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Happy New Year to Henry the Young King Readers

Happy New Year to all Henry the Young King readers and staunch supporters. May it be a good one, full of joy and blessings and... Henry the Young King :-)

Yesterday we celebrated Epiphany. In the medieval Europe the Shrine of the Three Kings in the Cologne Cathedral became a very popular pilgrim destination. The alleged earthly remains of the three magi had been transported from Milan to Cologne in 1164 on Frederick Barbarossa's ordersThe Rhineland was at the time a very important area for both English kings and traders, ties with Cologne itself being especially close. Although the Young King himself had never made his way to Germany, his best friend had. There was no other person in the Young King’s short life, who would have proved to be as faithful and steadfast as William Marshal. They were inseparable, with the exception of a short period between the end of 1182 and the beginning of 1183 when they became estranged for the reasons nowhere clearly stated and varying from William outshining his young lord and falling prey to his fellow household knights’ jealousy to William having a love affair with Young Henry’s Queen. If the latter was indeed true, William escaped serious consequences suspiciously easily. Anyway, when William Marshal left the Young King's court in disgrace in the opening days of January 1183, he travelled as far as Cologne, where he prayed at the shrine. And to good effect, for shortly afterwards he was recalled and reunited with his young lord.


                                                         Image: Wikipedia

How did the original shrine or reliquary look like, we will never know, I am afraid. We can be certain though that William couldn't have seen the shrine that we can admire today - when he travelled to Cologne the work was in progress, begun in 1181. Some time in 1199, Henry the Young King's nephew, King Otto IV (1175-1218), bestowed three golden crowns made for the three wise men upon the church of Cologne. Today's coat of arms of Cologne still shows these three crowns, because of the importance of the shrine and the cathedral for the development of the city.



                                                   Image: Wikipedia



And we have just reached 66,660 views. Hooray!!!



Comments

  1. It's a shame William Marshal couldn't 'rein' the Young King in a bit more. I'm glad their estrangement didn't last too long.

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    1. Hmm, I cannot agree more... Although, it's rather sad that William returned only to witness Henry's untimely death...

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  2. How interesting, & that the 3 crowns grace Cologne's coat of arms. Timely too as I launch into a reread of everything I have on William Marshall before buying the new bio by Thomas Asbridge. And yay for 66,660 views! Congrats Kasia

    Joan

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    1. Thank you, Joan! It came as a surprise, I mean the staggering 66,660 :-D

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  3. Wonderful post and congratulations on reaching such a great milestone. Shared! xx

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  4. Happy New Year, Kasia and Henry!

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    1. Thank you, Kathryn! happy New Year to you, too, and Edward :-)

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  5. Frohes Neues Jahr, Kasia and Henry. :)

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  6. Danke, Gabriele! :-) Happy New Year to you, too!

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  7. Happy New year. Really interesting. I've always thought it unlikely that Marshal had an affair with Marguerite, largely based on the fact that he wasn't stupid, he was known for being honourable and he never had that kind of reputation. He was certainly loyal to the Young King as he also made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem on his behalf after the Young King's death and at his request.

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    1. Happy New Year to you, too, Ellen! Marshal was far too clever to blunder... I agree. His loyalty to Young Young did not die with his young lord. As you said, he took Henry's crusader cloak to the Holy Sepulchre, and later, after his return, when he was already well established as a servant to Henry's younger brother King Richard he founded Cartmel Priory in memory of his late lord. His loyalty and sincerity cannot be questioned, at least this is how I see it :-)

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