The Gawain-Poet hints in Patience that he might have had to undergo a period of enforced poverty,
although this immediately follows his adaption of Matthew 5, 3-10
and the conflation of worldly and moral patience with poverty may not necessarily apply directly to the Gawain-Poet.
There is certainly no convincing evidence of enforced poverty in the life of James Cottrell, unless his appointment by the Infante Dom Henrique to the position of Mordomo-Mór in the Order of Christ could be seen as an enforced move from the high life of the royal court to a poorer life in a religious institution. It is hard to see much real poverty in an important role in a very wealthy Order, but the knights of the order were required to take the usual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. It is at least conceivable that James Cottrell would have regarded the life at the Order of Christ as one of enforced relative poverty compared with the high life at court.
© 2005-2007 Ron Catterall