Posts Tagged ‘Hertfordshire’

14
Apr

14 APRIL 1471

   Posted by: Lawrence Osborn    in Events in History

Battle of Barnet, Hertfordshire, defeat of Warwick and his brother Montagu, who both fell in the battle.  Richard is said to have been in command of the vanguard.

Read more about a possible different location for the battle here.

Tags: , , , ,

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)

Tags: , ,

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

Tags: , , ,

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

Tags: ,

26
Dec

Fighting in the Streets – The Battles of St Albans

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Bookworm

The Battles of St Albans

Fighting in the Streets – The Battles of St Albans

People who know me, will have realised that I have a particular interest in St Albans and anything connected to the town or the saint..  After I had previously looked at the goings-on at the Abbey and its cells, I am planning to turn my attention to the civilian population in the middle ages.  As the civilian population would have been very much at the receiving end of the two battles fought in their midst, irrespective of who won that battle, I recently read two books dealing with these battles. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: ,

3
Dec

More Hall in Hertfordshire

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Ricardian Places

More Hall, Brookmans Park/North Mymms, Hertfordshire

More Hall in HertfordshireIn the early 1980s I worked for a year as a German assistant at two schools in Hertfordshire, one in Hatfield and the other Chancellor’s School to the east of the village of Brookmans Park.

More Hall in Hertfordshire

Chancellor’s School, Brookmans Park, in 1981 (© D Preis))

The school opened its doors to students in September 1964, so anyone expecting medieval looking buildings will be disappointed – it’s rather run of the mill sixties’ style functionality.  However, the name reflects the connection to Richard III.  The school owes its name to “the fact that the house which stood on part of the site some 400 to 500 years ago was occupied by the Lord Chancellor of England in the reign of Henry VIII” [1]. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: ,

12
Nov

Hatfield, Hertfordshire

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Ricardian Places

Hatfield, Hertfordshire

Hatfield, Hertfordshire – History in Reverse

This continues my quest to discover a Ricardian or Yorkist connection to places in Hertfordshire.  Hatfield was fairly high on my agenda as I spent a year as a foreign language assistant teaching German at two schools, one of which was in Hatfield, in 1980/81.

After arriving on a Saturday evening in late August 1980, our first visit the next day was to Hatfield House.  As the first thing you see is the latest building on the site, this story will be going chronologically backwards. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , ,

2
Sep

Meeting Old Friends

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in News

Last week my husband attended a conference in Hobart in Tasmania.  So I went along for some sightseeing.  Visiting St David’s Cathedral I admired the beautiful stained glass windows.  One of them showed St Alban, which after my recent work on St Albans in Hertfordshire was like meeting an old friend.

Saint Alban was the first martyr of Britain (executed in c. 304). His story has often been told, among others by the Venerable Bede.[1]  According to this, Alban was a Romano-British citizen of Verulanium, who gave shelter to a Christian priest, called Amphibalus, during a persecution of Christians.  He was so impressed by what this man had to say that Alban converted to Christianity.  When Roman soldiers came to search his house for the priest, he pretended to be him and was arrested.  During the trial he stood firm to his new faith and was beheaded.[2]  However, en route to his execution he performed several miracles like stopping the water of the river to flow and causing a spring of water on the hill, where he was beheaded (hence the street name ‘Holywell Hill’).  His original executioner converted to Christianity on the spot and the man who eventually did the deed was punished by blindness.  Unfortunately all this did not help Amphibalus, who along with some others was a few days later stoned to death.[3]

At the time we were there, the Australian Shakespeare Festival was taking place in Hobart.  Unfortunately we did not have time to visit any of the vents, but William was looking down on us from a great height all over the city, which was like running into another old friend.

Notes:

1.    “St Alban”, Catholic Encyclopedia – New Advent.  (accessed 23 May 2010)
2.    “The Story of St Alban”, The Cathedral and Abbey Church of St Alban.  (accessed 24 May 2010)
3.    “St Alban”, New Advent

Tags: , ,

14
Jun

The Cells of the Abbey of St Albans

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Ricardian Places

The Cells of the Abbey of St Albans

“Little better than brothels” – the Cells of the Abbey of St Albans, Hertfordshire

In my recent post about the quarrel between William Wallingford, Abbot of St Albans, and John Morton, Archbishop of Canterbury, we saw that John Morton declared in his letter to Abbot Wallingford that the nunneries at Sopwell and St Mary de Pré were “little better than brothels”.[1]  Rather strong words, so I decided to find out a bit more about these houses of ill repute.

They were two of the three cells (or daughter houses) which were situated close to the town and the abbey of St Albans.  The third one, the Hospital of St Julian, was for leprous men and was not mentioned in Morton’s letter.  It was founded by Abbot Geoffrey (1119-46) along Watling Street.  In 1344 it was decided that it should house 6 lepers, primarily from the abbey.  If a married man wanted to enter, he had to adopt a religious life, which freed him from the tie of marriage.  The hospital was annexed to the abbey in 1505.  There are no remains of this hospital, though the name St Julian is still used for an area of the modern city.  Several skeletons have been discovered during building works at the corner of Vesta and Watling Street, which probably come from St Julian’s cemetery.[2] Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , ,

5
Jun

A Scandal at St Albans Abbey

   Posted by: Dorothea Preis    in Ricardian Places

A Scandal at St Albans Abbey

A Scandal at St Albans Abbey

As explained in yesterday’s  post about St Albans, during the Wars of the Roses the abbey showed strong Yorkist sympathies under the leadership of Abbot Wheathampstead with dire consequences after the Second Battle of St Albans.

Wheathampstead’s successor but one, William Wallingford, had a serious disagreement with the then Archbishop of Canterbury, John Morton, in 1490.  So according to the motto “My enemy’s enemies are my friends” I started digging and found that many ingredients in this story remind me of Richard III and his reputation under the Tudors. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , ,