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Chaucer: The Origins

In the Beginning...

Geoffrey Chaucer was born in London, England in 1343, though the exact date and location of his birth are unknown. The name Chaucer, comes from the French word, Chausseur, meaning shoemaker. Some people of the name Chaucer, in London, lived in the Cordwainer Street, in the shoemaker's quarters. Several among them were vintners, wine merchants and Geoffrey's father and grandfather were one among them.

John Chaucer was Geoffrey Chaucer's father and Robert Chaucer was Geoffrey's grandfather and John's father. The time line of Geoffrey's birth and life is very vague and still a matter of debate. Geoffrey was originally thought to have been born in 1328, but was later found that John Chaucer was still unmarried during that time period.

Geoffrey's father, John Chaucer was kidnapped by an aunt of his, when he was twelve years old, to be married to her daughter, to keep the property in Ipswich, within the family. However things went wrong for the aunt and John Chaucer was saved. The aunt was imprisoned and was also levied two hundred fifty pounds, which made sure that the Chaucer family was secured. Years later, in 1349, John married a lady called Agnes Copton.

Hamo De Copton, was a rich man and was a moneyer at the Tower of London. After his death, his properties went to his niece. Agnes Copton herself was therefore from a rich background and inherited twenty four shops from her uncle.
So the Chaucer family, though were wine merchants, was financially secure, though not elite and Geoffrey Chauncer did have a very decent way of life.

Geoffrey Chaucer is however believed to have been born in around 1343, contradicting to the year of his parent's marriage.
The dates of the John and Agnes Copton's marriage and the year of Geoffrey's birth might be some what not accurate, but Geoffrey Chaucer was known to have been a lad around 1957, working under the countess of Ulster and wife of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, Elizabeth. This however is known only from entries. that Elizabeth De Burg had paid Young Geoffrey during the months of April, May and December, various sums for Clothes and other small expenses.

Agnes Copton, though might be referred to as Geoffrey Chaucer's mother, it is believed that John Chaucer might have had Geoffrey Chaucer to some other women, though this is not absolutely proved. This also somewhat paints a picture that John had married Agnes, a few years after Geoffrey was born and the Agnes was not his real mother.

The birth and origin of Geoffrey Chaucer has been vague and is a subject of great debate. Researches have been carried out across the world, to find the details of Geoffrey's Chaucer's birth, but the know facts are that, Agnes Copton, is considered his mother and John Chaucer his father, with Robert Chaucer being his grandfather. John Chaucer is believed to have lived in Thames Street during the time of Geoffrey's birth.

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