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….
We all know that ladies of the Victorian era often fainted because their corsets were too tightly laced. A tiny waist was highly desirable. Well, it still is, of course, but not to such a ridiculous extent. This tortuous lacing would have been difficult enough for young women to endure, but Heaven alone knows… Continue reading Fit or fat? Knights with waspy waists….
Here is a link to a video of Toby Capwell, the American curator of arms and armour at The Wallace Collection in London. It concerns his thoughts on seven medieval weapons scenes in movies and TV. He was, of course, one of the two fully armed knights who escorted Richard on his final… Continue reading England’s American knight in armour….!
In 1913 a medieval tomb was unearthed during excavations at the Arap Mosque in modern day Istanbul. It dated from 1391 and was a double tomb of two English knights, Sir William Neville and Sir John Clanvowe. That they were buried together is strange enough, but the carving on the tomb depicts them facing each… Continue reading Knights united in life and in death….
On reading Chivalry by Léon Gautier, I learned that St Maurice was the patron saint of knights. Another interesting fact about him is that he’s often depicted as a Black African man in armour. He apparently came from Upper Egypt, so he probably was black. I’m reminded of the Black Madonnas. We’re always surprised… Continue reading St Maurice, patron saint of knights….?
This article is a well written summary of how one became a medieval knight, and what was expected of one’s conduct ever after. If you’d like to see the 14th-century process of being dressed in armour, here on You Tube is the site to go to. And if the composition and wearing of a knightly girdle… Continue reading The true meaning of being a knight….
As a member of the Mortimer History Society, I have been notified that the above book has been greatly reduced in price at Oxbow Books. I’ve ordered it – including £4 postage! The blurb for the book is as follows:“The medieval battlefield was a place of spectacle and splendour. The fully-armed knight, bedecked in his… Continue reading A book about heraldry and livery on the medieval battlefield….
In 2020 there are planned commemorations of the martyrdom of Thomas Becket in Canterbury Cathedral. King Henry II blew his top, shouted words to the effects of ‘Who will rid me of this turbulent priest? and four knights clunked off towards Canterbury, thinking the King would reward them well if they disposed of Thomas. The… Continue reading RETURN OF THE TURBULENT PRIEST’S TUNIC
And to cap it all, we even have Kittens in the Tower! Oh, for heaven’s sake! Right, there is a famous “story” about one of our 15th-century princes of Wales, specifically Edward of Lancaster (or Westminster), seven-year-old son and heir of Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou. The fame goes that after the 2nd Battle… Continue reading No more chocolate-box boys in the Tower, PLEASE….!
I attended a renaissance faire in the U.S. recently and must relay something that happened. The faire’s king knighted all ladies and lads (including adults) who wished to be knighted. But first, they had to sit through a vigorous lecture by one of the king’s minions. First, said minion asked the audience to name some… Continue reading Our Knight’s Oath Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Historical Accuracy