Armoured knights and head injuries….

    With all the recent publicity and very real worry over the head injuries that are part and parcel of physical sports such as boxing, football and rugby, I’ve been prompted to consider similar injuries that must have happened in earlier periods of our history, when activities such as tourneying were very much the… Continue reading Armoured knights and head injuries….

“Useful Charts” tries to answer the big question: the Roman Empire

The Roman Empire dates back to this day in 27BC, when Augustus assumed the title Princeps, to end (in the West) with Romulus Augustulus’ deposition in 476 and (in the East or Byzantine) with the defeat and death of Constantine XI by the Ottomans at Constintinople in 1453. So, who is the hypothetical Roman Emperor… Continue reading “Useful Charts” tries to answer the big question: the Roman Empire

Two tragic kings called Richard….

  I know I’ve rabbited about this before, because I’m fascinated by both King Richard III and his predecessor Richard II. Such fascination sparks latter-day loyalties. It certainly has with me. Tragedy struck them both, and as supporters of Richard III we know he was maligned as the killer of his two small nephews, betrayed,… Continue reading Two tragic kings called Richard….

Rebellion in the Middle Ages

This is the latest of Matthew Lewis’ books and covers a longer period than any of the others, from Hereward the Wake’s emergence after Hastings to the beginning of the Wars of the Roses, almost as long a period as this book. Lewis is already an expert on “The Anarchy” (chapter 2) and the Roses… Continue reading Rebellion in the Middle Ages

The Great Tent of Bruges….

In April 1382, at peace negotiations between England and France, the participants were entertained by the Count of Flanders, who erected “the great tent of Bruges” in which to wine and dine the gathering. This was between Calais and Boulogne. I’m curious about this great tent. Just how big was it? We’re accustomed to seeing… Continue reading The Great Tent of Bruges….

The Rise of the Stanley family.

In the late 14th Century, the Stanleys were a gentry family, their power base lying chiefly in Cheshire, notably in the Wirral. Their ancestry might fairly be described as ‘provincial’. There were certainly no kings in their quarterings. This is not to say they were unimportant, but their influence was of a local rather than… Continue reading The Rise of the Stanley family.

Do you know your medieval sovereigns….?

I can’t say that I’m the world’s most brilliant participant when it comes to quizzes, but I had hopes with this one . Oh dear. I may have got the English ones right, but Scotland tripped me up once. As for France…. I don’t know my Louis’ from my Charles’. Shame on me! But there… Continue reading Do you know your medieval sovereigns….?

Exchanged treasures at celebrations of Richard II’s second marriage….

In October 1396 King Richard II of England married for the second time. His first marriage had been a love match. He and Anne of Bohemia had adored each other and he’d been devastated by her sudden death, possibly of the plague. He was still only 28, a childless widower, and like his namesake the… Continue reading Exchanged treasures at celebrations of Richard II’s second marriage….

‘Great magician, damned Glendower'(Part 4.)

It is not my purpose to describe the Glyndŵr Rising in detail. The story is far too complex to be contained within a blog post. The reader who is interested in the full tale would do well to consult (for example) The Revolt Of Owain Glyn Dŵr by R.R Davies, an excellent work. The initial… Continue reading ‘Great magician, damned Glendower'(Part 4.)

‘Great magician, damned Glendower'(Part 3.)

Owain‘s service to Arundel included taking part in the naval victory over the French in 1387 in which a wine fleet was captured. Such was the booty that the price of wine in England fell through the floor. He may well also have been involved in Arundel’s attack on the French coast a few months… Continue reading ‘Great magician, damned Glendower'(Part 3.)