Alice Perrers and the Goldsmiths’ Mistery: New Evidence Concerning the Identity of the Mistress of Edward III
In the last ten years, Mark Ormrod has published two articles in which he revealed the discovery of new evidence regarding the origins of Alice Perrers, the notorious mistress of Edward III during the final years of his life. From this research two new facts emerged: first, that Alice had a brother named John Salisbury, and second, that before her relationship with the king she was married to a man named Janyn Perrers. However, many questions remained unanswered. This article now reveals further discoveries from the collections of the London Metropolitan Archives and the Goldsmiths’ Company, which shed new light on the identities of John and Janyn and the wider questions surrounding Alice’s birth and early life. Through a detailed study of Alice’s later life, it examines the consequences of these findings in terms of Alice’s relationship with the king, her commercial activity and property acquisitions, ultimately establishing a clear context for the behaviour for which she would be condemned as the mistress of Edward III.
English Historical Review, 130: 547 (2015), 1361-91