Coggesale on that on half & me John Sampson on that other half witnesseth that my maister sire John Haukwode knyght bad me the forseid John Sampson seyen my credence to you Thomas Coggeshale …  I am comen to pursueu ii saufcondutes on for my maister & another my self & v men & v hors … my mayster sendeth you to seyen that yif he deye bifore his comyng horn that ye wolde knowe his will what he wolde were don with the londes & tenementz that been purchased to his bihufthe in Englond …  i prest in the parisshe chirche of Hethyngham Sibille. & also yif my lady Haukwode overlive my maister sire John Haukwode & kepe hire sole & come in to Engelond he preyeth you & alle the other feffetz ye wolde enfeffe here in lisstories & ostages in Hethyngham to terme of here lyf: the reversioun to John Haukwode the sone of here in the tayle … til John my maistressone be of ful age … (S) Calendar of Plea and Memoranda Rolls of London, V3, 1932, Roll A 41.

3/17/1394, Sir John died at his villa. He was given a State funeral and was buried in the church of S. Giovanni in Florence. Donnina received a pension of 1000 florins.

(S) Gen. Memoirs of the Extinct Family of Chester of Chicheley, Waters, 1878. (S) Hawkwood, Diabolical Englishman, Frances Saunders, 2004. (S) John Hawkwood, Caferro, 2007. (S) Giovanni Acuto Soria D’un Condotiere, 1889.

Family notes:

·         In 1412, Sir John’s executors in England erected a cenotaph monument in the church Hedingham Sible to Sir John; and endowed a perpetual chantry in Hedingham nunnery to celebrated mass daily for Sir Hohn Hawkwood, Kt. and his military companions Thomas Oliver and John Newenton, Esqs.

Children of John and ?:

i. Antiocha Hawkwood (738763), born ~1360 in Milan, Italy.

Children of John and Donnina.

ii. John Hawkwood, born 2/1386 in Italy. [heir]

1406, John returned to England.

11/3/1406, Grant of denization to John son of John Haukwode, knight, deceased, born in Italy. (S) CPRs. [No male heir.]

8/14/1409, John Haukewode, son and heir of John Haukewode knight, to John Barton the younger … (S) CCRs.


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