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!!!