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Hooray Henry & his Horse

And here it is, folks.  Proof at last.

We are told by some that apparently Henry “Tudor” really, really wanted to fling himself into  the fray at Bosworth (instead of lurking behind his bodyguard), and here finally is the proof of that intent. Henry,  waving his trusty sword Cash-Bringer in defiance of the foe, spurs on his noble but unfortunately rather stationary steed ‘Sandy,’ whose name is now forever-immortalised in  one of the alternative names for the  Battle of Bosworth–the Battle of Sandeford.

Believe It Or Not.

sandy

RICHARD III’s HORSES..

IMG_5875.jpgStained glass depiction of King Richard and his legendary horse, White Surrey.

As we now know sadly, Richard, did not own a horse called  White Surrey or, as he has sometimes been called, White Syrie  (1).  But  Richard did own horses aplenty and we are fortunate lists of these horses have survived – see below (2).  What I know of horses you could put on a postage stamp but the late John Ashdown-Hill explains in his book The Mythology of Richard III’  that liard or lyard are grey horses which could be described as white.  So therefore it can clearly be seen that Richard did have grey horses which could appear white.  If one of these horses was not called White Syrie…well..he should have been!   John goes on to explain it was once believed ‘that a horse called White Syrie was actually listed in a 15th century manuscript’  – see below  – ‘however this proved to be a misreading.  There is therefore no 15th century surviving evidence of the name of the horse that Richard rode in his last battle (3)’

THE NAMES OF HORSE BEING AT GRISSE IN HAVERING PARC

First Liard – trotting

Liard Clervax of Croft  – ambling

The Whit – ambling

Baiard Babingtone – ambling

Liard Strangwisse – Ambling

Baiard Rither – Ambling

Liard Cultone – trotting

The litille Whit of Knaresburghe  – ambling

My ladies grey gelding (name unknown) – Ambling

Liard Carlile – trotting

Liard Norffolk – Ambling

THE NAMES OF HORSES BEING AT GRISSE IN HOLDERNESSE

Liard Mountfort – ambling

Powisse Tomlynsone

IMG_5870.jpg

THE NAMES OF HORSES BEING AT HARDMET AT NOTTINGHAM 

Liard Danby – Ambling

Liard hoton – Ambling

The gret grey that came from Gervaux -ambling

Baiard Culton – trotting

Blak Morelle – Trotting

The Whit of Gervaux  – Ambling for my lady

The Walssh (hoby) nag – for my lady ambling

Jak

Liard Bradshare – ambling

The gret Bay Gelding of Gervaux  ……. (John Ashdown-Hill suggests this horse is a candidate for the  very horse  Richard rode into battle being stabled at Hardmet (Harmet) in Nottingham)

Lyard Say

Beyard Chambreleyne

The Blak of Holderness – trotting

Beyard Chamberlain

Liard Bowes

Alas no White Surrey or Whyte Syrie …it’s a great shame that the name of Richard’s horse t he rode into battle that day is lost to us  for,  without a doubt,   he would have been magnificent and as such surely deserves recognition.

IMG_5865.jpg

IMG_6212.JPG

Armour for man and horse circa 1480.  Wallace Collection..

 

 

 

1.White Surrey Peter W Hammond.  Article in Richard III Crown and People p285

2. British Library Harelean  Manuscript p.4.5 Vol 1. Ed by Horrox and Hammond.

3. The Mythology of Richard III p117.118 John Ashdown-Hill.

The King’s Champion and his circus horse….!

King's Champion between lines of walkers at a coronation banquet

The King’s Champion is the central horseman in this illustration of an unidentified coronation banquet

We have all heard of the dashing King’s/Queen’s Champion riding fully armed into the coronation banquet, throwing down challenges to anyone who would dare to find fault with the monarch’s right to the throne. I did not know that there is a strong possibility that the Dymoke family, hereditary holders of the title, may have originated in the village of Dymock in my home county of Gloucestershire. Dymock village is also known for its wonderful spring displays of wild daffodils.

Dymock's wild daffodils

Dymock’s wild daffodils

The following is taken from http://dymockchurch.net/King%27s%20Champion.html

“The “King’s Champion” is an hereditary post and acts on behalf of the king (or queen) of England by challenging all-comers at their coronation to do battle if they dispute the king (or queen’s) right to be monarch. The post is now mainly ceremonial but was created by William the Conqueror in 1066 and has been held ever since by a blood relative of the first Champion.”

Queen's Champion - at coronation banquet of Elizabeth I

Queen’s Champion at the coronation banquet of Elizabeth I

“The powerful Marmion family were ‘Champion’ to the Dukes of Normandy in France and came to this country with William, Duke of Normandy, when he invaded England in 1066 and took the English crown to become ‘William the Conqueror’.”

“There is some doubt over how the name Dymoke came about. It’s possible the family lived in Dymock or at ‘Knight’s Green’ next to Dymock, and took the surname ‘de Dymoke’ from our village when surnames became established in England. It seems they left the area to return to live in Scivelsby, Lincolnshire in the 14th century but took the surname with them.

