The Spanish Armada of 1588 – just history posts

The Spanish Armada is one of the most famous events in English history, and a story that many can recount. The terrible Spanish tried to invade to depose the beloved Elizabeth I, but due to English…

Source: The Spanish Armada of 1588 – just history posts

On this day: the death of a war hero | In Times Gone By…

Only hours after being awarded the French Légion d’honneur, British Lieutenant Reginald Warneford was killed in an aeroplane crash on the 17th of June, 1915. A 1919 painting depicting the moment th…

Source: On this day: the death of a war hero | In Times Gone By…

Magic and Robots: Medieval Automatons – just history posts

The design for the Peacock fountain from The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices.

When people think of the medieval or early modern period, often it conjures images of the witch trials across the western world. These people are considered a superstitious bunch, deeply religious,…

Source: Magic and Robots: Medieval Automatons – just history posts

On this day: Emily Davison’s collision with a racehorse | In Times Gone By…

On the 4th of June, 1913 militant suffragette Emily Davison rushed onto the racetrack at the Epsom Derby, running in front of a racehorse. She was trampled by the horse and died four days later. It…

Source: On this day: Emily Davison’s collision with a racehorse | In Times Gone By…

The 1884 Colchester Earthquake | In Times Gone By…

The back of the Ship at Launch pub in Wivenhoe. On the 22nd of April, 1884 an earthquake hit Colchester, England. The disaster occurred at 9:18am. The earthquake measured 4.6 on the Richter scale…

Source: The 1884 Colchester Earthquake | In Times Gone By…

Death of the Cider Industry

Our ancestors had a lot of processions and when a community wanted to make a statement they often did it with great drama. Lord Bute brought in a tax on cider in 1763 to help fund the ongoing Seven Years’ War. This was a potential disaster for the apple growing regions of the west country and the south east. This is from the Leeds Intelligencer, regarding Ledbury Gloucestershire:

“A procession was made through the principal parts of this town by the servants of he Cyder Merchants Coopers, Farmers, and some…

Source: Death of the Cider Industry

I Need A Hero: Why Medieval England Needed Robin Hood | The York Historian

A man in tights, a thief and a fox; Robin Hood has been presented in many different ways. To us, today, he is a legend who most will place within the reign of Richard the Lionheart and the evil King John, who fought the Sheriff of Nottingham and fell in love with the beautiful Maid Marian. However, the story has not always been the fairy tale we know it as today. The first mentions of the outlaw hero appear in the fourteenth century, when an outraged monk recorded several men repeatedly missing mass to listen to stories of Robin Hood and other outlaws such  as William of Cloudesley, who was an English version of the famous Swedish archer William Tell. Whilst these stories were orally told to a wide audience, from peasants to courtiers, work by Dobson has uncovered that the most popular audience for these stories was likely to be a middling class of townspeople. The main case for Dobson and other historians who support the claim rests on the word ‘yeoman’ which crops up repeatedly in the tales of outlaws. Yeomen were not only given important protection by outlaws and received help by them, but they themselves were a special type of yeoman; a forester. Why exactly did the middling rank of most societies suddenly find themselves in need of a hero who lived in the forest, robbed and murdered?

Unjust Laws

By turning a criminal into a hero, what the audience does is…

Source: I Need A Hero: Why Medieval England Needed Robin Hood | The York Historian

Lady Jane Grey: The Most Overlooked Tudor Monarch

The Nine Day Queen’ is the first thing most of us think of whenever Lady Jane Grey is mentioned. She was a tragic heroine: an innocent victim of a plot to place her on the throne, the failure of which resulted in her execution aged sixteen. It’s a fascinating story of Tudor politics, but the girl at the centre of it all is also worth studying in her own right. Though Jane was romanticised by nineteenth-century historians for her virtue and obedience, her character remains…

Source: Lady Jane Grey: The Most Overlooked Tudor Monarch

Eleanor of Aquitaine: Why we should not forget the medieval era when searching for our most powerful queens.

The York Historian

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On the 9th September, Queen Elizabeth II surpassed Queen Victoria as the longest reigning British monarch. Journalists marked the event with comparisons between the two queens, [1] whilst some historians chose to look back to the Tudor queens of England; Mary and Elizabeth. [2] Both Victoria and Elizabeth I expanded Britain’s oversea territories, were patrons of the arts, and successfully ruled without a husband over shadowing them. It is understandable such large characters dominate our historical view when we search for the strong female leaders of our past. However, our focus on these women, mean that powerful medieval queens often get forgotten. I am not attempting to say that they had any equal power to that of the more modern Queens – medieval queens were undeniably second to the king.

Dispelling a myth

Medieval queens were also not the weak and submissive figures they sometimes come across as. Such…

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The Civil War and Women’s Rights

texthistory

The English Civil War was hard on women. In addition to the usual strains of helping run businesses and constant childbirth and childrearing, they had to cope with absent men – 1/4 of them fought in the war. Many of them built barricades and gave money to the battle, but they were treated as they were in law – with no rights, so their petitions to parliament for payment, for food for the poor were ignored. Only the Levellers supported women’s rights, which is why so many women were supporters of them.

Traditionally, power belonged to those with land, and there were women who inherited land, so were allowed to vote in local and national elections, though of course they held no high offices but were active on parish councils. Single women and widows were treaded as independent.  But the Civil War changed this. This is from Stevie Davies’ Unbridled…

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A Flute Playing Cobbler for Sale | texthistory

Originally posted on texthistory.

My research into wife selling continues to turn up bizarre incidents. This is one of my favourites, from the Dundee evening Telegraph of 28 November 1903, claims to relate to Manchester at the end of the 18th century:

“A woman, named Price, led her husband into the market place, and publicly proclaimed that she would dispose of him to the highest bidder.

The man, who seems to have regarded the matter as huge joke, then stated his accomplishments, which ranged from bootmaking to flute-playing, and the bidding commenced. Several offers were made, and he ultimately exchanged hands for a guinea, a par of fowls, and a new dress. ”

In Leeds the town crier was requisitioned to announce publicly the sale of her husband by Mrs…

via A Flute Playing Cobbler for Sale | texthistory.

A Month of: This Day in History

Louise M. H. Miller; Around The Red Map.

The Magna Carta, ‘The Great Charter’, was agreed by King John of England in Runnymede, near Windsor on this day in 1215, June 15.

eng_magna_carta_signing

The charter became part of English political life. It promised the protection of church rights, protection from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and, most importantly, limitations on taxation and other feudal payments to the Crown, with certain forms of feudal taxation requiring baronial consent.

The Magna Carta continues to have a powerful iconic status in British society.  Its perceived guarantee of trial by jury and other civil liberties. However, the Magna Carta carries little legal weight in modern Britain, as most of its clauses have been repealed and relevant rights ensured by other statutes.

See the British Library’s website: www.bl.uk/magna-carta for more information.

magna carter

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