Tag Archives: Medieval history

The First Crusade: The shock of the new?

The First Crusade: The shock of the new?


When in March of 1095 Pope Urban II made a speech to an assembly of French nobility and clergy at Clermont, in which he explained that the Christians in the east, both Catholic and Orthodox, were facing daily attacks and depredations from the Muslim population and lords, and offered those who would unite against this common foe remission of their sins, few could have expected the huge impact that his words would have on both East and West.

How to cope with Viking attacks?

How to cope with Viking attacks?

Historians and archeologists increasingly recognize the fact that many fortifications and fortified towns – known in Old English as burhs – existed in the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia during the Viking age. They may have successfully checked Viking mobility at times but it was in Wessex where such defences were employed to their fullest effect.

Memorializing Edward the Confessor

Memorializing Edward the Confessor

An anonymous author in c. 1067 completed a Life of King Edward, commissioned by his widow Edith. The second part of that work describes events that demonstrate the king’s holiness and his miracle-inducing prowess. It was this section that was then worked up by Osbert de Clare, a Benedictine monk at Westminster Abbey, in his more explicitly hagiographical Life of Edward, which was finished by the late 1130s.

Bosworth Field: The battle of 1485

Bosworth Field: The battle of 1485

The battle began when Tudor’s vanguard advanced and engaged with Richard’s, at some point during the morning of 22nd August 1485. After that much is unclear. No one involved in the chaos of medieval battle could have any idea of what was happening beyond his own immediate surroundings. By piecing together a number of accounts, each from its own perspective, we can recapture some of the key moments and gather a sense of what took place. The order in which they took place, and the cause and the effect between them, is ultimately unknowable.

Anne Boleyn’s marriage preparation

Anne Boleyn’s marriage preparation

There had been persistent rumours throughout the summer of 1532 that Anne and Henry would marry during the interview at Calais. At first, Anne had gone out of her way to encourage the gossip. ‘Not later than a week ago’, Chapuys reported in late August, ‘she wrote a letter to her principal friend and favourite here, whom she holds as sister and companion, bidding her to get ready against this journey and interview, where, she says, that which she has been so long wishing for will be accomplished’.