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.
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.
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.
The burial of Eleanor of Lancaster, who died on the 11th January in 1372 is famously written about by Poet Laureate Philip Larkin.
'Side by side, their faces blurred,
The earl and countess lie in stone,
Their proper habits vaguely shown
As jointed armour, stiffened pleat,
And that faint hint of the absurd
The little dogs under their feet.'
Eleanor was the wife of Richard Fitzalan, the daughter of Henry of Lancaster and Maud Chaworth, great-granddaughter of Henry III, and my 20th great grandmother.
Eleanor was in the service of Edward III's queen Philippa of Hainault. She may have accompanied Philippa to Scotland and in the first years of her marriage, she was with the queen in Europe in her capacity as Philippa's lady in waiting. It was while she was with the queen in Ghent that Eleanor gave birth to her first child, Henry. Her marriage to Henry's father, John de Beaumont, had ended with his death in a tournament in the spring of 1342, leaving her with Henry who was just two years old.
Eleanor second marriage, two years later, was to my direct ancestor Richard Fitzalan, which was a love match I believe. With Fitzalan she gave birth to seven children, the second, John, being the next in my family line.
Richard's, Eleanor's eldest child and heir to the earldom of Arundel, claim to fame, apart from carrying the crown of England at the coronation of Richard II, was his membership of the Lords Appellant, a group of men who disagreed with Richard's rule and his reliance on favorites - Fitzalan would lose his head over it. Thankfully Eleanor was long gone by that time as was Richard.
The proof of the love between Eleanor and her husband defies time and lies in the request Richard Fitzalan made in his will -
"near to the tomb of Eleanor de Lancaster, my wife; and I desire that my tomb be no higher than hers, that no men at arms, horses, hearse, or other pomp, be used at my funeral, but only five torches as was about the corpse of my wife, be allowed."
The date of Henry V's birth is said to be either the 9th or the 16th of August in 1386/7 at Monmouth Castle. The baby, so the story goes was placed in this cradle. Sadly tests prove that the cradle dates to a much later century, the cradle posts however are dated to the 15th century. It is linked to the village of Newland in Gloucestershire just a few miles from where Henry was cared for as a baby.
He was born the second son of Henry IV, he had, by the age of seventeen taken part in the Battle of Shrewsbury and topped that with five years fighting against Welsh and the legendary Owen Glendower, the last Welsh leader to be known as the Prince of Wales. Henry also put down a rebellion led by Richard of Conisburgh grandfather to Richard III, Henry Scrope and Thomas Grey and their attempt to put Edmund Mortimer on the English throne. This later became known as the Southampton Plot. We also remember King Henry V for his involvement with France where between 1415 and 1420 he was successful in taking the port of Harfleur, the town of Rouen, and managed to force the French to sign the Treaty of Troyes.
Following his success in France, Henry was recognised as the heir to the French throne which was sealed by his marriage to Charles VI's daughter Catherine of Valois. The couple returned home to England, six months later Catherine was crowned queen and two months later, Henry returned to France. The young queen gave birth to her son Henry, later Henry VI, in the December of 1421, but the of hero of Agincourt lay dying from dysentery at the Chateau de Vincennes, in France, where he died on the 31st of August, leaving his lands and titles in the tiny hands of his nine-month-old son.
Born in the Tower of London on the 5th July in 1321 was Joan, the youngest of the four children of Edward II and Isabella of France.
Joan was born into a country fraught with tension. What started out as a feud eventually escalated into civil war - this feud was the result of Joan's father's reliance on the Despensers, a father and son act. History differentiates between the two by calling the son 'the Younger' - he was a royal favourite. This war came to an end following the Battle of Boroughbridge in March the following year with the execution of Thomas of Lancaster and the exile of both Despencers. However, the Despencers were to return as favourites until the end of Edward's reign.
When Joan was just seven she was contracted to marry David of Scotland, the four-year-old son of Robert the Bruce. This marriage formed part of the Treaty of Northampton. Under the terms of the treaty, England recognised Scotland's independence and Robert the Bruce as king. For their part, the Scots would pay an agreed sum of money to end the war.
Poor Joan entered into this unhappy marriage on the 17th July 1328 and was crowned as a Scottish queen the next year. David as king was an English sympathiser and disliked in Scotland and history sees him as a disastrous leader. On a personal level, he was a womaniser but left on illegitimate offspring. It's is hard to say what Joan had to put up with during her thirty-four-year marriage to the Scottish king however the answer may lay in the fact that following his release from his eleven-year captivity in England Joan chose not to accompany him back to Scotland.
Where Joan lived during the last five years of her life is unknown, she may have lived at Castle Rising, one of her mother's properties however by 1358 she was living with her mother at Hertford Castle. I wonder what these two women talked of during their time together? Did they discuss the subject of living with men they cared little for or Joan's time as Queen of the Scots or maybe Isabella's affair with Roger Mortimer?
Oh to be a fly on the wall!
By the summer of 1358, Joan was caring for her dying mother who succumbed to death that year. Joan continued to live at Hertford Castle until her own death of the black plague in 1362.
She was buried in Christ Church Greyfriars, London. Her tomb no longer exists.
The Black Death, from the October of 1347 to around 1352, it has been said, did not eradicate a third of Europe’s population.
Open almost any textbook on western civilization says historian Sam Cohn and it will claim that the Black Death wiped out one-third of Europe’s population. In fact, in some places such as a village on an estate in Cambridgeshire manorial rolls attest that 70 per cent of its tenants died in a matter of months in 1349. Yet, the plague skipped over or barely touched other villages, even within Cambridgeshire, and may not have infected at all vast regions such as ones in northern German-speaking lands.
