The fourteenth century was a time of transformation for both royal court and household but the role of the queen’s ladies-inwaiting has been little explored. This paper focuses on the women who served Philippa of Hainault during the forty years she was Edward III’s consort (1328–1369). As part of a broader prosopographical study of the highborn female servants who waited upon queens and noblewomen in late medieval England, this analysis of Philippa’s attendants employs England’s abundant administrative sources to investigate how women were selected for royal service and the typical durations of their tenure at court. It reveals some of the social and kinship networks in which courtier ladies and damsels operated; for example, the types of marital connections forged by female attendants before or during their years at court. The study also categorizes and evaluates the rewards—which could be political, social, or financial—earned by royal ladies and damsels after years of loyal service to the queen. Finally, this exploration highlights the types of duties and activities undertaken and experienced by these select members of the elite who witnessed the major historical events of the fourteenth century, but who usually played their active roles behind the scenes.
"All the Queen's Ladies? Philippa of Hainault's Female Attendants,"
Medieval Prosopography: Vol. 31
, Article 10.
Available at: http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/medpros/vol31/iss1/10