Sunday, March 3, 2013

Sir Richard Stury

King Edward and his knights counting their dead
after the Battle of Crécy, Hundred Years War
Sir Richard Stury (c.1330-1395) was a member of a family that served the kings of England for generations. Stury, during the 1359-60 campaign of the Hundred Years War, was captured along with Geoffrey Chaucer by the French and held at Reims. Where Chaucer, as a valet in Prince Lionel's contingent, had been ransomed for £16, Stury, as a knight in the employ of the king, was worth £50.

He was a chamber knight and a councilor to Edward III. He was also, like many of his fellow chamber knights, a lover of poetry. His will included an expensive copy of the Romance of the Rose.

He and Chaucer were well-acquainted. Their paths would have crossed frequently in London, and they were put together on an embassy in 1377 and a commission in 1390 to look into repairing the dikes and drains of the Thames.

Stury had a reputation for being a Lollard, a follower of the teachings of John Wycliffe. The popularity of this stance waxed and waned over the years, sometimes putting him in opposition to powerful forces in society.

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