Author Topic: Sterling, Guy de Dampierre (1280-1305), Namur, ca. 1295  (Read 2606 times)

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Offline Sheep

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Sterling, Guy de Dampierre (1280-1305), Namur, ca. 1295
« on: June 29, 2009, 03:04:12 PM »
My first sterling imitation which I share with you. More will follow soon ;)

Reign/Issue authority: Guy de Dampierre (1280-1305), Marquis of Namur, Count of Flanders
Denomination: Sterling (E(a)sterling), Pollard type.
Mint: Namur
Date: ca. 1295
Literature reference: Mayhew 13
Weight: 1,20 gr
Diameter: 19 mm

Obverse: Bare-headed facing bust. Legend: +MARChIONAMVRC (Marquis of Namur)
Reverse: Long cross pattée with three pellets in each angle. Legend: GCO MЄS FLA DRЄ (Guy, Count of Flanders)

Guy of Dampierre
Guy of Dampierre (Dutch: Gwijde van Dampierre) (c. 1226 – March 7, 1304, Compiègne) was the count of Flanders during the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302.

History
Guy was the second son of William II of Dampierre and Margaret II of Flanders. The death of his elder brother William in a tournament made him joint Count of Flanders with his mother. (She had made William co-ruler of Flanders 1246 to ensure that it would go to the Dampierre children of her second marriage, rather than the Avesnes children of her first.) Guy and his mother struggled against the Avesnes (led by John I, Count of Hainaut) in the War of the Succession of Flanders and Hainault, but were defeated in 1253 at the Battle of Walcheren, and Guy was taken prisoner. By the mediation of Louis IX of France, he was ransomed in 1256. Some respite was obtained by the death of John of Hainaut in 1257.

In 1270, Margaret confiscated the property of English merchants in Flanders; this led to a devastating trade war with England, which supplied most of the wool for the Flemish weavers. Even after her abdication in 1278, Guy often found himself in difficulties with the fractious commoners.

In 1288, complaints over taxes led Philip IV of France to tighten his control over Flanders. Tension built between Guy and the king; in 1294, Guy arranged a marriage between his daughter Philippa and Edward, Prince of Wales. However, Philip imprisoned Guy and two of his sons, forced him to call off the marriage, and imprisoned Philippa in Paris until her death in 1306. Guy was summoned before the king again in 1296, and the principal cities of Flanders were taken under royal protection until Guy paid an idemnity and surrendered his territories, to hold them at the grace of the king.

After these indignities, Guy attempted to revenge himself on Philip by an alliance with Edward I of England in 1297, to which Philip responded by declaring Flanders annexed to the royal domain. The French under Robert II of Artois defeated the Flemings at the Battle of Furnes, and Edward's expedition into Flanders was abortive. He made peace with Philip in 1298 and left Guy to his fate. The French invaded again in 1299 and captured both Guy and his son Robert in January 1300.

The Flemish burghers, however, found direct French rule to be more oppressive than that of the count. After smashing a French army at the Battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302, Guy was briefly released by the French to try to negotiate terms. His subjects, however, refused to compromise; and a new French offensive in 1304 destroyed a Flemish fleet at the Battle of Zierikzee and fought the Flemings to a draw at the Battle of Mons-en-Pévèle. Guy was returned to prison, where he died.

Family
In June 1246 he married Matilda of Bethune (d. November 8, 1264), daughter of Robert VII, Lord of Bethune, and had the following children:
Marie (d. 1297), married Willem V of Gulik (d. 1278) she had a son, William of Jülich. Married in 1285 Simon II de Chateauvillain (d. 1305), Lord of Bremur
Robert III of Flanders (1249–1322)
William (aft. 1249 – 1311), Lord of Dendermonde and Crèvecoeur, married in 1286 Alix of Beaumont and had issue
John (1250 – October 4, 1290), Bishop of Metz and Bishop of Liège
Baldwin (1252–1296)
Margaret (c. 1253 – July 3, 1285), married in 1273 John I, Duke of Brabant
Beatrix (c. 1260 – April 5, 1291), married c. 1270 Floris V, Count of Holland
Philip (c. 1263 – November 1318), Count of Teano, married Mahaut de Courtenay, Countess of Chieti (d. 1303), married c. 1304 Philipotte of Milly (d. c. 1335), no issue
 
In March 1265 he married Isabelle of Luxembourg (d. September 1298), daughter of Henry V of Luxembourg, and had the following children:
Beatrix (d. 1307), married c. 1287 Hugh II of Châtillon
Margaret (d. 1331), married on November 14, 1282 at Roxburgh Alexander of Scotland (son of Alexander III of Scotland), married on July 3, 1286 in Namur Reinoud I, Duke of Guelders
Isabelle (d. 1323), married 1307 Jean de Fiennes, Lord of Tingry and Chatelain of Bourbourg
Philippa (d. 1306, Paris)
John I, Marquis of Namur (1267–1330)
Guy of Namur (d. 1311), Lord of Ronse, sometime Count of Zeeland
Henry (d. November 6, 1337), Count of Lodi, married January 1309 Margaret of Cleves and had issue
Jeanne (d. 1296), a nun at Flines

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Collecting continental sterling imitations. It can be seen here.

