Philip died in Bruges and was succeeded by his son Charles the Bold, who had married Margaret of York in 1468.
Philip the Good, the Duke of Burgundy died on the 5th June in 1467.
Philip was a man who is said to have loved pomp and circumstance, he had many mistresses and three wives, he also had seventeen illegitimate children that he acknowledged as his. His court was a fun place to be it was full of jewel-adorned courtiers, there were banquets, dancing and music, there was jousting and tournaments. No wonder he was called the Philip the Good. Everybody seemed to have a whale of a time!
On a serious note, he was a capable military leader. He allied himself with England in 1420 recognising Henry V as the future king of France, and it was Phillip who handed over Joan of Arc to the English ten years later. In 1435 he rescinded on the 1420 Treaty of Troyes by recognising Charles VII of France as king.
Philip died in Bruges and was succeeded by his son Charles the Bold, who had married Margaret of York in 1468.
The town of Berwick stands on the banks of the River Tweed in Northumberland. Historically, its position proved useful as it is situated on the border between England and Scotland, and because of this it has seen its share of both war and peace. Because of its situation, its governance has been the responsibility of both countries on numerous occasions.
In 1357 a treaty was signed here, the first of five Treaties of Berwick, this particular treaty, between King Edward III of England and David II of Scotland, brought to an end Scotland's second attempt at independence.
In 1461 during the Wars of the Roses, when Henry VI's wife Margaret of Anjou had fled to Scotland she negotiated a deal with the recently widowed Mary of Guelders over the town in return for help with her Lancastrian cause. When all the papers are signed Berwick upon Tweed became part of Scotland, and it was not until the August of 1482 that Richard, Duke of Gloucester, later King Richard III retook the town and returned it to England.
A second treaty, signed in 1526, was issued in order to keep the peace between warring factions on the English/Scottish border.
A third, signed on this day in 1560 saw the completion of yet another Treaty of Berwick. This treaty was Elizabeth I's efforts to give some protection to those who practiced Protestantism in Scotland. The document was signed for and on behalf of the queen by Thomas Howard the Duke of Norfolk. The agreement was in respect of an alliance with Scottish nobles who were opposed to the regency of Mary of Guise, the widow of James V of Scotland, who had retained a French army for her protection. The treaty allowed English forces to enter Scotland and expel these French troops and it would be the first time in history that the English and Scottish fought together against a common foe rather than against each another.
There would be two more signing of treaties at Berwick, one in 1586 following an agreement between Elizabeth I and Mary of Guise's grandson King James VI and another in 1639 that ended the First Bishops War.
On the 23rd of February in 1447 the death from a stroke, although there were suggestions that he was poisoned, of Humphrey Duke of Gloucester, the youngest son of Henry IV.
Although I am confident in writing about most events that cover the Wars of the Roses, there are still a few that I'm unsure of, namely the infighting between Beaufort family members ie Cardinal Henry Beaufort, Henry V's uncle and the illegitimate son of John of Gaunt and Henry's brothers Humphrey Duke of Gloucester. I understand the cost of this to the country but its the 'ins and outs' that I don't fully understand - yet.
Going some way, in part, to helping me with this was the 2016 BBC's production of The Hollow Crown: Henry VI Part One, in which Humphrey Duke of Gloucester was sympathetically played by Hugh Bonneville, a very good choice I think, his portrayal gives us a glimpse of the real man.
With what I mentioned in my second paragraph in mind I leave an assessment of Humphrey's life to author Matthew Lewis who writes in his blog -
"Humphrey was a well-liked figure who was popular with the common man and retained sympathy for the House of Lancaster as the government of his nephew became increasingly unpopular and out of touch with the country. The policy of eliminating those closest to the throne thrust Richard, Duke of York to prominence as Humphrey’s natural successor, caused those who had looked to Humphrey for a lead to turn their focus from the House of Lancaster and made York, not unreasonably, frightened of meeting the same fate simply by reason of his position. Perhaps paranoia was a part of the makeup of Henry VI’s mental issues even at this early stage, perhaps the Beauforts were manipulating him to improve their own prospects or perhaps it was a little of both. Whatever the reason, it backfired on Henry and the Beauforts, dragging England into a bitter and prolonged civil war."
You can read more about the Duke of Gloucester in Matthew's blog here
Cheri by French author Colette is a wonderful book, it is set in Paris in the 1920's and tells the story of a love affair between a young man and a beautiful older woman. This period is my second favourite era, if I couldn't be transported back, just for a moment, to the medieval era, then it would have to be here, a time of La Belle Epoque, the fantastic style of Art Nouveau, delicate and very feminine dresses, and of course those gorgeous hats.
Every time I watch the film I always wonder why and when we stopped wearing hats as part of our everyday apparel. In photographs of my great aunts, they are always wearing hats and both my grandmothers, in their younger days, they wore them too. We ladies like to wear a fancy hat to a wedding, but on the whole, we have the woolly hat for winter and straw one for the summer - that's it!
