In the aftermath of certain historical novels I have read recently, I should like to give the following information, in the hope it will be helpful to authors, editors (if they still exist) and indeed readers. SLAVERY – Although slavery was quite common in England in Anglo-Saxon times, it was became less usual after the… Continue reading A pedant writes…
I’ve written before, more than once, about the abominable practice of medieval men abducting women and forcing them into marriage in order to lay hands on their estates. It was a capital way for impoverished, unprincipled knights to improve their status and finances. In this they were only too usually aided and abetted by… Continue reading Another medieval scoundrel who abducted a woman….!
And here we have ANOTHER case of a man who fancied stealing a woman to enjoy her fortune…and then getting away with it because of a male protector in very high places in 14th-century England! This time Henry of Bolingbroke, the future Henry IV! “…John Pelham in Search of a Wife… “…John Pelham may… Continue reading Another abduction and forced marriage aided and abetted in high places….
Well, we’ve all heard of the “Abbey of the Minoresses of St. Clare without Aldgate known also variously as the ‘Abbey of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Aldgate’ or the ‘House of Minoresses of the Order of St Clare of the Grace of the Blessed Virgin Mary’ or the ‘Minoresses without Aldgate’ or ‘St Clare outside Aldgate’… Continue reading The runaway nun who married four—or five?—times….!
Examples of the atrocious treatment meted to women “of property” by voracious, conscienceless men continue to flow, and this time the name Cromwell is to the fore. In the 1430s a certain Elizabeth Whitfield, née Swillington fell into the clutches of Ralph, 3rd Baron Cromwell, as follows: From this link :- “….Pa L 2: Extract… Continue reading Ralph, 3rd Baron Cromwell was unbelievably cruel and bullying to an innocent woman….
I have seen the above painting used an an illustration for the abduction of Guinevere. All that’s lacking are the fluffy kittens with pink satin bows. If it was really a medieval abduction, it wouldn’t be anything resembling this idyllic springtime scene, but much more likely to be as the illustration below! I’ve posted… Continue reading Sir John Dalton and the wealthy widow….
It is a fact that the medieval Church was ruthless in its acts and ambitions. We all know of particular popes, cardinals and archbishops who would stop at nothing to achieve their own personal and political ends, but it came as a surprise to me to discover just how brutal the Church could be on… Continue reading Medieval monks often lacked all trace of holiness….
Stealing women (and also male wards) was a shamefully common event, especially in the 14th century, as I wrote yesterday. But it was still going on in the 15th century. Richard legislated on behalf of women, but so did Henry VII, with a 1487 “Acte against taking awaye of Women against theire Willes”. The following… Continue reading The abduction of Jane Sacherverell in November 1485….
The above book, Stolen Women in Medieval England, by Caroline Dunn, is subtitled Rape, Abduction and Adultery 1100-1500. This subtitle is well earned, because all three activities become very tangled indeed in those records that survive of cases that reached courts. The general impression the modern world has of medieval women is that they were… Continue reading Women were abducted in medieval England….