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Sterling, Guy de Dampierre (1280-1305), Namur, ca. 1295
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2009, 06:19:50 PM »
Great coin with great historic significance. I would consider it as a coin from Namur/Namen, rather than as a coin from Flanders. I just researched this area and this period.

Baldwin II was the last marquess of Namur of the house of Courtenay. He was an absent landowner, as he spent most of his life raising money to equip an army in ... Constantinople. Baldwin had inherited the title of Emperor of the Asian part of the Crusader's empire (the Latin Empire), which sounds great until you realize that the empire consisted of the city of Constantinople and its immediate surroundings. In spite of Baldwin's efforts to raise money, Constantinople fell to the Nicaeans in 1261.


Baldwin II (1217-1273).

During this time, Henry the Blond, count of Luxembourg, took advantage of Baldwin's precarious position to seize Namur. Baldwin, always out for money and realizing he couldn't wage war on two fronts, sold his rights to Namur to Guy of Dampierre. On 14th september 1266, the armies of Flanders and Luxembourg met at Prény, now in France. Flanders won and Henry was made prisoner (in those days, infantry was killed, cavalry was captured for ransom), so Namur became a property of Flanders.

Why strike imitation English money? This is the time of the hundred years war, pitting the kings of England as dukes of Aquitaine and Normandy against the king of France, both claiming the French throne. The war should have been a quick win for the French king, who could raise a far larger army and had the loyalty of the French citizens in spite of slaughters like Soissons. It wasn't, for three reasons: the longbow, the bodkin and sterling.

When they paid, the English army paid with English currency: the penny and its subdivisions. These coins were of better quality than the French deniers and obols. The predictable result was that people would spend deniers and demand payment in pennies. Imitating pennies - as most people were illiterate, it was sufficient to change the legends - therefore became a good business decision, as long as you were out of reach of the French king. On the latter point, neither Namur, nor Flanders had anything to fear. Namur even had the advantage of being inside the Holy Roman Empire, while Flanders was a nominal ally of the English (but succeeded to stay out of the fighting).

Peter
« Last Edit: June 30, 2009, 06:25:08 PM by Figleaf »
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

Offline Sheep

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Re: Sterling, Guy de Dampierre (1280-1305), Namur, ca. 1295
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2009, 11:43:34 AM »
Thanks Figleaf, interesting information!

You are talking about the Holy Roman Empire. My next addition will be one (let's make it 2) of Louis IV.
Collecting continental sterling imitations. It can be seen here.

Offline Rangnath

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Re: Sterling, Guy de Dampierre (1280-1305), Namur, ca. 1295
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2009, 12:09:16 AM »
I'm afraid my knowledge of Medieval Europe, long bow and bodkins is limited to the (urban?) legend of the origin of pluck yew. 
Any truth to that? Hopefully not.

 The Battle of Agincourt[a] was also an English victory against a much larger French army in the Hundred Years' War; 1415.  A bit later than this coin.

Thank you for the Agincourt 'Puzzler', which clears up some profound questions of etymology, folklore and emotional symbolism. The body part which the French proposed to cut off of the English after defeating them was, of course, the middle finger, without which it is impossible to draw the renowned English longbow. This famous weapon was made of the native English yew tree, and so the act of drawing the longbow was known as "plucking yew". Thus, when the victorious English waved their middle fingers at the defeated French, they said, "See, we can still pluck yew! PLUCK YEW!"

Over the years some 'folk etymologies' have grown up around this symbolic gesture. Since "pluck yew" is rather difficult to say (like "pleasant mother pheasant plucker", which is who you had to go to for the feathers used on the arrows), the difficult consonant cluster at the beginning has gradually changed to a labiodental fricative 'f', and thus the words often used in conjunction with the one-finger-salute are mistakenly thought to have something to do with an intimate encounter. It is also because of the pheasant feathers on the arrows that the symbolic gesture is known as "giving the bird".


richie

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Sterling, Guy de Dampierre (1280-1305), Namur, ca. 1295
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2009, 01:00:50 AM »
Yes, there is some truth to the story. Just enough to make the rest of the story believable. The true part is that the French nobility hated the English longbowmen and it was their habit to have their fingers cut off when they were captured. AFAIK, this was not only done to make sure the men couldn't draw a bow again, but also so that they'd bleed to death. The real crime of the longbowmen of humble descent was that they were able to defeat armoured noblemen with their bodkin-tipped arrows. If you have seen Braveheart, you have an idea of how medieval noblemen thought about fighters killing above their station.

