1
Mar

1 MARCH 1484

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Events in History

Elizabeth Woodville and her daughters leave sanctuary at Westminster Abbey and are reconciled with Richard III.

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26
Feb

LATE FEBRUARY 1436

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Events in History

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

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24
Feb

24 FEBRUARY 1151

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Events in History

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.

Dorothea Preis

Reference:

J. C. Crick, ‘Monmouth, Geoffrey of (d. 1154/5)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.

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23
Feb

23 FEBRUARY 1447

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Events in History

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)

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21
Feb

21 FEBRUARY 1478

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Events in History

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.

Dorothea Preis

(Photograph of St Mary and St Alkelda, Middleham, by D Preis)

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18
Feb

18 FEBRUARY 1478

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Events in History

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.

More Information:

Elizabeth Ashworth, ‘George, Duke of Clarence’, Elizabeth Ashworth – author (18 Feb 2013).  URL:  http://elizabethashworth.com/2013/02/18/george-duke-of-clarence/  [accessed 6 Feb 2015]

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17
Feb

Second Battle of St Albans

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Events in History

Second Battle of St Albans

St Michael’s Bridge and ford (© D Preis)

Second Battle of St Albans – a Lancastrian victory

The second Battle of St Albans was fought on 17 February 1461 between the Lancastrian forces under Margaret of Anjou (Henry VI’s queen) and the Yorkist forces under Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick (‘The Kingmaker”).  It was won by the Lancastrian forces.  Henry VI was reunited with his wife and son.  The Yorkists, however, won the Battle of Towton on 29 March 1461 and with it the crown for Edwrad IV.

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, but it is considered to be the oldest still existing bridge in Hertfordshire.

The second Battle of St Albans was fought over a larger area than the first Battle of St Albans on 22 May 1455, which was concentrated on the streets in the town centre.

The website St Albans & Hertfordshire Architectural and Archaeological Society has a map showing the area covered by both battles.

A short description of the various battles of the Wars of the Roses can be found on the website of the Richard III Society.

Dorothea Preis

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10
Feb

Birth of Henry Plantagenet at Hatfield

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Events in History

Birth of Henry Plantagenet at Hatfield

Birth of Henry Birth of Henry Plantagenet at HatfieldPlantagenet at Hatfield on 10 February 1441.  He was the eldest son of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and Cecily Neville. He died as a baby.

At the time of his birth, his parents had already two daughters, Joan (1438), who had also died in infancy, and Anne (10 August 1439).  Their next son, Edward, was born on 28 April 1442. He was to accede the throne as Edward IV on 4 March 1461.

Unfortunately it is not sure whether he was born at Hatfield in Hertfordshire or Hatfield Chase in Yorkshire. Hatfield in Hertfordshire belonged to the Bishops of Ely, which is why it also called Bishops Hatfield.  Their manor might have offered suitable accommodation on the way to London. The Great North Road connecting London and York ran through Hatfield.

Hatfield Chase was a royal hunting ground and one of the Duke of York’s family residences. [1]  There are several sources linking Henry to this Hatfield. [2]

References:

1.  Michael K Jones, Bosworth 1485:  Psychology of a Battle. Tempus, 2003, p.81

2. For instance:  Jones, ibid.

S Whaley, The History and Antiquities of Thorne, with Some Account of the Drainage of Hatfield Chase (1829). p.24

Hatfield Town Council, ‘Parish History

For more on the discussion which Hatfield, see here.

You can find a list of the children of Richard, Duke of York, and Cecily Neville here.

Dorothea Preis

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3
Feb

Death of Johannes Gutenberg

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Events in History

Death of Johannes Gutenberg

Johannes Gutenberg

Death of Johannes Gutenberg, the inventor of the printing press

The death of  Johannes Gutenberg occurred on 3 February 1468 in Mainz.

Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg, his full name, was born c. 1398 in Mainz.  In approx. 1439 he invented a mechanical printing press using moveable type.  This was later, in 1476, introduced into England by William Caxton.  The invention of the printing press is regarded as one of the most important developments in the history of mankind as it allowed the fast dissemination of written texts.

More information on Johannes Gutenberg:

Tejvan Pettinger, ‘Biography of Johannes Gutenberg’, Biography Online (28 December 2012).  URL: http://www.biographyonline.net/business/j-gutenberg.html  [accessed 27 December 2014]

Dorothea Preis

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3
Feb

Death of John of Gaunt

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn   in Events in History

Death of John of Gaunt

John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster

Death of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster – ancestor of the Lancastrian Kings and the Tudors

The death of John of Gaunt occurred on 3 February 1399 at Leicester Castle.

He was the third surviving son of Edward III and Philippa of Hainault.  He was born on 6 March 1340 in Ghent, which why he was called ‘of Gaunt’.

His first wife was Blanche, the daughter of Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster. They married in 1359.  His father gave him the title Duke of Lanacster in 1362 after the death of his father-in-law.   Their eldest son surviving infancy was Henry Bolingbroke, who would later become the Lancastrian king Henry IV.

After Blanche’s death in 1369, he married the Infanta Constance of Castile in 1371.  She died in 1394.

With Katherine de Roet he is the ancestor of the Beaufort family.  The children were born when Katherine was his mistress.  However, Katherine and John married in 1396 and the children were legitimised.  Their half-brother Henry IV barred the Beauforts from the succession to the throne.  The later fact was conveniently forgotten by Margaret Beaufort and her son Henry Tudor, when he aimed to become king (Henry VII).  Katherine and her relationship with John of Gaunt is the subject of Anya Seton’s unforgettable novel Katherine.

More information:

Richard Cavendish, ‘Death of John of Gaunt‘, History Today (2 February 1999). [accessed 3 February 2013]

John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, Encyclopaedia Britannica

Dorothea Preis

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