Tuesday, 21 July 2009

The Battle of Tewkesbury Part 1 - or are we nearly there yet?

The irony for Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick is that on the day he was killed fighting for the Lancastrian cause at the Battle of Barnet (14th April 1471) Queen Marguerite and Prince Edouard whom he had been expecting since he exiled Edward IV in September 1470 finally land at Weymouth.

What if... must have been the thought in his followers’ minds as Edward IV rested in London and Marguerite panicked at the death of Warwick and loss at Barnet and threatened to return to France. Somehow Somerset and Devon – who had deserted Warwick to ride to meet her – persuaded her that without Warwick they were in fact stronger (yeah, right!) and so she finally agreed to risk the life of Lancaster’s heir and stay and fight. (This is the presumed reason why she would not allow Prince Edouard to sail to England sooner).

Jasper Tudor, Earl of Pembroke was still mustering men in Wales, something he had been doing since his commission of array of January 30th 1471 – another what if... for the Lancastrians to contemplate later.

The remaining Lancastrians began to muster as many men as they could against “Edwarde Earl of March the Kings greate Rebele our Enemy” as one surviving letter from Prince Edouard to John Daunt of Wotton-under-Edge Gloucestershire states. Marguerite and her party stayed in Exeter for about 2 weeks gathering men, a task made easier by Warwick’s previous efforts in Lancaster’s name. They then marched towards Glastonbury via Taunton and on to Wells. At Wells Marguerite’s army behaved badly (as she had allowed the Lancastrian army to do previously) and they sacked the Bishop’s Palace. The army then moved on to Bath which they reached on April 30th.

Edward IV meanwhile began to gather his forces too. He had already disbanded the men who had fought at Barnet, so had to begin almost from scratch. On April 19th he left London and went to Windsor – to keep the feast of St George (including the annual Garter ceremony) and muster his army. He stayed for almost a week, leaving on April 24th to play the cat-and-mouse game with the Lancastrians. Would they break for London via Salisbury, or would they head north to meet up with friends in Wales and then Lancashire and Cheshire?

Edward sent out spies to try and determine which course they would take; if they were to head for London he wanted to fight them as far away as possible from the city and if they were heading north he would naturally want to stop them joining up with either Tudor or their northern allies.
Marguerite sent out an advanced guard towards Shaftesbury and from there to Salisbury and another party from Wells to Bruton and Yeovil in order to try and convince Edward that the whole army was indeed heading for London.

But Edward’s spies seemed to know that these were feints and when Edward set out from Windsor he headed north through Abingdon to Cirencester. He arrived in Cirencester on April 29th and waited. Hearing no news of Marguerite’s approach he advanced to Malmesbury and sent out spies to look for the Lancastrians.

Marguerite had not come further east but had gone west to Bristol, probably because she knew she would be welcomed and indeed she received “money, men and artilarye” and enjoyed and official reception from the recorder of the city. The Lancastrians then let it be known that they would march out on May 2nd to Sodbury Hill, about 12 miles north-east of Bristol and would there give battle. Skirmishers were sent out as far as Sodbury Town where they met advanced patrols of Edward’s army. They duly reported back and Edward advanced to Sodbury Hill to give battle, but the Lancastrians seemed to have vanished! Marguerite had constructed another feint to buy her time, realising with horror just how close to Edward she was! Her army marched out but as soon as possible turned towards Gloucester – the first possible crossing point on the River Severn. The Lancastrians camped at least part of the night at Berkeley after a march of around 23 miles.

Edward was still waiting and it seemed that his spies were now unable to find the vanished enemy! At 3am on May 3rd Edward finally learned what had happened, he immediately called a council to decide how best to stop the Lancastrians crossing the Severn. He decided to send fast messengers to Richard Beauchamp (not THAT Richard Beauchamp) – this one was the son of Lord Beauchamp of Powick and Governor of the Town and Castle.

