To end then here is James and Alice's story.
If you remember, my 22nd great grandmother Alice Mohun, whose family I have been researching, gave birth to an illegitimate son by James Audley.
In 1237, James Audley was in his late teens had not yet come to prominence and Alice was a young girl, just widowed. Between 1237 and 1244 the two began a sexual relationship and Alice was soon pregnant, their son James, was born before 1245. He was acknowledged by Audley and as he grew up took his father's surname. Whether a marriage between the two was considered is not known, but in 1244 James Audley married a woman further up the social ladder. Audley wife was Ela Longspree. It has been suggested that the Longspree/Audley marriage was troubled one, but there is no reason given for this. However, Audley’s decision to give up their six year old son as a hostage to Simon de Montfort's forces in the August of 1264 may have been too much for Ela, and according to a court case (evidence of which I am unable to find) the couple were living apart.
When Alice was widowed for the second time in 1263 when her husband, Robert Beauchamp died, at least four of her children were under the age of fourteen, the children's ward ships, it has been said, were granted to James Audley. This fact may be true, but I have found no evidence to back it up, however the suggestion may come from the incorrect notion that Beauchamp’s eldest son and heir, John Beauchamp, had married Audley’s daughter Joan and that he had died during the last month of Joan’s pregnancy, (it was common practice for a ward to be married into the family of whom the ward ship had been granted.) John Beauchamp, had in fact, married Cicely de Vivonne and had died in 1283.
Also linked to this wardship grant, is the idea that Alice was Audley’s mistress. The term mistress means
...“a woman having an extramarital sexual relationship, especially with a married man.”
If we apply this to Alice, this would mean that she had continued her relationship with Audley, after 1237, even though they were both married, or the relationship began again when his marriage to Ela was in trouble, if that was the case, anyone of Beauchamp's children could have actually been Audley’s. The other possibility could be that she became his mistress, after the death of her husband and his marriage had failed, until his death in 1272. This assumption is backed up by Alice’s claim that Audley had granted her the land and rights of the manor of Horseheath in Cambridgeshire in 1263.
Its not quite goodbye to these 13th century Barons, James Audley appears in another of my family histories. But for now it is goodbye...............*Waves