Montague is remembered as a soldier, seeing action under Edward III during the hundred years war. He was a founder member of The Order of the Garter.
On the 3rd of June in 1397 occurred the death of William Montague, 2nd Earl of Salisbury.
Montague is remembered as a soldier, seeing action under Edward III during the hundred years war. He was a founder member of The Order of the Garter.
He is often remembered for his marriage to Joan of Kent which was annulled by Pope Clement VI when it came to light that Joan had married Thomas Holland secretly and without permission. Despite this Joan and William are said to have remained close and he became a loyal supporter of Richard, later Richard II, Joan's son by Edward, the Black Prince.
Montague's marriage to Elizabeth Mohun resulted in at least one child, his son, also named William. William would die in an accident in a tournament in 1382 leaving no heir and when William himself died fifteen years later the Earldom of Salisbury was inherited by his nephew, John Montague. In his later years, Montague was preoccupied with litigation spending much of his time fighting for his inheritance and land.
He was buried in Montague Priory in the village of Bisham in Somerset.
On the 29th March 1187 the birth of Arthur, Duke of Brittany in Nantes in France to Geoffrey, son of Henry II, and his wife Constance.
Arthur's paternal uncle King Richard I had no children and before setting off on his most favourite pastime - the Crusades he named the boy heir to his English throne. However, in 1199 when Arthur was twelve Richard had a change of heart and made his last remaining brother John heir. Quite a sensible thing to do as a country with a minor on the throne is nothing but trouble.
Richard was dead by the end of March 1199 and despite his estate being in order, there was trouble anyway.
The barons of England supported Arthur - of course, they did !
England's hero the great William Marshall and John's mother Eleanor of Aquitaine stood on John's side.
The story goes that King John ordered his nephew's death and claimed the throne for himself. By the beginning of 1200, the boy had gone missing never to be seen again.
It is interesting don't you think that the story of Arthur shows similarities to the disappearance of Princes in the Tower two-hundred years later?
Heir’s to the throne go missing, their wicked uncle does the dirty deed and then the bodies are lost forever.
I've just spent the last four days suffering from a dreadful cold which, I suppose, you could call Flu. While I was coughing and spluttering my way through numerous hankies and cups of Lemsip, I wondered how on earth the poor souls in medieval England managed without the support of chocolate and assorted historical dramas, no Wolf Hall then!
Flu has been around forever, it is known that a major epidemic of something similar to influenza followed Charlemagne and his army across Europe in the middle of the ninth century. Medical experts suggest it arrived in Italy and spread northwards, and this is well documented. Repeated influenza pandemics broke out in this pattern between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries.
This virus has been described as a
"cough that spreads like the plague"
Modern historians believe that a sickness that was present at the Siege of Troy was Influenza.
It had been described in the Iliad that a nine day epidemic had its beginnings in the Trojan War, its symptoms first affecting horses and dogs.
However in a paper "Animal Influenza in the Ancient Literature" it states that
"domestic animals associated with possible human influenza outbreaks in the ancient literature are ultimately inconclusive."
Flu was not a major worry in the fourteenth century but was the bane of the lives of those in the fifteenth century and inflicted terrible losses within the life time of our grandparents too.
This little nursery rhyme was sung on England's school playgrounds throughout the country.
I had a little bird
Its name was Enza
I opened the window
The nursery rhyme was referring to the influenza virus that was spreading across the country at a great rate. As the Great War was ending, a threat was emerging that was even more lethal than the fighting that had brutally cut down so many young men. The pandemic of 1918-19 claimed the lives of between twenty and forty million people around the world, at least three times the number killed in war. More died in a single year than died in the four years of the Black Death from 1347 to 1351. At the height of the pandemic, in the Yorkshire city of Sheffield, over 3000 people were dying a week. Not only were hospitals unable to cope, but with a shortage of both labour and coffins, mortuaries and undertakers were overwhelmed.
Of the virus Charles Cheighton in his book, The History of Epidemics in Britain states that
"Influenza appears to correspond with something broadly the same in human life at all times and to have lasted unchanged through so many mutation from medieval to modern it is unique in history."
A resilient little blighter isn't it?
Its a good job that I am a cheerful soul, even if I do say so myself, or I might be panicking!
However, apart from a miserable few days the only trouble it caused in our house was that the dog went un-walked, no housework, no cakes baked and no time-travelling in the medieval world was done.
But as you can see from this new blog I am on the mend.
18th February 1408 Knaresborough, Yorkshire.
