Southern Anthology

Families on the Frontiers of the Old South

James Audley, KG

James Audley, KG[1, 2]

Male 1318 - 1369  (~ 51 years)

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  • Name James Audley 
    Sir James Audley, KG
    Sir James Audley, KG
    Bruges Garter Book
    Suffix KG 
    Born ca. 1318  [3
    Gender Male 
    Military 26 Aug 1346  Crécy-en-Ponthieu, Somme, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    Battle of Crécy 
    Battle of Crécy
    Battle of Crécy
    At Crécy, Edward III and his long-bowmen earned a signal victory over a numerically superior French force. Edward had the advantage of the high ground; moreover, the ground before him was terraced, a feature that forced the French cavalry to mass on Edward's right where his son was in command. Denied the ability to manuever, the numbers became a liability for the French. "[T]he majority were crushed to death," according to Geoffrey le Baker. The slaughter among the nobility was so great that Philip VI's ability to govern was materially impaired. English influence on the continent experienced a revival.
    Military 4 Sep 1346  Calais, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Siege of Calais (to 3 Aug 1347). 
    Title 1348  St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle, Windsor, Berkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Inaugural member of the Order of the Garter. 
    KG Arms of Sir James Audley
    KG Arms of Sir James Audley
    Military 19 Sep 1356  Nouaillé, Vienne, Poitou-Charentes, France Find all individuals with events at this location  [5
    • Audley led a four-man cavalry charge to John's front, a diversion that allowed John de Grailly to slip his horses into John's rear and cause a fatal loss of formation for the advancing French troops.
    Battle of Poitiers
    Battle of Poitiers
    At the Battle of Poitiers, the isolated and outnumbered army of the Prince of Wales defeated King John II. As at Crécy, the Anglo-Gascon force made good, defensive use of the field by occupying high ground that was broken to their front and offered security to the flanks and rear. Unlike Crécy, John was able to bring up his army in good order. As attrition began to tell for the French, Wales turned their flank with a desperate and wholly unexpected cavalry charge. John and his son Philip were captured on the field.
    Died 1369  Fontenay-le-Comte, Vendée, Pays de la Loire, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Buried Poitiers, Poitou-Charentes, France Find all individuals with events at this location 
    • Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 02, "Audley, James (1316?-1369," by George Fisher Russell Barker.

      AUDLEY, or AUDELEY, JAMES de (1316?-1369), one of the original knights or founders of the order of the Garter, was, according to the best authorities, the eldest son of Sir James Audeley, of Stretton Audeley, Oxon, who served in the expedition to Gascony in 1324 and to Scotland in 1327, and Eva, daughter of Sir John Clavering, and widow, first, of Thomas de Audeley and, secondly, of Sir Thomas Ufford. In 1346 letters of protection were granted him to proceed beyond the seas upon an expedition to France in the retinue of Edward III and the Black Prince. In 1350 he took part in the naval battle with the Spaniards off Sluys. After the expiration of the truce in 1354, the Black Prince advanced on Bordeaux, accompanied by Sir James Audeley and his brother, Sir Peter. At this time Sir James was in constant attendance on the prince; he distinguished himself by many brave exploits, particularly in the taking of Chastiel Sacra by assault, and at the battle of Poitiers on 19 Sept. 1356. According to Froissart, Sir James had made a vow that if ever he was engaged in any battle in company with the king or any of his sons, he 'would be the foremost in the attack and the best combatant on his side, or die in the attempt.' Having obtained the prince's permission, he posted himself with his four esquires in front of the English army. In his eagerness for the fray he advanced so far that he engaged the Lord Arnold d'Audreghen, marshal of France, whom he severely wounded, and whose battalion was finally routed. So energetic was Sir James, that Froissart says of him that 'he never stopped to make any one his prisoner that day, but was the whole time employed in fighting and following the enemy.' He was severely wounded in the body, head, and face, but, covered with blood as he was, he continued to fight as long as he was able. At last, overcome with exhaustion, he was carried out of the battle by his four esquires.

      Upon the Black Prince inquiring for him after the fighting had ceased, he was taken on a litter to the royal tent. There the prince told him that he had been the bravest knight on his side, and granted him an annuity of 500 marks. On his return to his own tent. Sir James made over the royal gift to his four esquires (Dutton of Dutton, Delves of Doddington, Foulehurst of Crewe, and Hawkestone of Wainehill). Hearing of this generous conduct, the Black Prince confirmed the grant to the esquires, and granted to Sir James a further pension of 600 marks. In 1359 Sir James was one of the principal commanders of a fresh expedition to France. In the next year he carried the fortress of Chaven, in Brittany, by assault, and was present with the king when the treaty of peace was signed at Calais. During the expedition of the Black Prince into Spain, in the year 1362, Sir James was appointed governor of Acquitaine. In 1369 we find him filling the important office of great seneschal of Poitou.

      After taking part with the Earl of Cambridge in the capture of the town of La Roche-sur-Yon in that year, he went to reside at Fontenay-le-Comte, where, in the words of Froissart, 'he was attacked with so severe a disorder that it ended his life.' His obsequies were performed in the city of Poitiers, and were attended by the prince in person. On the foundation of the order of the Garter in 1344, Sir James was instituted as one of the 'first founders,' as they were described on their plates of arms in St. George's Chapel, Windsor. His stall was the eleventh on the prince's side ; his plate of arms, though in existence in 1569, has long since disappeared. Sir Thomas Granson succeeded to the stall which became vacant on Audeley's death.

      [Beltz's Memorials of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, 75-84; Sir N. H. Nicolas' History of the Orders of Knighthood of the British Empire, i. 37, ii. li; Dictionary of the D. U. K. Society, iv. pt. i. p. 91; Burke's Extinct Peerage; Sir John Froissart's Chronicles, translated by Thomas Johnes, i.; Notes and Queries, 4th series, iii. 596, iv. 44.]

      G. F. R. B. [6]
    Person ID I14501  Dickinson
    Last Modified 20 May 2018 

    Father James de Audley of Stratton Audley,   d. Before 1 Mar 1334 
    Relationship Birth 
    Mother Eva de Clavering,   d. 30 Sep 1369 
    Relationship Birth 
    • Eva de Clavering was Audley's mistress. [3]
    Family ID F4432  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Sources 
    1. [S336463] Medieval Lands: A prosopography of medieval European noble and royal families, Charles Cawley, (Online: The Foundation for Medieval Genealogy at, 20XX),

    2. [S336470] Wikipedia, (Online:, "James Audley,"
      "Sir James Audley (or Audeley) KG (c. 1318-1369) was one of the original knights, or founders, of the Order of the Garter. He was the eldest son of Sir James Audley of Stratton Audley in Oxfordshire."

    3. [S156] A Great and Glorious Adventure: A History of the Hundred Years War and the Birth of Renaissance England, Gordon Corrigan, (New York: Pegasus Books, 2014), 140.

    4. [S518] The Black Prince: England's Greatest Medieval Warrior, Michael Jones, (New York: Pegasus Books, 2018), 108.

    5. [S518] The Black Prince: England's Greatest Medieval Warrior, Michael Jones, (New York: Pegasus Books, 2018), 183-227.

    6. [S336351] Dictionary of National Biography, 63 volumes, Sir Sidney Lee, ed., (New York: McMillan and Company, 1885-1900), Public Domain., 2: 250-251.