General Meeting: Saturday, 10 August

   Posted by: Leslie McCawley   in Branch News, Meetings, News

Our next general meeting will be on Saturday, 10 August 2019, at 2pm at the Sydney Mechanics Institute, Level 1, 280 Pitt Street, Sydney.

We are fortunate to have as our speaker for this meeting the University of Sydney Honorary Research Associate in History, Judith Bonzol, who will speak on her chosen topic of “Cunning Folk: popular medicine and magic in the time of Richard III”.

Dr Bonzol is widely published in the academic press and has a long time interest in the medical attitude towards supposed demonic possession and supernatural illness in early modern England. This will be an outstanding program you should try not to miss!


Medieval Menu: Hippocras

   Posted by: Julia Redlich   in Medieval Menu, Medieval Miscellany


10 cups red wine
juice of 3 lemons or oranges
2 cinnamon sticks
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup brown sugar
2 lemons or oranges, sliced
4 cups lemonade (optional)


Place all ingredients in a large bowl and heat gently (slow cookers are good).

Serve hot but not boiling.

Note: To dilute or extend hippocras add 4 cups of lemonade 10 minutes before serving and reheat.


Medieval Menu: Crustade of Chicken

   Posted by: Julia Redlich   in Medieval Menu, Medieval Miscellany



20 cm pastry flan (lid optional)
4 chicken breasts
black pepper to taste
4 cloves
150 ml white wine
150 ml chicken stock
50 g mushrooms, chopped
15 g butter
25 g bacon, chopped
3 eggs
½ teaspoon ground ginger


Preheat oven to 175° C.

Place chicken, pepper and cloves in a pan and simmer in the wine and chicken stock for about 45 minutes or until meat is tender.

Saute mushrooms in butter, then add chicken and chopped bacon.  Lightly beat the eggs and ginger and extra seasoning if desired and add to the meat mixture.

Transfer to the pastry flan and cover with a pastry lid brushed with a little milk or beaten egg or with foil. Cook in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, a little longer if you have a pastry lid.


26 JULY 1469

   Posted by: Michael   in Events in History

Battle of Edgecote Moor (actually Danes Moor in Northamptonshire), a battle of the Warwick Rebellion.

In the North, one of the captains of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick (“The Kingmaker”), calling himself Robin of Redesdale (actually a trusted Neville captain, Sir William Conyers) started a rebellion against Edward IV, which was supported by Warwick and George, Duke of Clarence, brother of Edward IV and Richard III.  Edward IV was at Nottingham, where he hoped to meet up with Humphrey Stafford, Earl of Devon, and William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke.

Apparently Devon and Pembroke quarreled on the way, with Pembroke continuing on his own, encountering the rebels near Banbury.  Pembroke, his brother Sir Richard Herbert as well as Richard Woodville, Earl Rivers (Elizabeth Woodville’s father), and his son John were taken prisoner and executed on Warwick’s orders without trial.

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25 JULY 1896

   Posted by: Michael   in Events in History


Birth of novelist and playwrite Elizabeth MacKintosh in Inverness.  One of her pen names was Josephine Tey, and her 1951 novel The Daughter of Time was probably for many the starting point of a fascination with Richard III and the later Middle Ages.

For more information on Elizabeth MacKintosh:

Jennifer Morag Henderson, Josephine Tey: A Life.  Sandstone Press, 2015

Death of Elizabeth MacKintosh‘, Dottie Tales (13 February 2016)



25 JULY 1470

   Posted by: Michael   in Events in History

Betrothal of Anne Neville to Edward, prince of Wales, the son of Henry VI, at Angers Cathedral.  They married at Bayeux approx. 13 December.  Some time after Edward’s death at the battle of Tewkesbury on 7 May 1471, Anne married Richard, duke of Gloucester (future Richard III).

Source: ODNB on Anne Neville

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Richard III Visits Oxford University

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis   in Events in History

Richard III Visits Oxford University

Magdalen College, Oxford (© D Preis)

Richard III Visits Oxford University

Not long after his coronation, Richard III visited Oxford University as one of the first stops of his Royal Progress.  He stayed for 3 days, 24 to 26 July 1483, at Magdalen College on the invitation by the college’s founder, William Waynflete, bishop of Winchester.

Richard was “honourably received, firstly outside the University by the Chancellor of the University and by the Regents and non-Regents; then he was received honourably and in procession at the College of the Blessed Mary Magdalene by a speech by the lord Founder”.  The day after his reception, we see Richard following his own cultural taste. He listened to two debates, one on moral philosophy and one on theology.

I think Hairsine is right when he remarks:

There was certainly no need for a medieval autocrat to sit through not one but two learned debates if he did not find a genuine interest there.  One is lead to believe that Richard’s visits to Oxford and Cambridge were welcome interludes from the cares of government.

Richard seems to have been impressed with the debates as well as his welcome and rewarded the participants and Magdalen College handsomely with venison and cash.  The whole event was in detail recorded in the Register of Magdalen College, which the anonymous Chronicler ended with the words Vivat rex in eternum, which can be translated as a “may the King live forever!”.

On the last day of his visit, Saturday 26 July, the king toured the university, before travelling on to Woodstock.


Robert C Hairsine, “Oxford University and the Life and Legend of Richard III”, in:  J Petre (ed.), Richard III:  Crown and People, Richard III Society, 1985, pp. 307-332

Rhoda Edwards, The Itinerary of King Richard III, 1483-1485. Richard III Society, 1983 , p.5

For the interesting history of Magdalen College, you can download an illustrated history book, The Story of Magdalen College Oxford, by Rena Gardiner from the College website.

Dorothea Preis


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22 JULY 1461

   Posted by: Michael   in Events in History

Louis XI becomes King of France.  His coronation is on 15 August 1461.  Due to his scheming and love for intrigue he became known as ‘The Spider King’.




   Posted by: Michael   in Events in History

Margaret, George and Richard, the three youngest children of Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York, and Cecily Neville, stay for a few weeks at the house, which had belonged to Sir John Fastolf, in Southwark, where they are visited every day by their eldest brother Edward, Earl of March (later Edward IV).

Bibliography:  Christine Weightman, Margaret of York:  The Diabolical Duchess.  Amberley Publishing, Chalford, 2009.  ISBN 978 1 84868 099 9 (paperback)

IllustrationOld London Bridge in 1616 with Southwark Priory, now Cathedral, in the foreground, by Claes van Visscher

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17 JULY 1453

   Posted by: Michael   in Events in History

Battle of Castillon, Aquitaine, the last battle of the 100 Years’ War between the House of Valois and the House of Plantagenet for the French throne.  John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, and father of Eleanor Talbot (Butler), is killed.

Bibliography:  John Ashdown-Hill, Eleanor – The Secret Queen. The History Press, 2009  ISBN 978-0752448664 (hardback)

IllustrationThe Death  of John Talbot at the Battle of Castillon, by Charles-Philippe Larivière (1798-1876)