John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto) is issued with letters patent by Henry VII to explore unknown lands.
Tags: Henry Tudor
Investiture of Edward, Earl of March (eldest son of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and Cecily Neville) as King Edward IV of England. Edward seized the crown on three counts: descent from Edward III through the male line, descent from Edward III through the female line and the nomination of the childless Richard II’s of his Mortimer cousins as his heirs.
Tags: Edward IV
Elizabeth Woodville and her daughters leave sanctuary at Westminster Abbey and are reconciled with Richard III.
Tags: Elizabeth of York, Elizabeth Woodville, Richard III
Birth of Eleanor Talbot, daughter of John Talbot, 1st earl of Shrewsbury, and Margaret Beauchamp at Blakemere, Shropshire. She is said to have entered probably some time after March 1461 into a clandestine marriage with Edward IV, which made his subsequent, also clandestine, marriage to Elizabeth Woodville bigamous.
More on Eleanor:
John Ashdown-Hill, Eleanor – The Secret Queen, The History Press. ISBN 978-0752448664
Tags: Edward IV, Eleanor Talbot, Elizabeth Woodville
Geoffrey of Monmouth elected to the see of St Asaph in Wales. It is assumed he was born between 1100 and 1110, and to have died between 25 December 1154 and 24 December 1155.
He is mainly known as a writer of the Historia Regum Britanniae (The history of the kings of Britain), which includes stories of Arthur, Merlin and kings Leir and Coel.
Geoffrey will always remind me of my classes in medieval Latin at university, where we studied his story of King Arthur. Though I had disliked Latin at school and only did the course because it was a prerequisite for graduation, here I discovered that studying a ‘dead’ language could actually be fun.
J. C. Crick, ‘Monmouth, Geoffrey of (d. 1154/5)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.
Tags: Books, Church
Death of Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, aged 56. He was the youngest son of Henry IV, brother of Henry V and Lord Protector to his young nephew Henry VI, who was only nine months when he succeeded his father. Humphrey is buried at St Albans Cathedral.
(Photograph of the Chantry of Humphrey of Gloucester in St Albans Cathedral © Dorothea Preis)
Tags: Hertfordshire, Humphrey of Gloucester, St Albans
Richard Duke of Gloucester (later Richard III) obtains permission to found and endow two collegiate chapels at St Mary and St Akelda’s Church, Middleham, and at St Mary’s Church, Barnard Castle.
The college at Middleham was to have six priests, the one at Barnard Castle twelve. The priests were to offer prayers for the souls of Richard himself, King Edward IV and his Queen Elizabeth, his brothers and sisters and his father, wife and son.
While the college at Barnard Castle never materialized due to Richard’s death at Bosworth, the college at Middleham was established and continued until 1856.
(Photograph of St Mary and St Alkelda, Middleham, by D Preis)
Tags: Church, Yorkshire
This essay was written by Rachel during the course of her studies towards a Master’s degree at the University of New England.
“Have you drunk any malificium, that is, herbs or other agents, so that you could not have children?”
Were contraceptives and other means of family limitation such as abortion, infanticide, and child abandonment practised in medieval Western Europe? If so, what remedies and methods of contraception were used, to what extent, and were they successful? Early research into the topic concluded that contraception was virtually unknown in the Middle Ages and that medieval people did not have a ‘contraceptive mentality’.  However, more recent investigations have produced a plethora of writing which clearly demonstrates that medieval society not only knew about various forms of contraception and abortifacients; they used them to such a degree that medical texts, church doctrine and the common literature of the time are strewn with references to their use. Documents are littered with contraceptive recipes and methods and contain warnings and prohibitions against certain herbs, many of these originating in antiquity. Contemporary research into the history of human fertility control has therefore ceased to ask when contraception became common place and effective, and instead questions how family limitation was practised prior to the eighteenth century. The idea and practice of controlling the number of children conceived and born has been employed across all cultures through time, although the methods and efficacy vary.
Read the rest of this entry »
Tags: Medical Knowledge, Medieval Life, Women
Execution of George, Duke of Clarence, brother of Edward IV and Richard III. He had been convicted of treason by Parliament. There is a rumour that he was drowned in a butt of Malmsey wine. He was buried at Tewkesbury Cathedral.
Tags: George of Clarence
Second Battle of St Albans between the Lancastrian forces under Margaret of Anjou (Henry VI’s queen) and the Yorkist forces under Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (‘The Kingmaker”), won by the Lancastrian forces. Henry VI was reunited with his wife and son.
The photo shows St Michael’s Bridge and ford. Part of the Lancastrian forces led by Sir Andrew Trollope entered St Albans via this ford. The present bridge was only built in 1765 and is considered to be the oldest still existing bridge in Hertfordshire.
(Photograph by D. Preis)
Tags: Hertfordshire, St Albans, Wars of the Roses, Yorkists