Edward warned him of the Lancastrian approach and ordered him to hold the town for the King, promising to come to his aid as soon as possible. The Lancastrians arrived about 10am having marched ~14 miles from Berkeley and found the gate barred to them. Marguerite threatened the town with assault but Beauchamp refused to let them in. Knowing how close Edward was they could not waste time on an assault and so had no choice but to head for the next crossing point on the Severn – Tewkesbury. Worse was to come however as Richard Beauchamp sallied out and assaulted the rear of her army capturing some of the guns she had risked going to Bristol to obtain.

From Gloucester the army took the lower road via Kingsholme, Sandhurst, Wainlode and Deerhurst to Lower Lode and up Lower Lode Lane. They reached Tewkesbury about 4pm on May 3rd There was a ferry at Lower Lode but there would not have been time for them to use this to cross before the arrival of the Yorkists. The river was probably only fordable at low water and could not have been at this time otherwise they would undoubtedly have crossed – the army was exhausted after having marched about 50 miles in the last 36 hours with only one short rest.
The Lancastrians camped south of the town. There has been much debate over exactly where this was and it seems that the most likely place is Gupshill – and this has led to the speculation that Marguerite spent the night at Gupshill Manor – now a pub.

Edward it is believed took the ‘upper road’ which corresponds roughly to the modern A38. At Cheltenham Edward received news that the Lancastrians had reached Tewkesbury and had stopped. His men had marched 31 miles that day and must have been exhausted, but Edward allowed them only a short rest before marching them a further 5 miles to the village of Tredington, just 3 miles from Tewkesbury and the Lancastrians – he had no intention of losing his quarry again.
I find the resilience and determination of the soldiers on both sides incredible. Think how you would feel if you had just marched 31 miles in hot weather in full kit only to be told to march another 5! Oh and by the way you’ll be fighting a battle in the morning!


“The Battles of Barnet and Tewkesbury” P W Hammond. Alan Sutton Gloucester 1990.

“Tewkesbury 1471 the last Yorkist victory” Chrisopher Gravett. Osprey Publishing 2003.

Monday, 22 June 2009

Tatton Park Mediaeval Fayre

This midsummer weekend brought as usual the Mediaeval Fayre at Tatton Park in Cheshire. There were over 300 on the field in the sunshine and plenty of mediaeval goodies to browse through at the market - some will be familiar faces to those of you who frequent Tewkesbury - such as Jim from Trinity Court Potteries http://www.trinitycourtpotteries.co.uk/

Mediaeval camps abounded...

Including that of William Lord Hastings! - the Black Maunch.

And Lord and Lady Conyers were present in the Great Hall!

A Conyers! A Conyers!

An excellent weekend at what is the biggest mediaeval bash in the North of England - put it in your diaries for next year!

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

EH Competition

As a break from planning/editing my WoTR stuff I have been working on a short story for the English Heritage 'Pure Inspiration' competition which is open to anybody who has been inspired to write by either the magnificent Whitby Abbey...

Or the art installation 'Lucky Spot' by Stella McCartney which is in residence at Belsay Castle in Northumberland.
I'll bet you can't guess which I've chosen?
English Heritage 'Pure Inspiration' competition is at: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/server/show/conWebDoc.16357

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Research: Jack's House 18.04.09

Okay so technically I haven't finished my first WoTR book yet...but I'm already researching my second!!! Today I've been to visit the house that Jack built or rather the house Jack wants. How easy do you think it's going to be for Jack de Laverton to get his inheritance?! Ooo I'm SO mean to him!

I've decided to base his family home on Haddon Hall in Derbyshire which is still pretty much a mediaeval manor house with a few Tudor trappings.

Hmm having been again today I can see why Jack is willing to do pretty much anything to get it...I think I'd fight for it too - pass me my longbow!

Haddon Hall stands on an outcrop of limestone overlooking the River Wye and its surrounding water meadows. The approach to Haddon Hall is dominated by the north west tower. You pass through this into the lower courtyard which is paved with local gritstone and rises to the Hall at the centre of the house. The courtyard is surrounded by 15th century lodgings and the older chapel, containing 15th century wall paintings (see below) and a Jacobean pulpit and pews. A 15th century porch is situated at the centre of the hall range with the service end to the east and the Hall to the right.

