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AUDLEY, or Audeley, SIR JAMES (c. 1316-1386), one of the original knights, or founders, of the order of the Garter, was the eldest son of Sir James Audley of Stratton Audley in Oxfordshire. When the order of the Garter was founded, he was instituted as one of the first founders, and his stall in St George’s chapel, Windsor, was the eleventh on the side of Edward, the Black Prince. He appears to have served in France in 1346, and in August 1350 took part in the naval fight off Sluys. When hostilities were renewed between England and France in 1354 Sir James was in constant attendance upon the Black Prince, and earned a great reputation for valour. At the battle of Poitiers on the 19th of September 1356 he took his stand in front of the English army, and after fighting for a long time was severely wounded and carried from the fight. After the victory, the prince inquired for Sir James, who was brought to the royal tent, where Edward told him he had been the bravest knight on his side, and granted him an annuity of five hundred marks. Sir James made over this gift to the four esquires who had attended him during the battle, and received from the prince a further pension of six hundred marks. In 1359 he was one of the leaders of an expedition into France, in 1360 he took the fortress of Chaven in Brittany, and was present at Calais when peace was made between England and France in October 1360. He was afterwards governor of Aquitaine and great seneschal of Poitou, and took part in the capture of the town of La Roche-sur-Yon by Edmund, earl of Cambridge. He died in 1386 at Fontenay-le-Comte, where he had gone to reside, and was buried at Poitiers.

See Jean Froissart, Chronigues, translated by T. Johnes (Hafod, 1810); G.F. Beltz, Memorials of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (London, 1841).

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