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Showing posts from July, 2016

The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Fortune or How Our Patience Was Put to Test

'Though the Young King did not enjoy Henry II's reputation for learning, his father ensured that he received a good education. From an early age, he was schooled in the workings of law and government, as well as in courtly accomplishments.' I am sure you find the words as intriguing as I do, especially in the light of what used to be said and written about Henry the Young King's taste for letters. Most importantly, however, the snippet comes from MY copy of Henry the Young King 1155-1183 by Professor Matthew Strickland, which has finally arrived and found a safe haven on my bookshelf. As you can remember, due to the different slings and arrows of outrageous fortune the book's arrival has been mercilessly delayed and I was beginning to loose hope, but here it is. At last. And, as you can predict, I will be extremely busy these coming days (and nights) - there are a few facts that have already caught my attention in the course of reading and I will return as soon as …

22 July 1183: Funeral at Rouen

On 22 July 1183, Rouenhad its first royal burial, when in the cathedral the body of Henry the Young King, ‘wrapped in those linen clothes that had been used at his coronation, and upon which the sacred oil had flowed’, was finally interred peacefully near the high altar. Let us not forget that the citizens of Rouen had almost gone to war to acquire the royal relics. When on the way north from Martel to Normandy, the late king's entourage stopped at Le Mans the bishop and the great people, acting in what they probably saw as their common interest and utterly disregarding the dying king’s will- Henry had expressed a wish to be buried at Rouen cathedral- seized the opportunity to acquire the relics. That is why when the body  “… was set down in the choir of the church of St Julien [they] rushed in, and with popular approval speedily buried it there”, next to the late king’s paternal grandfather, Geoffrey le Bel of Anjou.
The town of Martel, Lot department, France. The building on the …