Well, my first introduction to Richard the Lionheart was in the 1950s…one of the many Robin Hood movies of that period, He was noble and chivalrous (George Sanders, as I recall, see below), while Prince John was a Blue Meanie of the highest order. Nothing much has changed since then. My opinion of both men… Continue reading Richard the Lionheart….or Richard the pain in the you-know-what….
A probable Crusader sword has been discovered under the sea off Israel. As yet it’s covered with the marine accumulation of centuries, and I await eagerly for when it’s been cleaned and its true identity revealed. It’s hard to believe it was just lying there on the sea bottom as in the photograph above. And… Continue reading A Crusader sword found in the Mediterranean…
Bosworth, a victory for treachery – and for cowardice, because Henry Tudor didn’t raise a finger, but lurked at the back, behind a protective screen of bodyguards As far as Ricardians are concerned, the most important (and tragic) medieval battle was Bosworth, but 22nd August 1485 only makes it to number nine of nine! See… Continue reading Bosworth – only ranked 9 out of 9….!
There are two King Richards of England whose marriages are always called into question: Richard I and Berengaria of Navarre, and Richard II and Anne of Bohemia. Richard II’s sexuality is cited as the reason he and Anne had no children. Either he was sexless…or his interests went to the male of the species. Therefore… Continue reading Eleanor of Aquitaine, the “mother-in-law from hell”….?
For the past two/three years I have been grappling (off and on, so to speak) with some defiant dates. No doubt I’ve bewailed this particular problem before because my interest in the lord concerned is quite considerable. Not least because he may have had great significance for the House of York. So here goes… Continue reading Was 29th March a day of retribution for a certain 14th-century lord….?
Trial by combat was a last-ditch method of proving one’s case. Of course, it didn’t prove innocence or guilt, just that one or other of the combatants was luckier/stronger on the day. Nor did trial by water prove a woman innocent of witchcraft, because it killed her no matter what the outcome. If… Continue reading Trial by combat proved nothing in the end….
If Bishop Odo of Bayeux is anything by which to judge, bishops were certainly something else back in the Norman period, and later, of course. As a friend has commented: “….As late as the 14th Century there was Bishop Henry Despenser. He was knighted before he became a clergyman and was literally made Bishop of… Continue reading The Iron Man, Bishop Odo of Bayeux….
Once upon a time, in the 13th century, in the grounds of Auckland Castle, there stood a mighty northern chapel that was almost as large as St George’s at Windsor and bigger than St Stephen’s Chapel at Westminster. The Prince-Archbishop Antony Bek was its founder, a man so powerful it was said by some that… Continue reading THE LOST CHAPEL OF THE PRINCE BISHOPS
When I read this article, I thought I must have written it in my sleep, because it opens with a very accurate description of me as a seven-year-old. Horse mad, but at the same time I was actually terrified of them. Oh well, there’s no accounting for folk. Anyway, I hadn’t heard of this 1996… Continue reading All you need to know about medieval warhorses….
Preface I conceived this article as a defence of King Henry V against the accusation that he was a war criminal. It became apparent, however, that my research was drawing me away from Henry’s campaigns towards a broader study of the origin and causes of the Hundred Years War. Soon, I was reading material going… Continue reading THE THREE HUNDRED YEARS WAR – Part 1: the Devil’s brood