The linguistic part is fun, but nonsense. Bows were made of ash and the feathers could be from any big bird.

Peter
An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.

constanius

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Re: Sterling, Guy de Dampierre (1280-1305), Namur, ca. 1295
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2010, 03:04:14 AM »
Yes, there is some truth to the story. Just enough to make the rest of the story believable. The true part is that the French nobility hated the English longbowmen and it was their habit to have their fingers cut off when they were captured. AFAIK, this was not only done to make sure the men couldn't draw a bow again, but also so that they'd bleed to death. The real crime of the longbowmen of humble descent was that they were able to defeat armoured noblemen with their bodkin-tipped arrows. If you have seen Braveheart, you have an idea of how medieval noblemen thought about fighters killing above their station.

The linguistic part is fun, but nonsense. Bows were made of ash and the feathers could be from any big bird.

Peter

English Longbows were mainly made of yew(google the reasons why english churchyards had yew trees etc) though ash and other woods were used.

From Wikipedia  "They were made from yew in preference, although ash, elm and other woods were also used"

That does not mean I believe the 'pluck you' story though.

Another version from the BBC re the 'V' sign:  The English bowmen were an important part of their king's army and the French king decided that any captured English soldier was to have his first two fingers cut off, to prevent him from being able to use a longbow. As an act of defiance against the French generally, the English came to stick their two (attached) bow-fingers at them - a way of saying 'we can still fire our longbows at you' (or more generally 'go stuff yourself!'). Unfortunately no contemporary accounts of the battle mention this at all, and no enemy would be able to see which, or even how many, fingers a bowman was shaking at him. The main advantage of the longbow was that the bowman stood far enough away from a bow-less adversary so that he was able to kill the enemy whilst he couldn't be reached himself. It is possible that the gesture was not used during combat, but as a general gesture of defiance against France after the battle which may have taken years before coming into general use. However, this is undermined because there was no system of taking prisoners of war in those days, not even one allowing mutilation of the opposition. The most likely outcome of capture for a longbowman, who was unlikely to have had any rich relatives from whom to extract a ransom, was death. Cutting off two fingers seems a little pointless if the prisoner is about to be killed anyway, and who would tell the tale?

Offline Figleaf

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Re: Sterling, Guy de Dampierre (1280-1305), Namur, ca. 1295
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2010, 05:45:26 PM »
Well, there are eyewitness accounts of the rape of Soissons, for instance, that describe the mutilations and bleeding to death. I am stressing eyewitness here, because the usual authors, monks, would routinely twist history to their advantage. Who told the tale? The French inhabitants of Soissons, shocked by what even by medieval standards was unusually cruel behaviour (the English had surrendered and the real culprits were the Burgundians anyway).

As for the yew, yes, it was used, even preferred, but in such short supply that ash dominated, especially since, if you can believe the chroniclers, there were far more ash trees in France than yew trees. Consider the numbers. If 1100 longbowmen in the English army could fire 30 arrows a minute for half an hour, they would need close to a million arrows. Some arrows could be recycled, many couldn't. The weak point of an arrow is the feather. If they need to be replaced, the arrow will be unusable for some time, even when it is recuperated. It is no coincidence that the archers ended the battle as swordsmen. They never had enough arrows.

Lastly, prisoners of low rank were not automatically put to death, just as high ranking prisoners were not always exchanged for ransom. In Crécy, the English king had high ranking prisoners killed when he feared the next French battle would overrun the English lines (he also wanted to free their guards to reinforce the English lines.) In Poitiers, but also in other places there are incidences of exchanges of French and English prisoners immediately after the battle. Both sides made the freed prisoners swear they would not take up arms again.

Peter
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constanius

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Re: Sterling, Guy de Dampierre (1280-1305), Namur, ca. 1295
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2010, 09:12:17 PM »
The arrows were mostly made out of ash, oak or birch, there was no advantage in making them from yew, the yew was reserved for the bows which presumably arrived with the archers from England.  Most accounts I have seen give the rate of fire as only 10 to 15.  So I still think it likely that the English longbows were mainly yew & if more arrows were needed they would be made from french ash etc, anything but yew.

Many of the longbows at Crecy & Poitiers were actually made from imported Spanish yew, which was considered the best.

In England in 1470 compulsory archery practice was renewed, and hazel, ash, and laburnum were specifically allowed for practice bows.  Which means that the superior yew bows could be reserved for combat.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2010, 01:52:24 AM by constanius »