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Archive for the month “Sep, 2016”

Kingfinding fever spreads to Scotland

This Glasgow Herald article illustrates how historian Sheila Pitcairn wishes to search Dunfermline Abbey and identify Malcolm III and his family. Robert I (le Brus) can easily be found there already.

Margaret_and_Malcolm_Canmore_(Wm_Hole)

The widowed Malcolm III married (St.) Margaret of Wessex, great-niece of Edward the Confessor and granddaughter of Edmund Ironside, in about 1070, allowing Anglo-Saxon royal blood to pass into the Scottish monarchy and then the English Plantagenets via their daughter Edith who married Henry I. St. Margaret is also among the lost members of the House of Dunkeld thought to be buried at the Abbey, together with their offspring: Edward (killed with Malcolm fighting the Normans at Alnwick), Edmund (a co-ruler) and Ethelred (Abbot of Dunkeld), Edgar, Alexander I and David I (three of the kings who reigned after Malcolm) and their grandson Malcolm IV (David I’s son).

Exhumers would also expect to find Donald III (Malcolm III’s brother) and Alexander I’s wife Sybilla although some parts of Malcolm and St. Margaret may have been in Edinburgh Castle, the Scots College at Douai in France or the Escorial in Madrid. They may have been lost due to later events.

An interesting view on Chronicle sources

In his excellent book The Greatest Traitor Ian Mortimer states (p.188)…’With regard to secret plots, most chronicles reflect contemporary rumour and popular opinion more closely than historical facts. To put the issue in perspective, imagine the results if several amateur historians – perhaps working in retirement homes, which monasteries sometimes were – began to write up accounts of a covert political assassination five, ten, or twenty years after the event. Imagine them trying to do the same thing in an age before literacy was common, without television, newspapers, radio or railways.’

Quite! Food for thought in a much wider context than the supposed murder of Edward II.

Margaret Beaufort and the Princes in the Tower — Matt’s History Blog

Historical opinion often moves in circles on certain topics. Sometimes it’s a slow process and sometimes it happens quickly. The White Queen series stirred up the latent and under-examined but long-standing theory linking Margaret Beaufort to the disappearance and murder of the Princes in the Tower. In short order, the increased attention drew an onslaught […]

via Margaret Beaufort and the Princes in the Tower — Matt’s History Blog

Well might the White Boar be grinning….!

leicester-in-bruges-with-final-boar-and-rose

Leicester City’s 3-0 Champions’ League victory in Bruges on Wednesday will have pleased the House of York hugely, and Richard III in particular, as Bruges was one of his favourite cities. No doubt he had something to do with it, of course. But we’ll never know for sure.

Richard III: Their part in his rediscovery

220px-EaglepubArms_of_the_Earl_of_Derby_02666index

 

We all know that Richard III was identified by his mitochondrial DNA and that DNA was discovered in Cambridge. The discovery was announced at the “Eagle” pub in the city.

It is less well known that this name is derived from the Stanley badge, the “Eagle and Child” , although it ought, perhaps, have been the Cross of Lorraine?

Mediaeval family trees, including Edward IV….

genealogy of Edward IVThe above illustration is from BL Harley 7535. (Thank you Laura Blanchard for the identification.)

Oh, I do love the intricacies of mediaeval heraldry. Which family carried which coat-of-arms? Why was it so important? How did they settle differences over these things? Well, Jenny Weston has written a very interesting article at https://medievalfragments.wordpress.com/…/medieval-family-…/

I thoroughly enjoyed it, and hope you do too. In fact, the entire blog is interesting to those who appreciate the mediaeval period in general.

The illustration shows a genealogy of Edward IV.

Truth really is the daughter of time – and so it should be for a king like Richard III….!

554px-The_death_of_Richard_III_at_Bosworth

The sad events in the immediate aftermath of Bosworth are well known to us all, and are not always illustrated with any kindness to the murdered Richard III, but somehow, this one from the 18th century does him no disservice. He is shown as a young man, not ill-formed, and seems to be carried with reasonable dignity, given the circumstances.

Nor does the article from which it is taken do him any disservice, but sets out the facts, balancing Josephine Tey’s matchless fiction/non-fiction work, The Daughter of Time, against the truthless writings of More and Shakespeare. Richard emerges victorious, thanks to the justice of the daughter of time. She stayed her hand for many centuries, but at last the truth is emerging for all to see.

