This article reviews the surviving evidence for the life of Cecily Chaumpaigne in light of the new discoveries relating to the litigation against her and Chaucer. Her father, William, had been a well-to-do merchant who was not simply a street baker but a dealer in corn. Her mother, Agnes, was aspirational and ambitious, and married after William’s death the wealthy saddler William Pickerel, who had been Edward III’s saddler. Cecily’s eldest brother, Robert, was a valet in the royal household at the same time as Chaucer was an esquire there. He also sought unsuccessfully to take over the saddlery business of his stepfather and mother, but quickly ran into financial difficulties. Much of our understanding of Chaumpaigne is defined by the surviving information about her family, but some facts are clear. She came from a well-to-do, perhaps even prosperous background. At the time of Staundon’s threatened prosecution, she was a mature woman in her early thirties and apparently still single.

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