I wonder why certain villages suffered when others didn't?
In 1767, just over two hundred years before the birth of my ancestor James Toon in the village of Thringstone in Leicestershire, there were only twenty-six families in his village and only forty-two in the two neighbouring villages of Whitwick and Swannington, according to records it was the Black Death that devastated the village seeing off nearly all the population and after that population growth in this village and the surrounding area was slow.
My family, it seems, were one of the lucky ones.
You can read about my Toon ancestors here:
The Norman family of Tosny - pronounced Tony appear only briefly in England's history, as a family they were all gone (in name at least) by the beginning of the 14th century. Their lands, as was the norm, can be found forming part of the estates of other medieval lords who married Tosny daughters and heiresses. This family's descent is complicated and confusing partly because the direct male line was either named Roger or Ralph also there were two, maybe three men with the same name living at the same time!
My ancestral line ends with Godehode de Tosny who received one manor on her marriage, that of Brinkley in Cambridgeshire, to William Mohun. This manor was held in 1086 by Judith of Lens and passed to Godehode through her mother Adalize the daughter of Waltheof the Anglo-Saxon Earl of Northumbria and the aforementioned Judith, the niece of William the Conqueror.
Godehode's brother was one of the many Ralph de Tosny, he died in 1157. Alice de Tosny, who is the subject of this blog today was Ralph's descendant, she was born on the 26th April in 1284.
We will, of course, never know the real Alice, we can only guess how she managed her life and coped with what it threw at her. What we do know is that Alice and women like her were not as subservient as history has lead us to believe. These women had influence, control and power and many were not afraid to use it, however, throughout history, women's lives have been viewed by the gender-based functions they performed - that is a wife, a mother, a widow and sometimes an heiress. Alice de Tosny was all of these things, she fits perfectly into this view of a medieval woman.
Firstly, we see Alice as an heiress, she was a high ranking English noblewoman who lived during the reign of Edward I. At the beginning of the 14th century, Alice was wealthy in her own right, she had received the Tosny estates when her brother Robert died in 1309 without issue. This inheritance, as we have seen, had its roots at the beginning of the 12th century with the marriage of Adalize, one of two heiresses and daughters of the Earl of Northumberland and his Norman wife Judith of Lens, to Ralph de Tosny.
Alice was a wife three times and a widow twice. Her first husband was Thomas Leybourne who had died in 1307 with whom she had a daughter Juliana (she too would become an heiress - the manor of Leybourne in Kent passed to Juliana on the death of her paternal grandfather William Leybourne in 1310.) Alice continued to hold her Tosny lands herself but on her marriage to Guy de Beauchamp the Earl of Warwick, it became part of the Beauchamp estate. With Beauchamp Alice had seven children and after his death in 1315 she married her third husband William de la Zouche with whom she had two children.
In totally Alice was the mother of ten children.
The majority of the Tosny lands and manors passed to her eldest son Thomas de Beauchamp, the 11th Earl of Warwick on Alice's death in 1325.
Eventually and for hardly any time at all, Alice's inheritance ended as it had begun, held by heiresses - Isabel and Anne Neville, the daughters of Anne Beauchamp the wife of Richard Neville. What happened to it after that is a story for another day.
A second set of sisters, Isabel and Elizabeth, the daughters of Alice and Guy de Beauchamp, received two of the Tosny manors that of Whittlesford and Brinkley.
The subject of the heiress has not been covered fully enough. More often than not the heiress is usually talked about as part of her family where the main focus of attention are the eldest sons and their children. If she is discussed at it is what she brought to the family she married into.
Naturally, there are no visual representations of Alice, however you can see the Tosny coat of arms (the maunch gules or a red sleeve) quartered in that of Guy de Beauchamp's.
Maud of Lancaster was one of two sisters who were co-heiress of Henry of Grosmont the Duke of Lancaster and Earl of Leicester. Maud was born on the 4th April in 1339, to Grosmont's wife Isabel de Beaumont at Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire.
Bolingbroke Castle is now in ruins, but it was once a fine castle situated in what is known as the Lincolnshire Wolds. It was built by Ranulf Blondeville, Earl of Chester in 1220 however by the sixteenth century it had fallen into disrepair. On Blondeville's death the castle passed to his sister Hawise, eventually, via the de Lacy family it ended up as part of the estate of Thomas of Lancaster. Lancaster was executed for treason in 1322 and his estate for forfeited. A year later, Henry of Grosmont successfully petitioned to take possession of his brother's estates which included Bolingbroke.
Maud's sister Blanche was also born at Bolingbroke.
Maud was Grosmont's eldest daughter, her paternal grandparents were Henry of Lancaster and Maud de Charworth and her maternal grandparents were Henry Beaumont and Alice de Comyn. Both sets of grandparent held land in Lincolnshire and Leicestershire. Her Beaumont grandparent's Lincolnshire estates were granted as a result of their association with the royal family. Edward II granted them a number of manor including Folkingham, Goady and Barton upon Humber.
On Grosmont's death in 1361, Maud and Blanche became wealthy heiresses, however the Earldom of Leicester passed to Maud's first husband and then on his death in 1389 to her sister Blanche's husband John of Gaunt, who was granted the Dukedom of Lancaster as a second creation.
On Maud's death on the 10th April 1362 Gaunt received her money and her lands to add to that of his wife share of the family estate. The Grosmont inheritance formed the foundations on which the Lancastrian's built their dynasty.
There is no image of Maud, however she may have resembled her sister. You can see an illustration of Blanche - pictured here with John of Gaunt.
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.