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

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

The Significance of the Siege of Rennes, 1491

The Freelance History Writer

Musketeers training at shooting on the Papegaut Oak Tower in Rennes, 16th Century Musketeers training at shooting on the Papegaut Oak Tower in Rennes, 16th Century

Of all the entities making up the kingdom of France, Brittany was special. The Duchy of Brittany refused to accept French suzerainty. The Bretons had their own language, laws and institutions. Breton history and traditions were a result of centuries of freedom. Brittany sent no representatives to the French Estates, she paid no taxes into the French treasury and lawyers of Brittany claimed independence from the French tribunals. Breton churchmen disputed every attempt to force inclusion in the Gallican Church and claimed the right to issue their own Papal Bulls.

Brittany was a friend of every foe of the French. Any disaffected Frenchman found refuge at the court of the Duke of Brittany. The Austrian Habsburgs, the Castilians and the English were always happy to come to the aid of the Bretons as they had their own…

View original post 2,009 more words

Adeliza of Louvain, Queen of England

The Freelance History Writer

A noblewoman kneeling in front of Christ - most likely Adeliza of Louvain, from "The Shaftesbury Psalter" A noblewoman kneeling in front of Christ – most likely Adeliza of Louvain, from “The Shaftesbury Psalter”

Matilda of Scotland, the first wife of King Henry I of England died in May of 1118 and in November of 1120, Henry’s only son and heir William Adelin died in a tragic ship wreck. Henry was left with only his daughter Matilda as his heir and she was married to the German emperor Henry V. While it wasn’t impossible for a women to rule his kingdom, the White Ship disaster forced Henry to consider remarrying and working on getting a new heir.

Henry didn’t want his nephew, William Clito, son of his elder brother Robert Curthose, to inherit the throne and negotiations for a marriage to Adeliza of Louvain may have begun even before the loss of William Adelin. On January 6, 1121, after taking counsel, Henry announced to a large assembly…

View original post 1,403 more words

Isabella of Valois, Queen of England

The Freelance History Writer

The young Isabella of Valois meets her first husband, King Richard II of England The young Isabella of Valois meets her first husband, King Richard II of England

The Hundred Years War was started in 1337 by King Edward III of England, grandfather of King Richard II. The constant fighting was taking its toll on England and France. Both King Richard and the French King Charles VI were looking for a truce, if not a complete cessation of hostilities. Richard’s wife, Anne of Bohemia had died in 1394 and it made sense for him to marry a French princess to cement any agreement. Talks began shortly after Anne’s death of a marriage between Richard and Princess Isabella of Valois.

Isabella of Valois was born on November 9, 1389 at the Louvre in Paris. She was the eldest child of King Charles VI of France and Queen Isabeau of Bavaria. King Charles suffered from bouts of madness which may have been made for some frightful…

View original post 1,923 more words