“The ceremony involved the Garter King of Arms reading out the challenge three times – at the entrance to the coronation banquet in Westminster Hall, in the middle of the hall, and in front of the throne. Each time the Champion in full armour and riding a charger threw down his gauntlet for any challenger to take up. None having come forward, the Champion had to reverse his horse out of the hall between the banqueting tables without doing any damage – no mean feat which, if done successfully, became known as ‘Doing a Dymoke’. “

King's Champion - coronation banquet George IV

King’s Champion, coronation banquet of George IV

“The involvement of the Champion is documented at every coronation since 1066 but the full ceremony was last used at the coronation of George IV in 1821. Since then the Champion has been recognised as the ‘Standard Bearer of England’ and carries the banner at the coronation.

“The current and 34th Champion is Lieutenant-Colonel John Lindley Marmion Dymoke, MBE DL, Royal Lincolnshire Regiment. In 1953 as the then Captain Dymoke he acted as Standard-Bearer of the Union Flag at the coronation service of our present Queen, Elizabeth II. His eldest son and heir is Francis Dymoke, a chartered accountant and estate owner.”

And as an amusing footnote: “The horse ridden by Dymock, the king’s champion, at the coronation banquet of George IV (1821) was hired from a circus. When greeted with applause, it went into its routine of tricks!”

In case you overlooked this splendid show-stopper in the previous illustration, here he is again!

King's Champion - Coronation Banquet of George IV

The King’s Champion at the coronation of George IV…on his splendid performing horse!

 

The last time the Bard’s Richard III was played on horseback at London’s Astley’s Amphitheatre….!

Townsend photo2.jpg

Well, here’s a novel claim to fame – the Richard III bit, I mean!

An excerpt from an intriguing story:- “…The road to redemption led him back to the theatre. ‘To satisfy his creditors’, notes one biographical account, ‘he played leading roles in seven London playhouses and is reported to have been the last to perform Richard III on horseback at Astley’s Theatre’…”

To learn who “he” was, go to:-

http://nationalpost.com/news/local-news/tales-of-july-1-1867-how-a-disgraced-british-mp-failed-to-turn-ottawa-into-a-hotbed-of-culture/wcm/3bdd1b75-dd54-4b01-be9c-db4122fe0e3bhttp://nationalpost.com/…/3bdd1b75-dd54-4b01-be9c-db4122fe0…

 

All the king’s horses (Richard’s too?)….

King's horses - Paolo_Uccello

I recently wrote about the method used to name that was apparently used to name the horses of medieval noblemen and kings, first by colour and then with an aristocratic family surname or title. White Surrey, if he ever existed, fitted this system. 

So, still on the theme of horses, it may be of interest to read the following link, which tells of the horses of Henry V, how they were cared for, and by whom.  

http://www.agincourt600.com/are-there-eyewitness-accounts-of-the-battle-of-agincourt-2/ 

I do not doubt that the general information will have fitted the care of Richard’s horses as well. His Masters of the Horses were the Tyrell cousins, first Sir Thomas and then the more famous Sir James. They were followed by Sir Thomas Brandon.  

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Masters_of_the_Horse

 

Dr. Ashdown-Hill Frightens the Horses…er, Denialists

prudishOne of the strangest phenomena to come out of the events of almost three weeks ago has been the continual bashing of Dr. John Ashdown-Hill by the usual group of denialists who populate the underworld of Ricardian history and rehabilitation.  As we all know, Ashdown-Hill (along with other members of the Finding Richard project and Leicester University) found the remains of the last English king to die in battle and traced his DNA to 17th generation nephew Michael Ibsen.

But all that pales in the avalanche of social media that expressed shock and dismay that he attended the reinterment in what appeared to be either a well-tailored tan or light grey suit rather than clothes of a “somber hue.”  Oh, the cries of outrage that ensued!  It was if he had shown up at the event dressed in a Zoot Suit or the ghost of Nancy Mitford had arrived with her list of Non-U items of dishabille.  Of course, it took traditional Ricardians to dig out the notes of reinterment provided by the Cathedral in which it is clearly stated that “although entirely optional, we would encourage hats for ladies and gentlemen…This is a service of reinterment.  It is not a funeral.  So whilst we would not wish to advise the congregation to wear black, you may wish to observe a dress code that reflects a reserved colour palette.”  No mention of “somber hues.”

Even today, as late as April 12th, denialists are still carrying on about his facial expressions caught on camera during the ceremony.  One would think the act of rolling one’s eyes was akin to real estate mogul Robert Durst’s embarrassing gaffe of admitting mass murder on the final episode of “The Jinx.”  In fact, we really don’t know the reason for his expression although it may have been due to mistakes made in the program.

All this is pretty funny but the outrage does get a little darker when Dr. Ashdown-Hill’s private life becomes a source of merriment – as if any of us know him personally and have any right to comment about such a subject.  The internet is a haven for the Mrs. Grundys of the world and is often in an argy-bargy over everything from the color of gold/black dresses to whether a cat is walking upstairs or downstairs but this does seem to be a bridge too far…

Richard’s Horses

There was an interesting post on one of the Ricardian Facebook Groups the other day regarding the type of horses Richard might have used for different purposes.

