20th May 1217
The Second Battle of Lincoln can be viewed through my photographs taken at a reenactment in 2014.
20th May 1217
The Battle of Lincoln, the second of that name in a period known as the Baron's War, was one of the most influential battles fought on England's soil. The 20th May 1217, saw Louis VIII's French forces under the Count of Perche attack the garrison at Lincoln Castle that was held by soldiers who were loyal to Henry III. English forces, under the command of William Marshall, arrived in Lincoln from the north, eventually securing the castles north gate forcing the surrender of the French army.
The battle took place in the area around Lincoln's castle, it cathedral and what is now Steep Hill, and today marks eight hundred years since this battle took place.
My photograph below shows the Observatory Tower of Lincoln Castle where I have added a medieval illustrated text that tells the story of the battle.
As you can see they are both from the same view point, it is quite eerie to think that the illustrator of the medieval image may have stood on the exact same spot that I took the photo from 798 later. On the illustration you can see a bowman perched high in the observatory tower firing at the retreating army.
The Second Battle of Lincoln can be viewed through my photographs taken at a reenactment in 2014.
Lincoln Castle garrison stand to defend this important fortification from forces loyal to Prince Louis, led by the Count of Perche.
Meanwhile, William Marshal proceeded to the section of the city walls nearest the castle, at the north gate. The entire force of Marshal's crossbowmen led by the nobleman Falkes de Breaute assaulted and won the gate. Perche's forces did not respond, but continued the castle siege. The north gate was secured by Marshal's main force, while Breaute's crossbowmen took up high positions on the rooftops of houses. Volleys of bolts from this high ground caused rapid death, damage and confusion among Perche's forces. Then, in the final blow, Marshal committed his knights and foot soldiers in a charge against Perche's siege
After six hours Perche was offered a surrender, but instead fought to the death as the siege collapsed into a scattered rout. Those of Louis' army who were not captured fled Lincoln out the south city gate, to London.
On the 14th May 1610, Henry IV of France was assassinated by Francois Ravaillac, a Catholic radical, who stabbed the king when the coach he was travelling in was caught up in congestion on the Rue de la Ferronnerie in Paris.
In 1793, an eyewitness reported that when the royal tombs at the Abbey of Saint Denis were destroyed, the embalmed and perfectly preserved body of Henry was displayed in state in the Basilica, and for many days people filed in silence to pay their respects.
A story of the treatment of the French kings remains suggests that in 1793, at the height of the French Revolution, Henry's body was exhumed and posthumously beheaded, revolutionary soldiers even taking cuttings from his beard. Henry's head is said to have been sold in the 1920's and remained in private ownership. Eventually the skull resurfaced, and in 2010 a digital facial reconstruction was undertaken and as you can see from the image below the finished article certainly looks king like.
However, a recent study on the DNA taken from the skull found a genetic discrepancy between the head and three living male relatives leading to the conclusion the head didn't come from Henry at all or anybody in the royal lineage.
It seems that the story of the ill treatment of Henry IV's body during the French Revolution was propaganda and to use a term that is popular at the moment - fake news.
Henry IV of France was known as Good King Henry, he was a military leader and politician who put an end to the religious wars that had torn France apart. A Protestant, he had converted to Catholicism to unite his subjects for whom he had great compassion. He showed much sympathy for the poorest in his realm of whom he said
"If God keeps me, I will make sure that no peasant in my realm will lack the means to have a chicken in the pot on Sunday!"
On the 14th May 1264, Henry III forces were defeated by the armies of Simon de Montfort at the Battle of Lewes in Sussex. This battle was one of two main battles in the conflict known as the Second Barons War and at this point Montfort was riding high.
King Henry III is said to have been intelligent and quick to master the problems of administration and government, he was also seen a "uncomplicated, almost naive man, and a lover of peace," yet all this is hardly mentioned, historians preferring to write about Simon de Montfort who not only stole Henry's crown but also his limelight.
The dissatisfaction of Henry's barons culminated in the Second Barons War in 1263. It was Simon de Montfort who lead the rebellion against Henry, and after the Battle of Lewes both the king and his son Edward, later Edward I, were captured and it was de Montfort who ruled in his name.
Eventually, de Montfort lost the support of many of Henry's disaffected barons, this along with Edward escaping his captors and raising an army was the beginning of the end for de Montfort. After the Battle of Evesham, Montfort met a grizzly end and Henry regained his throne.
Image Credit Lewes Town Council
On this day in 1118 occurred the sudden death of Matilda of Scotland.