In the first months of 1408 a 'great frost and ice' gripped England and a thick covering of snow had fallen, Henry IV was suffering from another attack of a skin disease that had been troubling him for a number of years, and a rebel force, headed by Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland and the East Anglian baron Thomas Bardolf, was on the move
The winter was not a time when battles were fought in England, however, in the third week of February Henry Percy's army faced a royalist force at the Battle of Bramham on a moor just west of Tadcaster.
Henry Percy had long been a supporter of Henry Bolingbroke and his usurpation of the throne in 1399, and it was he who had arrested Richard II at Conway Castle, however, he changed his allegiance being in league with Welsh leader Owain Glyndwr and Edmund Mortimer with the aim to topple Henry's crown.
In this cause, Percy not only had the support of the men of Wales, his own northern forces, but he had been informed by John Skelton and Sir Thomas Rokeby, that both the men of Cumbria and Yorkshire would side with him, encouraged he made his way from Thirsk to meet with the army of Rokesby.
On the 18th February he approached Knaresborough he found that Rokeby was not waiting to join with him but was at the head of the kings forces and was holding the crossing of the River Nidd at Grimbald Bridge. Percy's and his men were forced to head towards Wetherby with Rokeby in pursuit.
Henry Percy had no option but to do battle, he would face Thomas Rokeby's force on high ground at Bramham Moor the following day.
Below is the first page of the last letter Mary Queen of Scots wrote before her execution at Fotheringhay Castle. It was to Henry III of France the younger brother of her first husband Frances II.
It was dated 2am in the morning of the 8th February 1587 on the first page Mary writes:
" Royal brother, having by God's will, for my sins I think, thrown myself into the power of the Queen my cousin, at whose hands I have suffered much for almost twenty years, I have finally been condemned to death by her and her Estates. I have asked for my papers, which they have taken away, in order that I might make my will, but I have been unable to recover anything of use to me, or even get leave either to make my will freely or to have my body conveyed after my death, as I would wish, to your kingdom where I had the honour to be queen, your sister and old ally.
Tonight, after dinner, I have been advised of my sentence: I am to be executed like a criminal at eight in the morning. I have not had time to give you a full account of everything that has happened, but if you will listen to my doctor and my other unfortunate servants, you will learn the truth, and how, thanks be to God, I scorn death and vow... "
On the nearest Sunday to Candlemas (2nd February) there is held in the Nottinghamshire village of Blidworth a Cradle Rocking Ceremony. This tradition has taken place in Blidworth since the 13th century and continues to this day - however it was banned during the Reformation but revived in 1923.
Before the ceremony begins an old wooden cradle, that has been decorated with ribbons and flowers is placed in front of the altar awaiting the arrival of the parishes most recently baptised baby boy.
The baby is placed within the cradle and all through the service, he is rocked gently by the vicar. At the end ceremony the baby is returned to its parents and the congregation sing 'Nunc Dimittis'
The story of this tradition has its roots in the Gospel of Luke - an event in the life of Simeon. Nunc Dimittis is a hymn that is also known as The Song of Simeon.
Simeon is said to have been a devout man unto who an angel appeared promising him that he would not die until he had seen the new Messiah. Sometime later, Mary and Joseph arrived at the Temple in Jerusalem bringing with them their baby for the ceremony of consecration of the firstborn son, which you will know is Candlemas. It was into Simeons arms the baby Jesus was placed.
The time frame in which these events occurred is not specified and therefore I don't know how old Simeon was when the Holy Spirit arrived, or how long after holding the baby Jesus Simeon died.
However, as previously stated this story appears in the Gospel according to Luke, and Simeon is stated to be one of the translators of the of the Greek Old Testament (c 2nd/3rd century BC) if this is the case it would mean that Simeon would have been over two hundred years old at the time of the meeting the Messiah.
The Henry VIII of his younger days was physically handsome in body and well as in face, he was intelligent and affable. He was described by Erasmus as being
“a man of gentle friendliness, and gentle in debate” and that he “he acts more like a companion than a king.”
These traits are often forgotten, overshadowed by the Henry of later years. The change in Henry, a physical and mental decline, is attributed to a riding accident, a fall from his horse during a joust on the 24th of January of 1536. The king was unconsciousness for two hours and his courtiers thought him dead.
At the time there was no mention of any obvious injury, however, today some historians think that Henry received a blow to the front part of his head which changed his personality which in turn led to an increased tendency to be irritable and quick to temper, it also led to weight gain and ulcerated legs.
Can we judge Henry on this, can we say that man he became was purely the result of this awful accident and therefore was not wholly responsible for the tyrannical actions of his later life?
Remember though, Henry started his reign with the execution of Edmund Dudley and Richard Epsom and he had Thomas More put to death just the year before.