It was mainly about the ‘amblers’ he was apparently known to possess which moved in a different way to that which we consider is normal today (walking, trotting, cantering and galloping). They move in a way that to me seems similar to an Olympic walking race for humans, i.e. without the usual up=down motion that jolts the rider. This is called a gaited horse and here is a link to a video from You Tube that shows a modern gaited horse moving.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4eiYN0c5WE&feature=youtu.be

It would have been much smoother for long journeys which they had perforce to make in Mediaeval times and might have been even more important for Richard, whose back, because of his scoliosis would have been less able to absorb shocks.

Meanwhile, elsewhere I was researching the type of horse he would have had in battle: a destrier. There is a Facebook group called Destrier who supply mounted re-enactors for jousts, re-enactments, etc, and they directed me to a video of a bull-fighting horse, which they said is probably the nearest we have today to that type of horse – strong, agile and trained to respond to the slightest touch. Suitable breeds are Andalusian and Lusitano horses.  I strongly disapprove of bull-fighting and watched it with trepidation, but I concentrated on the horse and it was amazing! I have since found a video of the same horse training so you can watch it without fear of seeing a bull tormented. (There is a bull in it at the end, but it isn’t harmed). This horse almost dances! Richard would have been awesome on a horse like this in his armour!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hJiaSHwOkcs

So what would Richard have ridden to hunt? The consensus seems to be a courser, which could also be used as a cavalry horse. It was strong, agile, steady and had stamina, not as refined or highly trained as a destrier, but cheaper.

Picture of knights fighting onDestriers

Depiction of Destriers

Straight from the horse’s mouth?

……… in which Dr. John Ashdown-Hill, who located the mtDNA match, tells nerdalicious what these findings really mean, not what the Cairo brigade (eg Hicks, Dan Jones and their acolytes) are already twisting them to mean:

http://nerdalicious.com.au/history/what-do-king-richard-iiis-latest-dna-results-really-prove/

1) Given that Richard III is only four generations down from Edward III, whilst the Somerset samples are about twenty down, they are about five times as likely to contain the “milkman”‘s DNA. In the interview, he even mentions the John of Gaunt – John Beaufort “connection” as a possibility for the broken link, which would substitute the (mere gentleman) Sir Hugh Swynford for Gaunt.
2) One of the live Somerset “cousins”, descended from the 5th Duke of Beaufort, doesn’t match the others, suggesting that the broken link could be quite recent, as well as the extra one this shows.

SARUM LIGHTS–A COMMEMORATION

2020 is the 800th Anniversary of the founding of Salisbury Cathedral. Before ‘New Salisbury’ came into existence, the town stood on the windy cone of Old Sarum, a huge iron-age hillfort with massive earthen ramparts. There was a particularly forbidding Norman castle on the height, with a windswept bridge over a deep moat–here, Henry II kept his wife Eleanor of Aquitaine imprisoned for some sixteen years,  served by a single loyal lady-in-waiting. The old town also had a cathedral, begun somewhere after 1075. It was rather an ill-fated building, however, being severely damaged in a storm just five days after consecration.  Sometime in the late 12th century, it was decided to move the cathedral from the height due to the lack of water. The cathedral was dismantled and much of the stonework taken down to the new site near the river, where the town of Salisbury as we know it would grow around it. The first stones of the English-style Gothic building were laid in 1220, in the reign of Henry III, with foundation stones being laid by, among other notables, the King’s half-uncle, William Longespee and his wife Ela, Countess of Salisbury, a remarkable woman who later became Sheriff of Wiltshire.

To commemorate the founding of Salisbury cathedral, a light show recently took place within the great building  with projections of  charters, drawings, stained glass, saints and rulers who played a part in Salisbury’s history. On the bleak ruins of Old Sarum, beams of light were shot high into the night sky so that they were visible from Salisbury town centre.

There are many interesting monuments inside the cathedral, including that of founder William Longespee (who was thought to have been poisoned–and a RAT found in his skull when his tomb was opened was full of arsenic!), Sir John Cheney, the 6ft 6 giant who was unhorsed by Richard III at Bosworth, and possibly Lionel Woodville, who was Bishop there until Buckingham’s rebellion, when he fled to Brittany hearing of  Buckingham’s failure. Salisbury also has one of the copies of Magna Carta and the tallest spire in England. The building of the cathedral was fictionalised in the best-selling novel ‘PILLARS OF THE EARTH’ by Ken Follett, which recently was made into a TV series.

 

SARUM LIGHTS VIDEO

Combining genetics with genealogy to identify the dead in unmarked graves….

 

Can you imagine swarms of investigators milling around unmarked graves (and known graves) across the UK, taking samples of DNA in the hope of locating someone of historic interest? After all, it’s how Michael Ibsen’s descent from Richard’s sister was discovered.

Well, the nature of events in Quebec, Canada, described in this article, raise some interesting points.

Such searches aren’t likely to happen en masse, of course, but if they did, I wonder just whose last resting place might be unearthed? And just who might be proved to NOT be the son/daughter of the parents to whom they’re credited? Some new historical mysteries might be solved…and some very intriguing possibilities created where they weren’t before!

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