Following Matilda's burial at Westminster Abbey there were rumors of miracles at her tomb. This is no surprise, Matilda built hospitals, abbeys and gave generously to the church. She was fond of literature, music and the arts.
In the Hyde Chronicle, a study of England and Normandy at the time of the Norman Conquest thought to have been written by William of Blois, there is a reference to Matilda:
"From the time England first became subject to kings, out of all the queens none was found to be comparable to her, and none will be found in time to come, whose memory will be praised and name will be blessed throughout the ages."
Saintly is a word you could use to describe Matilda, not only for her good works, but the fact she was the wife of Henry I.
Henry I was, to put it politely, a bit of a ladies-man, having numerous illegitimate offspring and as many mistresses, I have often wondered if Henry's philandering was the reason Matilda's children were born in the first four years of their eighteen years of
Queen Matilda is buried on the right hand side of the original Shrine of St Edward the Confessor at Westminster Abbey. There is no memorial for her.
You can read more on this on my blog at
In June 1553, Edward VI's Devise for the Succession was signed by one hundred and two members of the royal council, in it he named his cousin Lady Jane Grey as his heir, and disinherited his half sisters Mary and Elizabeth.
In the chaos following Mary being proclaimed queen, the signatories stated that they were forced to sign the document by
John Dudley, the Duke of Northumberland.
According to Jehan de Scheyfye, imperial ambassador, Edward feared John Dudley, and with his uncle Edward Seymour,
a gentler, less imposing character dead and in the ground for over a year, the young king was right to do so.
Northumberland, as Jane's father in law and Jane's parents, Francis and Henry Grey, were the epitome of grasping, self serving nobles who were not afraid to use and abuse their offspring if it meant getting what they desired.
In Northumberland's case his intention was to be chief puppeteer, with a wish to make England dance to his tune, and no
better way to start than organising marriges, to the benefit of himself, to high ranking nobles within the royal court.
Guildford, Catherine and Katherine were all married on the same day, the 25th May 1553.
With Edward's illness beginning in the February and three dynastic marriages taking place less than a
month before the king became ill, it's difficult to believe that Dudley's only concern was king and country. As the court
watched the king's life slipping away, Northumberland was quick to realise that the plans for his families rise to greatness
was heading for the grave along with his sickly king. It most certainly had not slipped Dudley's mind, that on Edward's
death, the Grey family members were at the top of Edwards list of heirs. It was still possible that Francis Grey could give Suffolk a son, and that would be disastrous for Dudley, he knew that whoever was at England's helm it would be Henry Grey who would be pulling the strings.
All Northumberland needed to do was to whisper in the kings ear that it was in 'countries' interest that he declare
Jane Grey his heir and then sit back and watch as the plans for his new 'dynasty', plans that had been in the making
since at least 1525, come to fruition.
The question has to be asked if Northumberland was a schemer, it has been said he was 'morally bankrupt'
and 'the subtlest intriguer in English history.' However, there are those who would argue that Dudley was the Tudor
dynasty's saviour in a time of in fighting, religious upheaval and rebellion, and if this was the case then perhaps the
Duke of Northumberland was the right man for the job, however Dudley had much to gain and for me, this counteracts everything else.
It has been suggested that the change to the succession was Edward's own idea and his own doing, and that this boy
wasn't a pawn in the machinations of his protectors at all, but an intelligent, if somewhat sober, young man. However, at this point in time he was weak and vulnerable, would a boy so sick, whose body was swollen and covered in ulcers, who was suffering from a high fever and in great pain from bedsores, be able think about such a change? After all he had already made his decision and drafted it to his satisfaction, excluding his sister on the grounds of religion and illegitimacy, important
reasons to him. No, Northumberland saw an opportunity and he took it.
Edward made the changes to the succession, altering 'L Janes heires masles' to L Jane AND her heires masles' as you can see in the text below.
On the 21st June, the Devise for the Succession of King Edward VI was signed, and on Edward's death on the 6th July,
Jane Grey became queen. Never crowned, she 'reigned' for just nine days.
Jane's story is a tragic one, she along with her husband, Guildford Dudley were tried for treason in November 1553 and executed on the 12th of February 1554. Henry Grey was executed ten days later.
In August, just two weeks following Mary's triumphant ride through the streets of London, John Dudley was one of the
first to climb the steps of the scaffold.
What doe's that tell you?
Anne Boleyn was accused of adultery with five men, including her brother George whose wife, Lady Rochford, testified that her husband had been 'intimate' with Anne. On the 10th May 1536 a jury decided that Anne and George Boleyn along with Sir Henry Norris, Sir William Brereton, Mark Smeaton, Sir Henry Norris and Sir Francis Weston should be indicted and stand trial.
