Alms for Simon’s soul

Eleanor’s household roll reveals she gave alms for the repose of her husband’s soul on two occasions: 153 silver pennies (£0.64) on 18 August and 84 pennies (£0.35) on 3 September. Wilkinson reiterates Bémont’s suggestion of parsimony, a theme also picked up by Maddicott in his book, and attributes it to either strain on their marriage as a result of the political conflict or to worries about the future now that money was going to be tight. She leans towards the latter, even though Eleanor would soon ship over £7,000 overseas with her sons. Inasmuch as she had reverted to mournful widowhood, adopting russet for clothing and abstaining from meat and fish, perhaps she simply felt that the days of grand gestures were over.

A leaf from Eleanor's Roll
A leaf from Eleanor’s Roll

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