Feast of the Swans

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The Feast of the Swans was a chivalric celebration of the knighting of 267 men at Westminster Abbey on 22 May 1306. It followed a proclamation by Edward I that all esquires eligible for knighthood should come to Westminster to be knighted in turn by their future king, and to march with him against the Scots.[1] The King first knighted his son Edward II who in turn knighted the 266 others.[2]

At the feast that followed the king had two swans brought in. He swore before God and the swans to avenge the murder of John III Comyn, Lord of Badenoch and the desecration of Greyfriars Church in Dumfries by the Earl of Carrick Robert Bruce and his accomplices earlier in the year, and to fight the infidels in the Holy Land.

Among those knighted were Piers Gaveston, Hugh le Despenser, John de Warenne, 7th Earl of Surrey, Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March and his uncle, Roger Mortimer of Chirk.

The event inspired the Vow of the Heron, at which Robert d'Artois and Edward III vowed to conquer France.

See also[edit]

List of people knighted at the Feast of the Swans


  1. ^ Ronald McNair Scott (1982), Robert the Bruce King of Scots, London: Hutchinson & Co 
  2. ^ William Arthur Shaw (1906), The Knights of England (hardback), London: Heraldry Today 

Marc Morris, A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain