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Chaucer, Geoffrey

Born: 1343 AD
Died: 1400 AD
Nationality: English
Categories: Authors, Diplomat, Philosopher, Poets

1343 – He was born this year in London.


1359 – In the early stages of the Hundred Years’ War, Edward III invaded France, Geoff traveled with Lionel of Antwerp, Elizabeth’s husband, as part of the English army.


1360 – He was captured during the siege of Rheims, becoming a prisoner of war. Edward contributed £16 as part of a ransom, and he was released.


1366 – He married Philippa Roet. She was a lady-in-waiting to Edward III’s queen, Philippa of Hainault, and a sister of Katherine Swynford, who later became the third wife of Chaucer’s friend and patron, John of Gaunt.


1367 – He is presumed to have studied law in the Inner Temple at about this time, although definite proof is lacking. It is recorded that he became a member of the royal court of Edward III as a valet, yeoman, or esquire on 20 June 1367, a position which could entail any number of jobs.


1368 – He may have attended the wedding of Lionel of Antwerp to Violante, daughter of Galeazzo II Visconti, in Milan.


1373 – He traveled to Picardy the next year as part of the military expedition, and visited Genoa and Florence in this year.


1374 – He obtained the very substantial job of Comptroller of the Customs for the port of London, which Chaucer began on 8 June of this year.


1377 – On a trip, later documents suggest it was a mission, along with Jean Froissart, to arrange a marriage between the future Richard II and a French princess, thereby ending the Hundred Years War. If this was the purpose of their trip, they seem to have been unsuccessful, as no wedding occurred.


1378 – Richard II sent him as an envoy/secret dispatch to the Visconti and to Sir John Hawk wood, English Man-at Arms/Soldier for Hire, in Milan.


1386 – He also became a Member of Parliament for Kent.


1389 – He was appointed the clerk of the king’s works, a sort of supervisor organizing most of the king’s building projects.


1399 – Almost immediately after the overthrow of his patron Richard II in this year, he vanished from the historical record.


1400 – He died this year in London, England.