The Great Hall is lit by a traceried 14th century window beside the later chimneybreast (1450). The two-storey chamber block to the right of the hall has large mullioned windows dating from 1500 which light the downstairs Parlour and the Great Chamber above. The porch leads into the screens passage with three doors on the left which originally gave access to the pantry, buttery and kitchen.

This fantastic 15th century tapestry was reportedly given to the family by Henry VIII.
The Long Gallery dating from the early-17th century is 110 feet in length and occupies most of the south side of the upper court. The silver-grey wood panelling here has been lightened by an artificial grain painted on to the oak to make the most of the daylight. The diamond panes in the windows are all set at different angles which provide a marvellous effect from the outside and also maximize the light in the room.

The chapel, which once served the vanished village of Nether Haddon, dates from 1195 when Richard Vernon received permission to build a high wall around his house. The wall paintings are 15th century. This one is St Nicholas calming the storm.

Haddon is unusual in having two courtyards (
see plan). The upper courtyard including the hall range was built in the 14th century, and in the 15th century the second, lower courtyard was built to provide more lodgings for the household

Pass me my falchion too while you're at it!

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Ooo my first award! 29.03.09

Thanks to Lady D for the award, my first ever :- )

Yep, like Lady D I will have trouble listing 5 obsessions that is, er, keeping it down to 5 lol.

1. Richard Neville Earl of Warwick and Salisbury "The Kingmaker".

2. Anything connected with Richard:- places, books, heraldry, banners and badges - you name it - I have it - including a 3D ceramic picture of him riding his horse through a castle gateway - it even includes the portcullis!

3. WoTR re-enactment - roll on Towton; Warwick Castle; Tewkesbury and Bosworth 2009 etc. etc.

4. Gothic/mediaeval places - John Rylands Library; Whitby Abbey; Tewkesbury Abbey; Kirby Muxloe (ah Will Hastings - almost an obsession in himself!); Middleham Castle; Fountains Abbey - you get the idea?

5. Nasir from RoS (or is it my bad boy Jack de Laverton? I never can tell!).
And the honour must also go to:-
Ade at Ade Paints Stuff (see number 4)

Benjamin at Literary Britain (Also number 4!)

Monday, 9 March 2009

John Rylands Library Manchester or "There's no place like home." 08.03.09

I love this place. I have been a couple of times this week as I'm using it as the setting for a short story for TFQ's upcoming 'Shadows' book! It is in my hometown and so there is a tendency to take it for granted, but John Rylands Library really is something special.

History:The John Rylands Library, Deansgate, was founded by Enriqueta Rylands in memory of her husband John Rylands. In 1889 the architect Basil Champneys designed the striking gothic building which now houses the Special Collections of the John Rylands University Library. The Library took ten years to build. Mrs Rylands insisted on the finest materials and the building was lavishly decorated. Traditional craftsmanship was combined with pioneering technology, such as electric lighting. Mrs Rylands purchased books and manuscripts for the Library. When she bought the Spencer Collection of rare books and the Crawford Collection of manuscripts the Library gained international renown. The books were catalogued by the respected bibliographer Edward Gordon Duff. The Library continued to collect and provide access to its collections, led by the librarian Henry Guppy. It was one of the first public libraries to collect archives and papers of historic families.

Mrs Rylands always intended the collections to be used by the public. Members of the general public can still join the Library as readers, without paying a membership charge. The John Rylands Library also pioneered the wider provision of access to rare books and manuscripts through exhibitions, lectures and visits. The Bulletin of the John Rylands Library was established in 1903 and continues to publish scholarly articles concerning the collections and related subjects. Efforts to make the Library more accessible have culminated in the recent Unlocking the Rylands project.The decline in the Lancashire cotton industry dramatically reduced the value of the investments left by Mrs Rylands. A long period of financial struggle led to the merger in 1972 of the John Rylands Library with the Manchester University Library. The Special Collections of the former University Library were transferred to Deansgate, among them the extensive Christie Library. The University Library also contained an important collection of early medical books and the archive of the Manchester Guardian.

