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seneschal of Aquitaine, and after Easter embarked at Bristol with fourteen ships laden with troops and landed at Bordeaux. Having been joined by Derby about 1 July, he took part in the earl's campaign in Gascony, commanded the attack by water at the taking of Bergerac on the Dordogne, was constantly with the earl, and, in conjunction with Sir Walter Manny [q. v.], acted as one of his marshals. Sir Richard Stafford was also prominent among the English leaders, was at the siege of Bergerac, commanded the garrison at Liborne, and assisted in the relief of Auberoche. After the surrender of Aiguillon in December, Derby appointed Lord Stafford governor of the place in order that he might operate on the Lot while he himself attacked La Réole (Froissart, vol. iii. pref. p. xx), where Sir Richard was with him at the surrender of the place in January 1346. In March Lord Stafford signified his wish to resign the office of seneschal, and Edward wrote to Derby bidding him if possible to induce him to continue in office (Fœdera, iii. 73). Probably about the beginning of April the Duke of Normandy (afterwards King John of France) advanced with a large army to the siege of Aiguillon. Stafford had repaired the fortifications as well as he could, and where in one place the town lay open is said to have raised a barrier of wine-casks filled with stones (Knighton, col. 2589); the garrison was strong, and he defended the town valiantly (Avesbury, p. 356). Froissart assigns the chief part in the defence to Sir Walter Manny, and it is probable that Stafford left the place some time before the siege was raised, which was not until 20 Aug.; for he certainly fought in the division commanded by the Prince at Creçy on the following Saturday, 28th (Chandos Herald, l. 127; according to Froissart, this was his brother Sir Richard, see iii. 169, 408, but the Herald is the better authority). His brother Richard was also in the battle, and was afterwards sent by the king with Reginald, lord Cobham, to count the slain (ib. pp. 190, 432). Lord Stafford took part in the siege of Calais, and in February 1347 was sent by the king and council on a mission to Scotland with reference to the trial of the Earls of Menteith and Fife (Cal. Doc. Scotland, p. 270). Returning to the English camp, he was present at the surrender of Calais, and, as one of the king's marshals in conjunction with the Earl of Warwick, received the keys of the town and castle (Froissart, iv. 63; according to another recension of the ‘Chroniques,’ ib. p. 293, this is said to have been done by Sir Richard, who was also at the siege, but this is probably a mistake). The king granted him some property in the town (ib. p. 65). He was one of the negotiators of the truce made near Calais on 28 Sept. (Fœdera, iii. 136). During 1348 he was one of the original knights or founders of the order of the Garter, became one of the sureties for the Earl of Desmond [see under Fitzthomas or Fitzgerald, Maurice], received a grant of 573l. for his expenses in France, and contracted to serve the king during his life with sixty men-at-arms for a yearly stipend of 600l. He took part in the naval victory of L'Espagnols-sur-mer in August 1350 (Froissart, iv. 89), and in October was commissioned to treat with the Scots at York (Fœdera, iii. 205).

On 5 March 1351 the king created him Earl of Stafford (Doyle). Having been appointed lieutenant and captain of Aquitaine on 6 March 1352, he proceeded thither, and in September defeated the French forces from Agen, taking captive, along with seven knights of the company of the star, a noted leader named Jean le Meingre or Boucicaut, for whose capture he received the next year 1,000l. from the exchequer (Geoffrey le Baker p. 12; Issues of the Exchequer, p. 159). During a long session of the justices in eyre at Chester he joined the Prince of Wales and others there in 1353 in order to protect them, and afterwards, by the king's orders, returned to Gascony (Knighton, col. 2606). He joined the expedition fitted out by the Duke of Lancaster in the summer of 1355 to aid the king of Navarre, which was finally abandoned, and the earl sailed later with the king to Calais, and took part in Edward's campaign in northern France [see under Edward III]. Returning to England with the king, he accompanied him in his campaign in Scotland, which lasted until the spring of 1356. Meanwhile his brother Sir Richard followed the Prince of Wales into France in 1355, was sent by him with letters to England in December, rejoined his army, and fought at Poitiers on 19 Sept. 1356 (Avesbury, pp. 436, 445; Geoffrey le Baker, pp. 130, 297; Froissart, v. 31). In 1358 the earl received custody of the young Earl of Desmond's lands in Ireland. Both he and Sir Richard having accompanied the king in his expedition to France in October 1359, a sudden attack was made upon the earl's quarters on 26 Nov. when he was in the neighbourhood of Rheims, but he repulsed it with signal success (Knighton, col. 2621). He was one of the commissioners that drew up the treaty of