Sadly, poor Geoge is mostly remembered for his 'madness' but, as you have seen, he was a much-underrated man.
On this day in 1738 the birth, in London, of George, later George III, to Frederick, Prince of Wales and his wife Augusta of Saxe-Gotha.
George had a passionate interest in agriculture and because of this he was nicknamed Farmer George. It was during his reign that England underwent an agricultural revolution where men such as Jethro Tull from Berkshire and Robert Bakewell from Leicestershire are credited with improving the lives of those working on the land. He was also one of England's most cultured monarchs, his collection of books, all 65,000 of them, were later given to the British Museum and his collection of scientific instruments, which are now held by the Science Museum, was born out of his interest in that subject (he was also the first monarch to have studied science)
Sadly, poor Geoge is mostly remembered for his 'madness' but, as you have seen, he was a much-underrated man.
On the 6th of May in 1502, Sir James Tyrell was executed for treason, his crime, contrary to what most people think and what the chronicles of history tell us, was not the murder of the Princes in the Tower but his support of the Yorkist cause.
His downfall you might say was in 1501, when he sheltered Edmund de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk and let him escape to France.
Tyrell never confessed to harming the Princes, his name wasn't mentioned in reference to their disappearance until ten years after his death. The most famous account, of course, was written by Thomas More in his History of Richard III, he states
"...very truth it is and well known that at such time as Sir James Tyrell was in the Tower, for treason committed against the most famous prince King Henry the Seventh, both Dighton and he were examined, and confessed the murder in manner above-written, but whither the bodies were removed they could nothing tell."
James Tyrell was beheaded outside the Tower of London, the usual place for a traitor. His body was interred in the Church of the Austin Friars in London.
The only images available to illustrate this post are of Tyrell doing away with the princes and that won't do! Instead, I've chosen to place an image of Thomas More writing his lies, and ensuring that Tyrell is seen as a villain for eternity.
When it comes to the anniversary of the Battle of Towton, fought on this day in 1461, I always think of all those men, many of whose names we will never know, who faced each other on that bitterly cold Palm Sunday.
Through my family history research I have discovered the names of two of the men who lost their lives that day. These men were brothers John and Henry Beaumont who were two of the three sons of Thomas Beaumont and his wife Philippa Maureward and they were not yet twenty-five and if that is not sad enough I believe that these brothers were probably twins.
Their father had been a veteran of the Hundred Years War and had fought under Edmund of Norwich, Duke of York in France, and on their father's death, the family lands had been divided John, Henry and their brother Thomas.
Despite living in a country where a man could be called up for battle at any time these young men must have dreamt of peace, a time to spend in their newly acquired piece of England, but many a dream was shattered in the era that we know as the Wars of the Roses - regardless of which side you fought on. The Beaumonts of Leicestershire were staunchly Lancastrian and at the Battle of Towton, Henry VI's forces would be brought to their knees by Edward IV's Yorkist army.
So the Beaumont brothers found themselves on a battlefield in Yorkshire with an icy wind circling around the feet and sleet blowing in their faces. As the battle commenced many soldiers may have thought, judging by the number of men on the field, that Towton would be a decisive battle, but the wind blew harder and the snow increased and hand to hand combat turned into bloody slaughter - decisive it was indeed. By the end of that cold and wretched day, over twenty thousand men lost their lives.
I don't know yet of the fate of John and Henry Beaumont's bodies, maybe their battered faces were recognised among the dead and they were taken home but I doubt it. What is more likely is that they were both thrown into one of the many mass graves dug on the battlefield, to spend eternity with the thousands of other nameless poor souls.
My post makes grim reading, doesn't it? But what makes even grimmer reading is the shocking evidence of how exactly many of the soldiers at Towton died. One man on the battlefield that day is now known as Towton 25 he was called this because we don't know his name, but what we do know is that what remains of him is gruesome evidence of what he had to endure.
Towton 25's story can be found on my blog on my website - you can read it here.
On the 27th March in 1248 the death of Maud, the eldest daughter and co-heir of William Marshall.
Maud had outlived both her husbands, her first husband Hugh Bigod, 3rd Earl of Norfolk had died in 1225, he was, along with his father Roger, listed as being the first two men (among twenty-five) to enforce Magna Carta and William de Warenne, 5th Earl of Surrey who died in 1240 was one of the few barons who remained loyal to King John.
This must have put Maud in a bit of a position.
For part of her life, Maud lived at Framlingham Castle in Norfolk, the castle had been granted to Roger Bigod (Hugh's great-grandfather) by Henry I in 1101, however, there is little information about her life there.
Maud Marshall was in her late fifties when she died, she is buried at Tintern Abbey in Monmouthshire.
My photographs were taken last year at Framlingham Castle (there was no sign of Maud )
On the 18th March in 1554, Elizabeth I, then a princess was imprisoned at the Tower accused of involvement in Sir Thomas Wyatt’s rebellion, which aimed to dethrone her half-sister Mary I and place Elizabeth on the throne. At this time many of Mary's councillors were in favour of having Elizabeth executed however, Mary overruled them and had her moved to Woodstock in Oxfordshire where she lived under house arrest for nearly a year.
