Archive for April, 2011

Professor Richard Holmes CBE

The acclaimed military historian, Professor Richard Holmes CBE, has died at the age of 65.

Known for sharing his knowledge of warfare on BBC documentaries, he also taught at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and Cranfield University.

His specialities included England’s conflicts with France in the Middle Ages and World War II. He also wrote numerous books.

He was a historian that I greatly admired – he was at ease at discussing his subject with genuine depth and clarity, and with a subtle enthusiasm that kept me enthralled when he spoke.

RIP, sir


Owain Leech – Barber surgeon

In Medieval and Tudor times, people were warned that if they wished to enjoy a long and healthy life they should avoid doctors and surgeons !!!
Discover why the  Surgeon was so feared! 

A very enjoyable and interesting historical interpreter…

PS It hurts…

St Mary’s Church, Chaddesden, Derby

St Mary’s Church is a Church of England parish church in Chaddesden, a suburb of Derby, England. One of the oldest churches in the city, it is a Grade I listed building dating back to the mid 14th century.

St Mary’s was rebuilt by Henry Chaddesden, Archdeacon of Leicester, in approximately 1347; the chancel dates from this period. The church contains a 15th century rood screen and an unusual chalice-shaped font which may be over 600 years old. The church has long been associated with the Wilmot family, who formerly owned much land around the then village of Chaddesden from the Mediaeval period. The monuments of several members of the family can be seen in the churchyard. The Wilmots’ seat was the now demolished Chaddesden Hall, close to the church; the former grounds of the house form the modern Chaddesden Park, adjacent to St Mary’s. One member of the family, Robert Wilmot, founded the almshouses which once stood outside the church; these are now demolished, although a hump on the ground indicate their location.

Grey of Codnor in The Powell Roll of Arms

MS. Ashmole 804, pt. IV ‘The Powell Roll of Arms’. Book of heraldry of the time of Edward III, English, c. 1345-1351.

Twenty-four shields with names written above each, in later hands. Page 18 has:160. Latimer. 161. Sire Gy Bryan. 162. Haryngtoñ.163. Gray, Codenore. 164. Gray, Wylton. 165. Sr Jon Gray, Rotherñfeld].166. Mohun. 167. Welle. 168. Sire Jon Hardeshulle.169. [Blank] Hountyngfelde. 170. [Blank] Coleuile. 171. [Blank] Basset. Page 19 has:172. Le Seinour Clyfford. 173. [Blank] Botyler. 174. Le sour Audeley. 175. Le sour de Lucy. 176. Le sour de Deyngcourt. 177. Sire Ad’ Eueryngham. 178. s’ Jon Thengayne. 179. Le sour Neuyle. 180. Barun de Greystok. 181. s’ Thom’ Rokeby. 182. s’ Jon Stryuelyn. 183. s’ Thom’ Outhred’.–Powell-s-Roll–?sort=Shelfmark%2CFolio_Page%2CRoll_%23%2CFrame_%23&qvq=q:codenore;sort:Shelfmark,Folio_Page,Roll_#,Frame_#;lc:ODLodl~1~1&mi=0&trs=1

How the Good Wife Taught Her Daughter

Written in the early or middle years of the fourteenth century, How the Good Wife Taught Her Daughter is one of the few conduct poems written in Middle English to be directed specifically at women, and one of the earliest in Europe to be directed at women below the highest ranks of the aristocracy and outside the nunneries. It shares its genre with the preceding text, How the Wise Man Taught His Son, mixing proverbial advice, moral guidance, and lessons in courteous behavior. Other, very similar, conduct literature written for women includes The Good Wife Wold a Pilgrimage, and the Scots poem The Thewis of Gud Women (The Customs of Good Women), both included in the critical edition by Mustanoja listed below. Once again the fictional device of a parent speaking to a child frames the poem, though it cannot be called a dialogue in any meaningful sense.

The Middle English text


Art on the Edge: Hair, Hats and Hands in Renaissance Italy

This paper argues that items designed for the bodily extremities such as haircoverings, hats, fans and other accessories were valued for the ease with which they could be changed and adapted to express a range of different meanings: political, social and individual. They also provided an important point of contact between the world of commerce, the court elites and the wider community of men and women who purchased and used these goods.  In studying these often marginalised items, we can explore mechanism for the transmission of concepts of fashion and innovation in the Renaissance period.

Peasant welfare in England, 1290-1348

Anthropologist Raymond Firth offered a definition of peasants that is broad enough to include besides European peasants, peasants of third world countries or now as they are referred to as Developing nations and tribal peoples who may practice horticulture as well as,  agriculture. Firth says: By a peasant economy one means a system of small scale producers with , with a simple technology and equipment often relying primarily for their subsistence on what they themselves produce. The primary means of livelihood of the peasant is the cultivation of the soil. • Reconstruct medieval peasant social and economic life by a close study of contemporary peasants • Not a perfect model but situations peasants faced during and after colonialzation are similar • Keep in mind that peasant society is a mode of production which structures all aspect of society in just the same way that capitalism influences notion of family, entitlement and the concept of welfare.