Category Archives: MEDIEVAL HISTORY

The peasant who became Edward III’s mistress

The peasant who became Edward III’s mistress


Research is shedding new light on one  of medieval England’s most notorious women. An investigation by University of York historian Mark Ormrod has revealed that Alice Perrers, Edward III’s mistress, was almost certainly from the peasant background.

The slang in Elizabethan London

The slang in Elizabethan London

Pronunciation of words in Elizabethan English is a complicated matter, since linguistically it rests between the “say what you see” rules of Middle English and the more esoteric pronunciations of Modern English.  It is unreasonable to have the term ‘cider’ pronounced ‘zoiderr’, ‘farmer’ as ‘varmerr’; ‘house’ as ‘hoos’; ‘tea’ as ‘tay’; ‘grass’ as ‘grace’ or ‘graz’; ‘creek’ as ‘crik’.  Also there are regional things to keep in mind, for instance in the East and North counties.

On this day: The Battle of Hastings 1066

On this day: The Battle of Hastings 1066

Harold II was king for less than a year, yet his rule was among the most dramatic and fateful of any ruler of England. It was dominated by his disputed succession. Harold Hardrada in Norway, and William, Duke of Normandy, both believed their claims were superior and both mounted invasion to support them.

The historical background of Bayeux Tapestry

The historical background of Bayeux Tapestry

The Tapestry relates, through the minds and eyes of contemporaries, the events leading up to the Norman invasion of England and culminates in a major depiction of the Battle of Hastings. Events in both England and Normandy are recounted, save for an occasional apparent solecism, in chronological order. Most scenes are easily explicable in relation to the contemporary written sources, and those which are not are mere caesuras in a running story.

Punishment of women

Punishment of women

For women there were punishments designed to humiliate as well as to hurt. The scold’s bridle took many appearances but in essence each was the same – a metal cage to clamp around the head with a built-in gag. Included  in the design of some was a bell which rang when the ‘scold’ was paraded around the town. Of course, in the streets she was subjected to the jeers of the crowd.