The answer to my question of why we no longer wear hats lies in the war years. People stopped wearing hats after the Second World War as the British public did not want reminding of the time they spent in uniform and thought that going hatless would represent a break with the past, the breaking down of the barriers of etiquette initiated a gradual decline in hat wearing. However, the non-wearing of a hat in the institutions of authority and power such as seats of government or law was still a controversial subject. In 1942 the wearing of hats in Law Courts by women was deemed as a matter of such national importance that the Lord Chancellor was forced to consult the Lord Chief Justice, the Master of the Rolls, and the President of the Probate, Divorce, and Admiralty. Examples of this can be found in the records of the Bow Street Police Court, where the Chief Clerk stated that "just as there was no law requiring a prisoner to stand, so there was none making it compulsory for a woman to wear a hat in court—unless it was the principle once enunciated in the Star Chamber that magistrates were gods." and in the Liverpool quarter sessions where the recorder, said that "women could come into his court dressed as they pleased. He wished the officials there to understand that women, whether serving on juries or as witnesses, might dress as they liked in court. There was, he continued, no sort of historic or religious basis for the absurd business of telling women that in court hats must be worn."
As is the norm with the study of history the subject of religion plays its part and surprising it has its say on the subject of the hat. It is mentioned in the bible that men were expected not to wear a hat during worship but women were told to cover their heads. The medieval woman were also told what to wear on their heads. Headdresses were worn for more than just looking attractive, they were worn specifically to cover their hair. The medieval woman's hair was considered an erotic feature and it was especially important that married woman covered their hair with veils as it was legally considered a property of the husband. The medieval lady would wear the conical hat, the circlet or the snood. The male hat of the time was the hood or cowl, the large turban cap was popular but this soon morphed into a small hat with a close turned up brim. Of course, the most famous headgear was the armoured helmet, used as a protection in battle.
Apart from wearing a hat to protect one's head or to deter the lusty medieval man etiquette played a big part in the history of what we do with the hat.
It is thought that the custom of removing or tipping your hat originates from the aforementioned medieval period, knights would raise their visors or remove their helmets as a gesture of good intent and in the same vein soldiers and the male hat wearing public would also raise their hats to their superiors. It was always the done thing for a man to raise his hat when he met a lady.
Many of these fine old traditions have long since faded into obscurity, and we as a society worse off for it I think. 'Manners' writes William Horman the 16th-century headmaster at Eton and Winchester College 'maketh man.'
Henry Percy, first Earl of Northumberland was, according to Shakespeare:
"the ladder upon which the mounting Bolingbroke ascends the throne.”
This statement reflects the rise of the Percy family during the reign of Richard II and the subsequent usurpation of the throne by Henry Bolingbroke.
Henry Percy was born on this very day, the 10th November in 1341/2.
The first two decades of Percy's life were unremarkable, however the twenty years following his father's death lead Percy to great heights of power and influence, not only in his own stamping ground but in the country as a whole. Henry Percy headed a family that included his sons Henry 'Hotspur' and Thomas, all three were guardians of the English boarder with Scotland. As Lords of the North, and as the previous statement states, they were involved in the future Henry IV taking the crown of England. However, siding with Henry had its problems, and the Percy's would soon regret helping Bolingbroke take his seat on the throne of England.
We cannot think of the Percy family without considering the part they played in the Wars of the Roses. Many believe that the First Battle of St Albans, in 1455, was as much about the ongoing squabble between the Percy's and their nemesis the Neville's, as it was about the wider squabble, that of the House of York and Lancaster. It cannot be doubted that this battle, for the individual members of these two northern families, was very personal, each trying to destroy the other under the guise of a greater cause.
The origins of Percy/Neville squabble had it roots in land, or the loss of it, bitterness turned to anger, discussion to litigation, skirmishes into outright warfare that initiated 'the beginning of the greatest sorrows in England."
Henry Percy died a traitor at Bramham Moor, the last battle of the Percy's rebellion, on the 19 February 1408 and as was the norm for a traitor, his head was decapitated and sent to London, placed for all to see on London Bridge, it was reunited with his quartered remains and eventually buried in York Minster.
At the age of thirty-two Isabella of Portugal, the daughter of John of Portugal and Philippa of Lancaster and the granddaughter of John of Gaunt, was married to Philip the Good by proxy on the 24th July 1429 and married on the 7th of January 1430.
Born in 1397 Isabella as you have just read, married late in her life, her husband was one year older than her. In 1415 Isabella had received an offer of marriage from her cousin Henry V of England, but negotiations came to nothing and as we have seen Isabella remained unmarried.
In the second of the images is thought to be that of Isabella aged about fifty three but the inscription on the original frame states "Michelle de France" - Michelle was Phillips first wife. However, it is thought to be that of Isabella. Because it is unusual in style, a profile pose, the artist may have been trying to portray Isabella in a "better light" with a "convincing yet elegant style." It may well be that Isabella was like her mother in looks, Philippa was thought to be rather plain.
