By Frances A. Underhill
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Additional info for For Her Good Estate: The Life of Elizabeth de Burgh (The New Middle Ages)
Most of Edward’s defenders soon defected to her. While Elizabeth had anticipated Isabella’s landing, she did not join her military operation across England. Though the date of Elizabeth’s first contact with the queen is uncertain— the lady’s 1326 roll begins on September 29, several days after Isabella landed—the queen’s new or newly-revealed supporters soon appeared at Clare. These included Sir John Sturmy, the admiral who had so conveniently missed the queen’s ships. Elizabeth equipped one man at a cost of £8 and sent him to join the queen’s army, though others serving her were equipped and sent to Isabella on “the lady’s secret business,” Robert de Cheddeworth among them.
By November 1318 and into 1320, Damory lent large sums of money to various people: £400 to a knight named Simon Warde, 100 marks to William Marny, £2420 to several other men. Warde, for example, had granted Roger the reversion of lands in Escrick and Kirkby Underknolle in Yorkshire, and the £400 loan represented the cost of the sale. The earliest of these, badly mutilated, covers a few days around midsummer, without location; Elizabeth is not mentioned. 78 The rolls clearly indicate that the household was the lord’s; Elizabeth is referred to once or twice as “the lady,” and her whereabouts are rarely stated.
Her maternal role quickly grew to encompass three stepdaughters and a new daughter of her own. From Bristol she moved to Alton, then found tranquillity at Amesbury before her pilgrimage to Canterbury and St Albans. For the first time in her adult life, Elizabeth was drawn into the royal court’s intrigues, its cajolery and threats, which brought about her eventual submission. After a month’s pilgrimage, she left for another, scarcely less turbulent round of conjugal life with Roger Damory, whose ambition would eclipse Elizabeth in the predominantly masculine political world—at least as far as the documents allow us to observe.