In the image above you can see Henry jousting in a tournament at Westminster in celebration of the birth of his son in 1511.
Philosopher Francis Bacon was born at York House in London on this day in 1561, the son of Sir Nicholas Bacon, keeper of the great seal for Elizabeth I.
In 1584 Bacon wrote his first political memorandum entitled A Letter of Advice to Queen Elizabeth. In 1592, to celebrate the anniversary of the queen's coronation, he wrote a speech in praise of knowledge and the year 1597 marked Bacon's first publication, a collection of essays about politics. This work was followed eight years later with The Advancement of Learning.
Surprisingly, Bacon was unpopular with Elizabeth, however, he reached greater heights in his career during the reign of James I. By 1618 he was appointed lord chancellor, the most powerful position in England, and in 1621 he was created, Viscount St Albans.
At the age of forty-five, Francis Bacon married the fourteen-year-old Alice Barnham but no children resulted from their marriage, which was reported to be an unhappy one - due in part to her suspected affair with one John Underhill. On Bacon's death from pneumonia on 9 April 1626, Alice and John married.
There are many quotes attributed to Francis Bacon, here are just a few:
"It is a revered thing to see an ancient castle, not in decay; how much more to behold an ancient family which has stood against the waves and weathers of time!"
"Revenge is a kind of wild justice"
“Printing, gunpowder, and the mariner's needle, these three have changed the whole face and state of things throughout the world.
All wise words indeed!
From the English tales of the valiant King Arthur to the Greek story of Jason and his search for the Golden Fleece, we are bombarded with wonderful stories from our past that we don't necessarily believe, but love none the less. Books have been written and films made, images painted onto canvas and chiseled statues in marble, all give us a romantic ideal of a heroic time.
Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the seventeenth-century sculptor does this with marble, he has given us sculptures of mythical characters as Apollo and Medusa and his magnificent work, The Abduction of Persephone. This story is of a young innocent woman carried to the centre of the earth by a lustful Hades and of Demeter, the Greek goddess of the harvest and fertility of the earth and her search for her daughter.
Hades spots the beautiful Persephone and asks Zeus for her. Zeus knowing that Demeter would not allow it suggested that he take her without permission and this Hades does, swooping on the poor girl through an opening in the earth and carries her away kicking and screaming. On finding her daughter gone, Demeter searches and not finding her she leaves, in her wake, a barren land where nothing will grow. Over time Zeus sees how hungry his people were becoming and orders Persephone to be returned home. The quick-thinking Hades forces Persephone to eat from a pomegranate knowing full well that those who eat in the underworld were doomed to stay, but the strong-willed Demeter had other ideas and a deal was struck where her beloved daughter is allowed to leave if she returns for a few months every year. Once Persephone is home the barren lands became fruitful and the hungry fed.
This is a wonderful story that has its roots in the seasons. Demeter can easily be viewed as Mother Nature, her daughter Persephone's absence from the world is representative of autumn and winter and her return is seen as spring and summer.
How do you get some much passion, so much emotion out of one piece of marble?
Bernini's work is just simply divine.
Robert de Vere was the 9th Earl of Oxford, which he received when he was nine years old. He was the Marquess of Dublin and Duke of Ireland despite never set foot in the country.
He was the son of Thomas de Vere, and Maud the daughter of Sir Ralph Ufford and a favourite of Richard II.
It is easy to see why both he and Richard II formed a friendship, their fates were linked by the loss of their fathers, by money, power and jealousy - all the things that can lead the young astray. In the year of Richard's ascension to the throne, Robert de Vere was knighted along with the king, Henry Earl of Derby, the future Henry IV, and Richard's uncle Thomas of Woodstock.
As the days of Richard's minority turned into years, resentment and anger in court was building, Richard resented his ambitious uncle John of Gaunt, and his favourites envied Gaunt's power and status - it has been suggested that Robert de Vere was the ringleader of a plot to murder Gaunt. Robert de Vere benefited greatly from his friendship with the king he was given his own rooms in Richard's castles, granted estates, gifts and other nobles' inheritances.
In 1387 he was at the head of Richard's forces when they met the army of Henry Bolingbroke at Radcote Bridge in Oxford in 1387, it was there that his fate was sealed.
After ten years in the workplace I became a mother to three very beautiful daughters, I was fortunate enough to have been able to stay at home and spend my time with them as they grew into the young women they are now. I am still in the position of being able to be at home and pursue all the interests I have previously mentioned. We live in a beautiful Victorian spa town with wooded walks for the dog, lovely shops and a host of lovely people, what more could I ask for.
All works © Andrea Povey 2014. Please do not reproduce without the expressed written consent of Andrea Povey.