The John Rylands University Library continues to collect books, manuscripts and archives. The most significant additions since 1972 have been the deposit of the Methodist Archives and the creation of the Modern Literary Archives. The establishment of The University of Manchester in 2004 has brought Special Collections from the Joule Library, UMIST, into the Library.

Okay so it sounds like the kind of place M.R. James would inhabit...and it looks like it too! :-)

This is where I sat to write. It is SO atmospheric. I only hope I do it justice!

A Flemish fifteenth century Book of Hours - similar to the one owned by William Lord Hastings which is in the British Library.
A thirteenth century book by Petrarch - reputed to contain the first Sonnet! The exhibition on sonnets also contains work by the wonderful John Donne, as well as a certain Will Shakespeare.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Aide-memoire - or synopsis III

I am still struggling to finish my synopsis!!! It is down to ~900 words now but TFQ opinion is that there isn't enough conflict in it, though I think I have managed to cover the most important areas of the plot! - God it's so hard to miss out characters completely!!!!
Anyway to try and help the situation and give my brain a breather and a different take on it, I made a 'trailer' which I thought I would share with you. I rather like it - and if Mr Purefoy is available for the real thing my phone number is ......... :-)

Friday, 13 February 2009

Wherever I lay my head...13.02.09

Whilst doing some research I came across this interesting article from Old and Interesting website: http://www.oldandinteresting.com/medieval-renaissance-beds.aspx