George's marriage had been a arranged, and was thought not to be a happy one. Jane is said to have hated both her husband and her sister in law and her words although untruths, carried a lot of weight.
It has never been proved it was Jane who set the wheels in motion regarding Anne's downfall, but someone did. However, Jane didn't learn anything from the whole affair, and went on to encourage the liaison between Catherine Howard and Thomas Culpepper. Jane must have known what would happen if Henry found out that she was involved but it didn't stop her meddling.
Indictment found at Westminster on Wednesday next after three weeks of Easter, 28 Hen. VIII. before Sir John Baldwin, &c., by the oaths of Giles Heron, Roger More, Ric. Awnsham, Thos. Byllyngton, Gregory Lovell, Jo. Worsop, Will. Goddard, Will. Blakwall, Jo. Wylford, Will. Berd, Hen. Hubbylthorn, Will. Hunyng, Rob. Walys, John England, Hen. Lodysman, and John Averey; who present that whereas queen Anne has been the wife of Henry VIII. for three years and more, she, despising her marriage, and entertaining malice against the King, and following daily her frail and carnal lust, did falsely and traitorously procure by base conversations and kisses, touchings, gifts, and other infamous incitations, divers of the King's daily and familiar servants to be her adulterers and concubines, so that several of the King's servants yielded to her vile provocations; viz., on 6th Oct. 25 Hen. VIII., at Westminster, and divers days before and after, she procured, by sweet words, kisses, touches, and otherwise, Hen. Noreys, of Westminster, gentle man of the privy chamber, to violate her, by reason whereof he did so at Westminster on the 12th Oct. 25 Hen. VIII.; and they had illicit intercourse at various other times, both before and after, sometimes by his procurement, and sometimes by that of the Queen. Also the Queen, 2 Nov. 27 Hen. VIII. and several times before and after, at Westminster, procured and incited her own natural brother, George Boleyn lord Rocheford, gentleman of the privy chamber, to violate her, alluring him with her tongue in the said George's mouth, and the said George's tongue in hers, and also with kisses, presents, and jewels; whereby he, despising the commands of God, and all human laws, 5 Nov. 27 Hen. VIII., violated and carnally knew the said Queen, his own sister, at Westminster; which he also did on divers other days before and after at the same place, sometimes by his own procurement and sometimes by the Queen's. Also the Queen, 3 Dec. 25 Hen. VIII., and divers days before and after, at Westminster, procured one Will. Bryerton, late of Westminster, gentleman of the privy chamber, to violate her, whereby he did so on 8 Dec. 25 Hen. VIII., at Hampton Court, in the parish of Lytel Hampton, and on several other days before and after, sometimes by his own procurement and sometimes by the Queen's. Also the Queen, 8 May 26 Hen. VIII., and at other times before and since, procured Sir Fras. Weston, of Westminster, gentleman of the privy chamber, &c., whereby he did so on the 20 May, &c. Also the Queen, 12 April 26 Hen. VIII., and divers days before and since, at Westminster, procured Mark Smeton, groom of the privy chamber, to violate her, whereby he did so at Westminster, 26 April 27 Hen. VIII.
You can read more on on The National Archives website here
On the 9th May in 1671, Thomas Blood became the first and only man to attempt to steal the Crown Jewels.
Colonel Blood as he would come to be known, was born in Ireland, the son of a blacksmith. Blood had fought for the Royalist forces of Charles I during the English Civil War. However, he switched sides to fight under Oliver Cromwell, his reward for which were land grants and a position in local government. When the new Stuart king was restored to the throne in 1660, Blood was forced to flee back to Ireland where he attempted to kidnap and later killed the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. On returning to England he befriended Talbot Edwards, the keeper of the crown jewels, who living quarters were above the room where the jewels were kept. It was today, in his guise as Parson Blood and accompanied by three others, that he made his attempt to steal the crown jewels.
Blood was captured when Edward's raised the alarm.
Thomas Blood evaded punishment for this crime as he had with the murder of the Duke of Ormonde. He managed to sweet talk his way out by replying "I would endeavour to deserve it, Sire!" when Charles II asked "What if I should give you your life?"
Eventually though the Irish adventurers luck finally ran out, he died following his stint in prison after being convicted of making defamatory remarks about his patron the Duke of Buckingham for which he was also fined £10,000.
Following his release he died on August 24th 1680 - he didn't pay his fine!
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.