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Showing posts from February, 2015

Happy Birthday to Henry the Young King!

Happy Birthday to Henry the Young King who was born exactly 860 years ago today, on 28 February 1155, in the manor of Bermondsey, London, as the second son of Henry II of England (b. 1133) and Eleanor (b.1124), Queen of England and Duchess of Aquitaine in her own right. I wrote about Henry'sbirthhere plus I would love to recommend a moving scene in Ms Elizabeth Chadwick's Winter CrownToday I want to mention that before he was safely delivered into this world, Henry could already boast about sea-crossing in a violent storm and attending, no more no less, but a coronation. Further details here. Using the occasion, I would like to thank all the lovely people whose unwavering support made our blog what it is today, the realm of Henry the Young King, with its sovereign hopefully not as much forgotten as a few years ago.

Many thanks to two very special ladies, who never cease to inspire our work in the Young King's chancery, Ms Sharon Kay Penman and Ms Elizabeth Chadwick. To Ms…

With All For All: The Life of Simon de Montfort. Interview with Darren Baker

In January 1265, Simon de Montfort summoned a Parliament in the name of the Young King’s nephew, Henry III, that has been long recognized as a prototype for the institution today. Many historians are apt to disagree, but celebrations are already underway to mark the 750th anniversary of that event. According to the author of a new biography on Montfort, it’s right that they do, because his contribution to political reform in England was immense and incomparable for centuries to come. We have asked Darren Baker to drop by and share a few of his thoughts on him.

I am honoured to welcome Darren Baker to our humble abode to talk about his recently released biography of Simon de Montfort. Thank you for accepting my invitation. Could you tell us why Simon de Montfort? Do you remember the first time you saw his name?
Thanks for having me here. It’s an honour for me as well to be in the realm of the Young King, whom I met for the first time in Thomas Costain’s books on the Plantagenets. My life…

13 February 1177: The Wedding at Palermo

Belated Happy Wedding Anniversary to Henry the Young King's youngest sister Joanna (b.1165) and William II Sicily (b. 1155) who were married with the pomp and ceremony of a royal weddingon 13 February 1177 in Palermo, probably in the beautiful Palatine Chapel comissioned by William's grandfather in Palazzo Reale.
"The city of Palermo was resplendent with the marriage celebrations of the king of Sicily and the king of England's daughter. Archbishops and bishops, counts and barons, clergy and people flocked at once to solemnize the marriage and the crowning of the new queen, and Walter archbishop of Palermo performing the marriage ceremony..." (Ralph of Diceto in Images of History)
The Plalatine Chapel comissioned by Roger II of Sicily (photo by Urban via Wikipedia)

Joanna was born in October 1165 as the youngest daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine (1124-1204) and Henry II of England (1133-1189). At the time of her birth Eleanor was in her forties, already a mother of se…

With All For All: The Life of Simon de Montfort Blog Tour

Wonderful news for all Simon de Montfort admirers: to celebrate the publication of his new book With All For All: The Life of Simon de Montfort, author Darren Baker will be taking part in a week-long blog tour and we will have a rare honour to welcome him to our humble abode as well. Follow his progress as he discusses all things Simon de Montfort, starting on Monday 23rd February and meet him at the following blogs: 

Monday 23rd February: Launch at Medieval News featuring a video spot with Darren explaining how he came to write a book on the life of Simon de Montfort.

Tuesday 24th February: Darren will be interviewed by Kasia Ogrodnik Fujcik, the keeper of Lesser Land – find out everything you want to know about Henry III the Young King.
Wednesday 25th February: Darren will be posting a guest article about how the Montfortian struggle was viewed by the chronicler ‘The Templar of Tyre’. Hosted by John Paul Davis, autho…

2 February 1169: Prince Henry the Seneschal

Just a short note today. 2 February 1169 must have been a very special day for young Prince Henry, the heir to the English throne and future Young King. I can imagine how extremely excited and elated he must have been, could not have slept a wink the night before probably. And little wonder, it was the first time he was to perform the duties of Senschal of France, the postion previously held by Theobald of Blois*, which his father-in-law, Louis VII of France (1120-1180) had bestowed upon him earlier in the year, in the opening days of January at the conference of Monmirail**.
Here's what Encyclopedia Britannica says about the office itself:
"Seneschal, French Sénéchal, in medieval and early modern France, a steward or principal administrator in a royal or noble household. As time went on, the office declined in importance and was often equivalent to that of a bailiff; the office and title persisted until the French Revolution." More info here.
Even if the position was only…