Elizabeth would find herself within the Tower of London 1559 Elizabeth but this time it was the eve of her coronation!
17th March 1328: The Treaty of Edinburgh and Northampton signed
This treaty goes by two names because it was signed in Edinburgh and later, in Northampton, it was approved by Edward III and his council.
Under the terms of the treaty, England recognised Scotland's independence and Robert the Bruce as king, and the Scots would pay an agreed sum of money to end the war. Also agreed upon was a future marriage between Robert’s son David and Edward's sister Joan.
Poor Joan entered into an unhappy marriage on the 17th July 1328. This marriage lasted thirty-four years which ended with her death, of the black plague in 1362.
Folklore talks of Melusine as a female spirit of fresh water, sacred springs and rivers whose children are said to include the King of Cyprus, the King of Armenia, the King of Bohemia, King of Lusignan and the Duke of Luxembourg.
It is also said that Jacquetta, mother of King Edward IV's queen, Elizabeth Woodville, is descended from Melusine from whom she inherited her 'magic' abilities. She is supposed to have been a practicing witch and had been seen casting spells. She was accused of witchcraft in 1469 but cleared the following year.
This account of Melusine story written was by Linda Foubister.
"The fairy, Melusine, was the daughter of the fairy Pressyne and King Elynas of Albany. One day, she and two of her subjects were guarding their sacred fountain when a young man, Raymond of Poitiers, burst out of the forest. Melusine spent the night talking with Raymond, and by dawn, they were betrothed, but with one condition. Melusine requested that Raymond promise that he would never see her on a Saturday. He agreed, and they were married. Melusine brought her husband great wealth and prosperity. She built the fortress of Lusignan so quickly that it appeared to be made by magic. Over time, Melusine built many castles, fortresses, churches, towers and towns, each in a single night, throughout the region. She and Raymond had ten children, but each child was flawed. The eldest had one red eye and one blue eye, the next had an ear larger than the other, another had a lion’s foot growing from his cheek, and another had but one eye. The sixth son was known as Geoffrey-with-the-great tooth, as he had a very large tooth. In spite of the deformities, the children were strong, talented and loved throughout the land.
One day, Raymond’s brother visited him and made Raymond very suspicious about the Saturday activities of his wife. So the next Saturday, Raymond sought his wife, finding her in her bath where he spied on her through a crack in the door. He was horrified to see that she had the body and tail of a serpent from her waist down. He said nothing until the day that their son, Geoffrey-with-the-great tooth, attacked a monastery and killed one hundred monks, including one of his brothers. Raymond accused Melusine of contaminating his line with her serpent nature, thus revealing that he had broken his promise to her.
As a result, Melusine turned into a fifteen-foot serpent, circled the castle three times, wailing piteously, and then flew away. She would return at night to visit her children, then vanish. Raymond was never happy again. Melusine appeared at the castle, wailing, whenever a count of Lusignan was about to die or a new one to be born."
After spending the 13th and 14th of March 1484 in the Lincolnshire town of Stamford, Richard III moved onto Grantham where he spent two days before setting off to Nottingham.
Just five months previously, on the 19th October, Richard had taken possession of the Great Seal which had been delivered to him at noon in the Kings Chamber of the Angel Inn in the town.
The 14th March in 1471 is thought to be the date of the death of Thomas Malory, the man who brought us his version of the legend of King Arthur.
Malory's persona was as far away from the knights of his famous story as you could get, he was a thief, an extortionist and a rapist (alleged) who was incarcerated in prison on at least two occasions. It was while he was in prison for the second time that he wrote “the whole book of King Arthur and his noble knights of the Round Table”.
In the October of 1470, following the Readeption of Henry VI all Lancastrian political prisoners were released and this included Malory however, he did not live long enough to enjoy his freedom, he was dead the in the spring of the following year.
In March of 1300, Articuli Super Cartas or the Articles in addition to Magna Carta was confirmed by King Edward I. In this document Edward agreed to abide by a new set of reforms that had been presented to him by the rebel barons.
Two of the important clauses of the document were the first and seventeenth items.
1 - Let there be chosen in each county by the community of the county, three men of standing, to be sworn as justices, to hear and determine the complaints that shall be made of all those who contravene or offend in any of the said points of the aforesaid charters in the counties to which they are assigned.
17 - And because many more evildoers are in the land than ever there were before, and innumerable robberies, arsons and homicides are committed, and the peace is less well kept, because the statute which the king caused to be made but lately at Winchester has not been kept, the king wills that this statute be sent again into each county and read and published four times a year, like the two great charters, and firmly kept in every point, on pain of the penalties that are therein laid down; and let the three knights be charged to keep and maintain this statute who are assigned in the counties to correct infringements of the great charters.
History is so interesting isn't it? Do you love the story of King Alfred's unsuccessful afternoon in the kitchen or King Cnut unsuccessful attempt not to get his feet wet? Maybe you're interested in when the Normans landing on our shores or the stories of an era closer to our time?