Beds in Late Medieval and Tudor England
In the 14th century the poorest people slept on a straw mattress on the floor with whatever warm covering they could get. The richest houses had large elaborate beds, with ornamented canopies, richly-embroidered hangings, and soft featherbeds under the fine linen sheets. They were among the most splendid pieces of furniture in a large house, and noblemen often had their emblems embroidered on the hangings. They were a comfortable place to meet for a chat, or receive guests, while displaying an abundance of fine textiles, as in this scene from 1409. They could be social gathering places at night too, as visitors of high status would be invited to sleep in a bed even if they had to share.
There are pictures from14th or 15th century France showing a canopied, curtained bed with a head sheet laid over the pillow resting on a sheet-draped bolster. Head sheets were gradually replaced by pillowcases and are not usually mentioned after 1500. A pillowcase was always called a pillow bere (bearer) until about the 16th century, but this could mean various kinds of pillow cover, not necessarily a linen pillowcase matching the sheets.
Although there were canopies and curtains, these weren’t the full four poster beds with poles at each corner which started to arrive in the 15th century. In the late Middle Ages the best beds had hangings draped from a frame which was suspended from the ceiling beams sometimes supported by a tall bedhead too, and often with a canopy called a tester or celure. The actual bedstead was usually an independent structure within all the finery. Beds tended to be quite high and might be raised further by being set on a platform.
Beds and bedding were so valuable and highly prized that they were not passed casually down the generations, and it is not unusual to find them mentioned in wills from the 14th century onward. A well-to-do but middling family might have one featherbed and feather bolster to pass on, while some of the wealthiest people could leave their descendants several beds with complete sets of expensive hangings and fine bedding. Even woollen mattresses were important enough to be passed on as a bequest in some families.
Simple beds in institutions like monasteries or almshouses might have a mattress, blanket, coverlet and plain pillow. In 1487 a generous benefactor who was leaving money to house old people added a pair of sheets to this list, and estimated that each bed would then cost 13 shillings and sixpence. By this time peasants were sleeping in a little more comfort, and were more likely to be raised off the floor. One mid-15th century inventory of a smallholder's possessions shows that he had "three boards for a bed", a sheet and pillows, as well as some worn coverlets and canvas covers.
By the time Elizabeth I came to the throne, people still arranged beds in much the same way. Except for the introduction of the four-poster in wealthy households and a few inns, and the disappearance of the head sheet, the elements were familiar. But more and more people acquired comfortable bedding and, overall, people's sleeping habits changed. As the middle classes prospered, they too wanted featherbeds and soft sheets. Around 1580 the clergyman William Harrison grumbled about the new generation, so self-indulgent with their feathers and pillows. In his day "If in seven years after marriage a man could buy a mattress and a sack of chaff to rest his head on, he thought himself as well lodged as a lord. Pillows were thought meet only for sick women. As for servants, they were lucky if they had a sheet over them, for there was nothing under them to keep the straw from pricking their hardened hides."
Making the bed
The best beds had a canvas mattress or two filled with wool or straw and then the featherbed. The under-mattress(es) might be laid on canvas spread over the bed slats, or possibly on woven rushes. The
featherbed was an expensive luxury and was not plump enough to be used without an underlying woollen or straw mattress, perhaps with a canvas sheet separating rough from smooth. Even a flock or woollen mattress was out of reach for the poorest people, and wool-filled mattresses were valuable enough to be mentioned in "middle-class" wills.
Next a bolster was laid at the head end before a pair of sheets were put on. The best sheets were made of Rennes linen. Cheaper sheets were made of hemp or coarse linen. Blankets came next, and then a coverlet reflecting the wealth of the bed’s owner. The most luxurious could be lined with fur, or be reversible with two different expensive kinds of silk used in the making. If a head sheet was used it was laid over the pillow, probably shortly before bedtime so the decorative pillow-cover would be on display during the day.
Glossary ~ beds, bedding and fabrics
Bedstead, bedstock – a frame with slats or boards or rope laid across under the mattress
Joined bedstead - all-wooden bedstead
Corded or rope bedstead - ropes supported the mattress instead of wooden slats
Couch-bed - bed with no hangings
Standing bed or stand bed - bed with hangings, high enough to have a truckle sliding beneath it
Truckle bed or trundle bed - low movable bed hidden away during the day
Trussing-bed - bed which can be taken apart, tied up, and transported
Tester and Celure – both words can describe the canopy. Some people use tester to mean the rigid wooden frame or metal rods supporting the draped canopy and think of the fabric as celure. But the distinction is not clear-cut; one inventory in the 16th century refers to a "tester of damask". Tester comes from the French word for head, and celure has the same roots as the word ceiling.
Hangings, curtains, ridels – hang from the canopy
Costers – hangings for the lower sides of the bed, valance
Dosser - hanging at the back of the bed
Transom - fabric stretched across the head of the bed
Pallet, palliasse, paillasse, chaff bed – straw-filled mattress (or chaff-filled)
Mattress, flock-bed, woollen mattress, flock mattress – a mattress filled with bits and pieces of wool (flock) or possibly carded wool.
Tick - cloth bag and mattress cover
Featherbed – a “quilt” fabric bag (tick) filled with feathers. Often accompanied by a matching bolster.
Bolster - a cylinder of stuffed fabric, filled with feathers or flock or wool. Stretched the whole width of the bed and was covered by the lower sheet.
Pillows – could be very luxurious
Pillow bere - pillow cover or pillowcase (pillow-bearer)
Cod - northern English pillow or cushion (also Scotland)
Sheets - made of fine linen, dowlas, canvas or hurden (see fabrics below).
Head sheet – a piece of linen laid over a pillow
Foot sheet – a cloth spread over the end of the bed to sit on while washing and dressing, also used as a sort of bath-mat to stand on.
Blanket – woollen blanket
Fustian - blanket made of coarse linen fustian
Coverlet - a bedspread - could be very decorative, or plain woven wool.
Happing - coverlet of lesser quality
Coverture - coverlet, bedspread
Quilt - either a feather or wool quilt used as a mattress, or a coverlet filled with wool
Tartarine – "Chinese" silk from Tartary
Sendal - thick silk
Samite - rich silk , sometimes with gold threads woven through
Damask - silk with woven designs
Chamlet, camlet - a luxury fabric - the name often applies to a mixed weave of silk and animal hair or wool
Sarsenet, sarcenet - fine, soft silk
Arras - rich tapestry or hanging made of tapestry
Say - fine serge, wool, or wool and silk
Dornick - various blends and weaves in the style of Flemish Tournai (Doornik) fabric, used for hangings or covers
Baudekin - brocade or other thick silk with designs on
Vair - squirrel fur
Miniver - white fur
Rennes, Reynes linen – the finest linen sheeting as woven in Rennes in Brittany
Carde – fabric used for hangings, probably linen
Fustian - coarse linen cloth, (or cloth made from cotton and flax)
Dowlas - coarse linen used for sheets
Canvas - coarse cloth, could be used for sheets, or underneath mattress or featherbed
Worsted - cloth made from wool spun with a firm twist
Harden, hurden, hardine – rough hemp or linen cloth (made from hurds, oakum, tow)
Flock – clumps of wool – later also scraps of cloth
Spellings may vary.