I recommend this article. It is a very enjoyable read for everyone who knows what a truly awful deal history apportioned to Richard. It will also be an enjoyable read for those who do not know the truth, but have blithely accepted what More, Shakespeare and their Tudor masters have dished out for far too long.

http://morristowngreen.com/2016/08/30/richard-iii-villain-or-victim-shakespeare-theatre-and-acclaimed-book-paint-different-pictures/

THE ICEMAN COMETH–DNA Testing and Fabric

Recently, DNA testing has been used to sequence the genome of Oetzi the Iceman’s clothing. We are now able to trace exactly where the fibres of his garments, both animal and plants originated over 5000 years ago.

http://www.nature.com/articles/srep31279

Human DNA was a useful tool in the identification of Richard III’s remains. What about  other items from his time?  Of course, no fabric remains from his burial, but perhaps testing could clear up another mystery–the fate of the parliamentary robe he presented to Durham. It is supposed to have been ‘lost’ but there IS  a blue, late medieval robe amidst the cathedral’s treasures. It doesn’t have the ‘lions’ on it that Richard’s was said to have, but that might be expected as the panels of donated robes were often used to fashion other garments, or draperies. What remains today could be a reconstituted, heavily changed item. Durham cathedral, however,  says they think the robe is Italian…well, a modern test such as that performed on Oetzi’s garments could put the mystery to rest forever.

*An interesting connection between Richard and Oetzi the Iceman: they both share the same  y-DNA, G2. This haplogroup was  common in the earlier neolithic in Europe but lost ground in the chalcolithic/bronze age, when R1b became dominant. G2 reaches its highest frequencies in Sardinia and parts of France but can be found at very low levels throughout much of Europe. So, deep in time, Richard and Oetzi will share a common male ancestor.ice

Victoria and Flora

http://www.itv.com/hub/victoria/2a4229a0001Victoria

It is more interesting to watch a drama about a much later monarch when one is better informed than before. Lady Flora Rawdon-Hastings, the lady in waiting who appeared to be pregnant but was suffering from a cancer that proved terminal after a few months, was the sister of the 2nd Marquess of Hastings and 7th Earl of Loudoun, the senior descendant of George Duke of Clarence via Catherine Pole’s marriage to Francis Baron Hastings:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl_of_Loudoun
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternative_successions_of_the_English_crown

Jenna Coleman, who plays the young Queen, has been photographed with Prince Henry and some newspapers are speculating about them. An addled historian in Hampshire has suggested that any relationship would have amounted to incest, even though her character died at least eighty years before he was born,even if she obtained a dispensation before filming began.

The programme, by the way, is rather good so far.Hicksosaurus

 

An award for masochism?

220px-Blason_Courtenay.svg Edward_Courtenay_1st_Earl_of_Devon 220px-Darnley_stage_3 Maria_Tudor1

The 1538 plot first saw Sir Geoffrey Pole arrested that autumn and compelled, by a threat to torture his servants, to give evidence about the activities of his exiled brother Reginald and other relatives. Henry Pole Lord Montagu and Henry Courtenay Marquess of Exeter were arrested next, together with Montagu’s son Henry the Younger and brother-in-law Sir Edward Neville, Exeter’s wife Gertrude Blount and their son Edward. Montagu was, of course, George of Clarence’s grandson and Exeter was Edward IV’s. Reginald and Henry the Younger had both been considered as husbands for Princess Mary.

Henry Pole the Younger and Thomas Courtenay are both likely to have been under age in 1538 because almost all of the adult prisoners here – Montagu, Neville and Exeter – were attainted and executed, as was Montagu’s mother the Countess of Salisbury, eventually. Gertrude Blount was released, as was Sir Geoffrey Pole, but unlike Henry Pole, who disappeared by the end of 1542, Edward Courtenay was held until Mary’s accession. In some ways, the most interesting phase of his short life was about to start.

On his release from the Tower after almost fifteen years, Courtenay was restored to the family’s Earldom of Devon. He was in favour with Mary and may have been another suitor In the following year, he was returned to the Tower along with Princess Elizabeth, the Queen’s sister, for suspected complicity in the Wyatt rebellion and he is thought to have planned marriage to her. Both were soon released: she to a form of house arrest and he to exile in Padua, Venice.

Mary finally married Phillip II of Spain later in 1554. She only lived for four more years and Thomas died mysteriously without issue in 1556, although he is rumoured to have found a bride in Padua: one Laurana de Medici. He was probably not thirty, being the younger son of parents married in 1519, and had lived half of that time in the Tower of London. He could have married either of Henry VIII’s daughters but was probably fortunate to have failed in this respect.

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