She looks rather lovely in the first image, don't you think?
Looks are not everything, Isabella is said to have been a generous and intelligent woman, able to hold her own in diplomatic conferences. She was influential in the marriage arrangements of her son Charles the Bold and the marriage of her great niece to James II of Scotland.
Isabella died in Dijon in 1471 after living a devout and quiet life.
On this day in 1491, the birth of Henry VIII recorded here in his grandmother Margaret Beaufort’s Book of Hours.
Henry VIII was born at Greenwich Palace, the second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York, his older brother Arthur had died in 1502 which left Henry as heir to the throne.
On the death of his father on the 22nd of April 1509, Henry became King Henry VIII. Henry was seen as a clever and active young man, he spoke three languages fluently, he was an excellent sportsman too. He played tennis, he wrestled, he liked archery and bowling. Henry also enjoyed hunting, jousting and hawking.
Henry, of course, is famous for his dealings with women, there were six wives and assorted mistresses who accompanied him through life.
This kings story has kept us enthralled for many years, his exploits viewed on the big screen and on television many many times. Let's have a look at who has played him over the years.
On the 7th June in 1494 what is known as the Treaty of Tordesillas was signed.
In 1493, Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain were requesting that Pope Alexander VI establish a boundary to show what areas of land belonged to them. In 1494, the Treaty of Tordesillas settled the question as far as Spain and Portugal were concerned: an imaginary line was drawn west of the Azores, everything west of this line would belong to Spain, everything east of the line would go to Portugal.
So how did this treaty affect the European countries? Well, it left them no legal rights to any lands or treasure in the New World, the result of which lead them to resort to illegal methods, that is, piracy.
On this matter, that is Treaty of Tordesillas, the king of France is thought to have said...
"The sun shines on me just the same as on the other, and I should like to see the clause in Adam's will that
cuts me out of my share in the New World!"
There was no way that the Francis was not getting his share of the booty and so the piracy began. Think of the image of Captain Jack Sparrow and the Black Pearl and you can easily visualise Francis's galleons capturing two Spanish treasure ships as they were on the way to Spain, carrying Aztec treasure.
These two ships were brought to France, on board were gold, emeralds, pearls and various other valuables to the value of 150,000 ducats. (Perhaps some of you will know how much that is in today's money, I couldn't find out.)
Almost eighty years into the Hundred Years War, on Friday, October 25, 1415, Saint Crispin's Day, Henry V of England met the French army led by the Constable Charles d'Albret in Northern France, near the present-day town of Agincourt.
Estimates are that the English were outnumbered from 2 to 1 to as much as 4 to 1. Most of the English were archers and dismounted knights, while most of the French were mounted knights. Some crossbow mercenaries were part of the French force too. But they had a limited range compared to the long bow, and also took a lot longer to reload and re-shoot their weapon.
Before the battle, which Henry was actually trying to avoid, he ordered the archers to find and sharpen both ends of a six-foot wooden stick. These were then hammered into the soft ground of the plain where the battle ultimately took place. It rained the night before the battle, and there was mud and soft earth all throughout the battleground. The wooden stakes were pointed outwards, towards the French lines. When the French knights on horseback charged the English archers, many of the horses would not advance through the thicket of sharpened points. Archers picked off horses and knights from a distance and at close range. French knights and men at arms were trapped by their heavy armor in the mud, becoming easy prey for the outnumbered English. the French who had not been killed or stuck in the melee fled.
Some say that the French knights had issued threats that, if they caught any archers from the English side, they would cut off their inside fingers, so they could not pull back a bow string. To taunt these French knights, the English archers held up their middle fingers to show they still had them.
Noble French prisoners, who could have been sold for rich ransoms, were ordered killed after the French retreat. Henry was worried these prisoners would rise up and attack the English from behind if, or when, another wave of French knights appeared to engage his forces.
The coronation of King Henry V on the 9th April 1413 in Westminster Abbey, according to chronicler Adam of Usk was
"marked by unprecedented storms, with driving snow which covered the country's mountains, burying men and animals and houses and, astonishingly, even inundating the valleys and fenlands, creating great danger and much loss of life."
People at the time could not decide whether this was good or bad and history has asked the same question.
So was Henry V, history's golden boy, an amiable and pious king or was he arrogant and cruel?
Henry is mostly remembered for his involvement with France between 1415 and 1420 where 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 after which he was recognised as the heir to the French throne, which was sealed by his marriage to Charles VI's daughter Catherine of Valois.
Following their marriage the couple returned home to England, six months later Catherine's coronation took place and two months after that, Henry returned to France. The young queen gave birth to her son Henry, later Henry VI, in the December of 1421, but that day 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.
Interestingly, one of the stones that is set into the Imperial State crown, that was worn by the queen after her coronation and at the state opening of Parliament, is said to have been in Henry's helmet at Agincourt.
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.