Medieval childbirth was a fearful time for women. Dangers were many, and little could be done if there was any kind of medical problem. Women routinely wrote their wills prior to going into labour as the death rate was so high. Out of this fear came the use of many charms and rituals meant to… Continue reading A MEDIEVAL BIRTHING GIRDLE ANALYSED

The many wonders of medieval Caversham

Caversham is just across the Thames from Reading. The present bridge carrying the main road between the two places is modern, but it is more or less on the site of a medieval stone and timber bridge, dating from between 1163 and 1231. Sources vary as to whether it had one, two or three chapels,… Continue reading The many wonders of medieval Caversham

Covid 19 and similarites with the second wave of the Great Pestilence in 1360…

In this time of Covid 19, when we don’t know why it seems to affect men more than women, and some ethnicities but not others, it is interesting that back in the 14th century the tsunami of the Great Pestilence of 1348 was followed by lesser waves that differed in many ways from the original.… Continue reading Covid 19 and similarites with the second wave of the Great Pestilence in 1360…

The Epiphany Plot of 1400

Following the deposition of Richard II, his leading supporters among the nobility were put on trial before Henry IV’s first parliament. Well, all apart from the Earl of Wiltshire who had – in plain terms – been murdered at Bristol on Henry’s orders before Henry became king. (As a Lancastrian, Henry was of course allowed… Continue reading The Epiphany Plot of 1400

Pilgrimages Then & Now

The topic of pilgrimages recently came up & I thought to write about the history of & recent resurgence of one of the most popular pilgrimages in the Middle Ages, the Camino de Santiago. There are many different routes leading to Santiago de Compostela in northern Spain, but the most popular is the one almost… Continue reading Pilgrimages Then & Now