Saturday, 13 February 2016

Medieval Mistresses

Dunster Casle as it is today
Contrary to what we have been forced to believe, medieval women were effective administrators and fierce defenders of their property, doing what ever was necessary to protect the rights of their offspring.
Alice Mohun, the last in the line of my Mohun ancestors, was just such a woman.
Alice, was the mistress of James Audley, Marcher Lord and one of the council of fifteen men nominated by the Provisions of Oxford. Audley had granted Alice the land and rights of the manor of Horseheath in Cambridgeshire, but on his death in 1272, Alice was forced to fight Audley's legitimate children's claim on the estate in court. It was not until 1278 that she finally received the lands, but on her sons death in 1286 it was lost and reverted to James Audley's youngest son Hugh. However, by 1313 it had reverted back to Alice's grandson James and on his death to his son William Audley, whose memorial brass you can see below.

As you can see, nearly all of the figure of William remains, but much of the surrounding decoration is long gone, apart that is, from a cute little angel appearing out of a cloud.

A mistress Alice may have been, but she saw to it that her child received his share of his fathers estate.

You can read more about the family of Mohun on my website at

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