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The Birthday of Anonyma 1

Tucked away in the controller's accounts of the King's Wardrobe for the fifteenth year of Edward I's reign (ie 1286-1287) is a little entry which shows that on 29 May 1287 Eleanor donated a gold cloth at the Dominican priory at Bordeaux to mark the anniversary of the death of her daughter.

This record is the sole positive evidence of the fact that in 1255 Eleanor gave birth, aged not quite thirteen and a half, to her first child - who either died at birth or shortly thereafter. Exactly how we can be sure of this is a longer story, which I have covered in the book ...

But this entry also provides another piece of evidence about Eleanor. It shows clearly that, contrary to popular belief, Eleanor kept her dead children very much in her mind, even some thirty two years later.

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