This Day in History: 1311-05-27

The immediate product of Thomas of Lancaster’s de Lacy inheritance (including Pontefract) in February 1311, was a worsening of his relations with the king. The Lanercost chronicler tells how he came north to do homage for his new earldoms, but refused to leave the kingdom to meet Edward II, while Edward similarly refused to come to him over the Tweed. Civil war was feared, for Lancaster threatened to return with a hundred knights and enter his new lands by force. Eventually, however, the king gave way, crossed the Tweed and came to the earl near Berwick, where an apparently amicable meeting took place; though Lancaster still refused to greet Gaveston, who accompanied the king. The Chronicle of Lanercost records that on 27th May 1311 Edward II ordered the escheators (legal officers dealing with a deceased’s property) to deliver the bulk of the former de Lacy lands to Lancaster and his wife, ‘Thomas having done fealty and the king having respited his homage . . . until he be lawfully warned to do the same’. Lancaster did not perform homage until 26th August.