The Kingdoms of France

You might ask, and reasonably so, why a blog about medieval Wales would be posting about the kingdoms of France in the Middle Ages. The main reason is that it’s hard to understand the Norman conquest of England (and Wales and Scotland), without reference to the fact that they were Norman.  That means, they came from the Kingdom of Normandy, a region on the north coast of France.  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duke_of_Aquitaine ‘France’ wasn’t ‘France’ as we know it today until after the Edwardian period. As the map dating from 1154 to the right shows, the King of France controlled a relatively small portion of the country. Edward I was the Duke of Aquitaine, whose lands are comparable in size to what the King of France held. The dispute of the control of France and these kingdoms, in fact, was one of the Read more…

What Richard III looked like …

The bones of Richard III were dug up out of a car park and now they have reconstructed his face from the skeleton:   Read more: http://photoblog.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/02/05/16852349-king-richard-iiis-face-revealed-after-500-years?lite&lite=obnetwork From the BBC: “Richard was born on 2 October 1452 at Fotheringhay Castle in Northamptonshire. His father was Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York and his mother Cecily Neville. Richard had a claim to the English throne through both parents. We now know that Richard had a curvature of the spine, but the withered arm and limp of legend are almost certainly either fabrications or greatly exaggerated. Wars of the Roses His father’s conflict with Henry VI was a major cause of the Wars of the Roses, which dominated Richard’s early life. His father and older brother died at the Battle of Wakefield in 1460. In 1461, Richard’s brother, Edward, became Edward IV and created Read more…

Westminster Palace

Today, Westminster Palace is the seat of the British government. “The Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Commonly known as the Houses of Parliament after its tenants, the Palace lies on the Middlesex bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster, in central London. Its name, which derives from the neighbouring Westminster Abbey, may refer to either of two structures: the Old Palace, a medieval building complex that was destroyed by fire in 1834, and its replacement New Palace that stands today. For ceremonial purposes, the palace retains its original style and status as a royal residence.”  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palace_of_Westminster No floor plans of what Westminster Palace looked like in the middle ages still exist, but we do know a few things: “When William the Conqueror’s son, William Rufus, came to the throne in Read more…