This Day in History: 1352-08-23

On 23rd August 1352, Edward III gave permission for Henry of Grosmont, nephew of Thomas, Earl of Lancaster and lord of Pontefract, and now himself Duke of Lancaster and Earl of Leicester and Derby and Steward of England, ‘to excuse himself in respect of things wickedly laid to his charge by the duke of Brunswyk’ and to go to France with an escort of sixty knights and an earl. In Cologne Cathedral, Henry had accused Otto, Duke of Brunswick, of being complicit in an ambush upon him by Westphalian knights in early 1352 and that this had been known by King John II of France. He had also challenged Otto to a duel which he accepted and which was to be held at the Pré-aux-Clercs. At the last minute, King John intervened declaring that Henry’s accusation had been misreported to Otto. A banquet for the two ‘contestants’ was held with Henry accepting a gift of the relic the Crown of Thorns in Sainte-Chapelle.