Other interesting sources for bed - info are:

Wardrobe accounts of Edward IV http://www.r3.org/bookcase/wardrobe/ward1.html

Great Bed of Ware at the Victoria and Albert Museum - a little later but still its construction is very interesting And how do they KNOW it could sleep 15 people at once!!? Could have fun trying I guess...


The Great Bed of Ware at the V+A - not my best camera moment lol, but I can confirm that it is HUGE!

Monday, 2 February 2009

Snow Child 02.02.09

As the UK is covered in snow at the moment I thought you might like to read a story I wrote a while back for one of TFQ's books. It's called 'The Snow Child' and for you WOTR buffs there's something to make you smile (or perhaps not!) concerning someone named Jaquetta. All I will say is Warwick was right after all lol!!!
PS The original artwork is by Mark A Harrison.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Warwick keeps his word 27.01.09

When Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick and Salisbury held England for the readeption government of Henry VI 1471 he was beholden to King Louis XI of France for financing his invasion. Louis, it is said, did not so much support Lancaster but his friend Warwick and so although Marguerite d'Anjou lived in exile in France, he had done nothing to further her and her husband's cause. But once Warwick agreed to support Henry then Louis was interested, though it still took all of Warwick's charisma and smooth arguments to persuade him to finance an expedition kitted out to Warwick's standards. And as with all things this support did not come without a price! Warwick in turn promised Louis that he would aid him against Burgundy, the upstart Duke who fancied himself mightier than the King of France, but preoccupied with holding a shaky alliance together and expecting Marguerite to return to England any moment, did Warwick do anything towards that promise?

According to British Museum MS 48988, a letter from Warwick to King Louis, he certainly did, perhaps inadvisedly, for it was the action against Burgundy that persuaded Duke Charles to finally support the cause of his brother in law Edward IV!

Seigneur, je me recommende a vostre bonne grace le plus humblement que je puis. Et vous plaise savoir que jay receu voz lettres par ce porteur, par lesquelles ay entendu que maintenant la guerre est ouuerte entre vous, vostre aduersaire, e le nostre, donc je prie a Dieu le tout puissant de vous en donner victoire. Au regard de commencer la guerre a Calais, je y ay envoye pour la commencer et ay eu aujourdhuy nouvelles certaines que ceulx de Calais lont desia commencee et ont couru apres de Ardes et ont tue deux de la garnison de Grauelingues. Sur le plus tost quil me sera possible, je me rendray deuers vous pour vous seruir sur ce mauldit Bourgoignon sans aucune deffaulte, se Dieu plaist, a qui je supplie de vous octroyer tout ce que vostre hault cueur desire. Escript a Londres le xi? jour de Feuvier.
[signed] Vostre tres humble seruiteur

Which is translated by A R Myers thus:-

Sir, I commend myself to your good grace in the humblest possible way. And may it please you to know that I have received your letters by this messenger, by which I have learnt that now war has begun between you, your adversary, and ours, wherefore I pray to Almighty God to give you the victory. In the matter of beginning the war at Calais, I have sent instructions to start it, and have today had certain news that the garrison of Calais has already begun and has advanced from Ardes and has killed two of the garrison at Gravelines. As soon as I possibly can, I will come to you to serve you against this accursed Burgundian without any default, please God, to whom I pray to grant you all that your high heart desires. Written at London the 13th day of February.

