• #OTD 29 March 1194 – Richard the Lionheart visits Sherwood Forest

    The siege of Nottingham ended, so what’s a king to do? Relax! Go hunting in Sherwood Forest.  “On the twenty-ninth day of March, Richard, king of England, went to Clipston and the forests of Sherwood, which he had never seen before, and they pleased him greatly; after which, on the same day, he returned to […]

  • #OTD 26 March 1199 – Richard the Lionheart wounded at Chalus

    Richard I of England had been at war with the French since his return from the Crusades and his captivity in Germany. While a truce had been signed with King Philip of France, Richard marched south to lay siege to the Viscount of Limoges’ castle at Chalus-Chabrol and to others at nearby Nontron and Montagut. This area […]

  • #OTD 25 March 1194 – Richard the Lionheart arrives at the Siege of Nottingham

    King Richard I, the Lionheart, had taken the Cross and journeyed to the Holy Land in 1190. He led his army of approx. 15,000 men to within 12 miles of Jerusalem, but did not re-take the holy city. After a truce with Salah-al-Din, Richard attempted to return home, but was faced with enemies on his path. […]

  • Research gems: the scallawag, John, King of England

    Medieval Lincolnshire has been one focus of research for my upcoming novel. For King and Country takes place in 1193-94 so I dove into several histories on the county. In Lincolnshire in History, and Lincolnshire Worthies, I discovered J. Medcalf’s thoughts on John, who is crowned King of England in 1199. This is a gem worth sharing: “…John, was […]

  • Research Gems: The Murder-Fine

    I am continually surprised by the fascinating bits of information I uncover while doing research for my medieval fiction. For Book III of Battle Scars I have been reading (or re-reading) biographies of Richard I and John, and stumbled across this gem in England Without Richard, 1189-1199 by John T. Appleby: the “murder-fine.” This form of […]

  • Research gems: not everyone liked Richard the Lionheart

    We know Richard the Lionheart had any number of detractors and outright enemies. In this case, I’m not talking about King Philip of France, Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor, John, Count of Mortain (Richard’s brother, the future King John of Magna Carta fame), or other contemporaries of Richard. As I work through through final checks of […]

  • 12th century research gems

    “…there is none of the above stock [i.e., livestock] there now except for the 2 plough-teams. John, the clerk, who was at that time Thomas fitz Bernard’s steward, transferred 40 hoggets [i.e., 2-year-old male sheep] to the vill of Whitfield at the feast of Saint Martin (11 November) and unjustly took as many good ewes […]

  • Fifty shades of…12th century England

    Forgive the “fifty shades” reference. I almost called this “fifty shades of de Grey” – de Grey being the surname of main character Sir Henry in Men of the Cross, but I thought better of it. 🙂   I’ve intended this to spark interest/amazement/horror for those who aren’t so familiar with the 12th century, and I’ve […]

  • Medieval fun facts…

    On names… “When Henry the young King held court in Normandy at Christmas 1171, the guests supposedly included 110 knights named ‘William’.” The most common names in English society by 1225 were William, Robert, Richard, Roger, and Hugh. (Contrast that with a May 2013 list: Jacob, Mason, Ethan, Noah, William. 842 years & William is […]