Monday, 25 May 2015

William of Hainaut, Bishop of Cambrai

Sterling, William of Hainaut, Bishop of Cambrai, c. 1292-96, Mayhew 87-8

During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the English penny (or sterling) was imitated on the continent by a number of rulers. They may be divided into pollards (portrait crowned, as on the English prototypes) and crockards where the portrait is garlanded by roses.

I was recently sent an example of a crockard issued by William of Hinaut.

William of Avesnes, or Hainaut, born in 1254 and died in 1296, was a French prelate of the thirteenth century. He is the son of John I of Avesnes and Adelaide of Holland. He is the brother of John II of Avesnes, Count of Hainaut, Holland and Zeeland.

William was provost of Cambrai, at the time of his election as bishop of Cambrai in 1290. There are many arguments between the bishop and the chapter. There can be a lot of sympathy between the bishop and the canons, when we know that they are at war with John of Avesnes, Count of Hainault, brother of William, whose officers had come to the village Onains to burn down several houses, ddemolish the mill, remove the bailiff with other people and many cattle, and they have even hanged a man. After several successive compromises, these disputes did not end until 1335. William died in 1296, on the route to Jerusalem.