[signed] your very humble servant


As it turned out events overtook Warwick and prevented him from joining the fight against Burgundy and just before the Battle of Barnet (see earlier post 'The Final Battle') Warwick learned that Louis had made peace with Burgundy - though only for the time being - but that's in the next book!!!

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Inciting Incident? 15.01.09

I've been doing some reading for my next book. Santa brought me 'Lord Hastings' Indentured Retainers' by William Huse Dunham and very interesting it is too.
William Hastings was the Duke of York's 'faithful servant' before he was Edward's; on St George's Day 1458 the duke granted him a £10 annuity 'in consideration of his good and faithful services done and to be done to the said duke'.

In 1459 Henry Pierpoint complained that William Hastings and his brother Thomas and Henry Ferrers were responsible for the slaying of his brother Robert Pierpoint. The Duke of York arbitrated the case and perhaps, Dunham suggests, William experienced the benefits of being a great lord's retainer? To appease the 'variances' between them the parties 'were put in the rule, ordinance and judgement' of the duke. After hearing both sides the Duke of York made an 'award' dated 17th October 1459. This required both sides to 'keep the king's peace to prevent great inconveniences which else were like to grow between them'. Further the Pierpoints were to release, by writing 'all manner of appeals' for Robert's death and all 'actions of trespass'. In return the Hastings brothers were to forgo 'all manner of actions' against the Pierpoints and to pay them in 5 instalments between Christmas1459 and Michelmas 1462 a total of £40. Henry Pierpoint was to find a priest to sing 'divine service' for 2 years for Robert's soul. Thus the Hastings brothers were never tried under common law for Robert's death. However this, Dunham speculates, was also probably a better outcome for the Pierpoints than they would have got under the law. "They probably found private mediation cheaper, speedier and more rewarding than the king's justice might have been". Nothing was ever 'proven' against William and his brother. What this shows is just how tough you have to be to be a 15th century nobleman; it really is the survivial of the fittest, and it wasn't only the Percys and the Nevilles whose differences ended in blood.
William Hastings is the sexy guy in the pink dubblet and tight grey hose at the front left of this picture of Edward's court. Mmmm nice legs!

Monday, 5 January 2009

05.01.09 Synopsis II

Had a good day today. Lady Despencer motivated me with her comments and I have got a first draft synopsis of just over 2,000 words he, he! Thank you Lady D!

It only really features my main protagonist, the fictitious Elizabeth Hardacre and major plot twists - hope nobody wanted to know what the subplots were lol, but I did manage to get Warwick in a few times and also The Dark One, Jack de Laverton, my very own mediaeval 'bad boy'.
Sorry Liz you can't read it yet - you have to finish the novel first, otherwise you will know what happens at the end and I need your comments on that please!

Feeling very pleased with myself, I went and played in the snow like a kid!!! and took some photos too.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

01.01.09 Happy New Year

Wow seemed very strange putting '09' on this! Thought I'd report on the synopsis. Thanks for the support, I think I'm going to need it. I have written 7 pages - great you might think- but I've only made it into chapter 3!!! At this rate the synopsis will be 100 pages long! Methinks there must still be too much detail there. Not sure whether to continue and then pare it down from there or start again and be more ruthless!
Okay need to set a few deadlines to keep me focused - synopsis to be finished by end of February and the whole thing to be finished and ready to go in early March.

The picture is of my wonderful Christmas pressie - a full size authentic silk Warwick battle banner handmade by Fran of Medieval Art and Woodcraft http://www.medievalartandwoodcraft.com/index.htm

Just so I remember where my allegiances lie!!!