Archives: General Topics

Inheritance in Medieval England

October 1, 2018 by Mercedes Rochelle | No Comments | Filed in General Topics

Cut-and-dried? Not on your life. Primogeniture, or the “law” governing inheritance, even in its basic form could prove elusive to the most determined lawyer. “Primogeniture among males, equal shares between females, a son always preferred to a daughter, a daughter to a brother or other collateral. For the fief to retain its coherence, it was […]

The Dark Ages: The time of King Arthur. Guest Post by Mary Anne Yarde

August 28, 2018 by Mercedes Rochelle | 6 Comments | Filed in General Topics

In 1846 William John Thoms, a British writer, penned a letter to The Athenaeum, a British Magazine. In this letter, he talked about “popular antiquities.” But instead of calling it by its common name, he used a new term — folklore. What did Thoms mean by this new word? Well, let’s break it down. The […]

The King’s Wardrobe, Great Wardrobe, Privy Wardrobe, Chamber Wardrobe

July 27, 2018 by Mercedes Rochelle | 3 Comments | Filed in General Topics

As my title suggests, the king’s wardrobe was actually broken into four parts. Each part had its own officer, separate function, and different location. And surprisingly, their names aren’t always intuitive. The WARDROBE, was the most important and expensive of the four. It was responsible for the king and his household’s expenses, such as food […]

What is Bastard Feudalism?

June 20, 2018 by Mercedes Rochelle | No Comments | Filed in General Topics, Richard II

Bastard Feudalism is a term I kept bumping into during my recent research into the fourteenth century. I finally had to stop and investigate. Just what is it, and how does it differ from feudalism as I’ve always known it? It turns out that this was originally used in the Victorian era; the term “bastard […]

What was the Marshalsea court?

April 16, 2018 by Mercedes Rochelle | 2 Comments | Filed in General Topics, Richard II

Today when we hear about the Marshalsea we think of the infamous 19th century Southwark prison with all its associated tortures. But come back with me to the 14th century and you’ll see that the word has a totally different meaning—at first, anyway. Originally, the marshalsea (not capitalized—also known as the avenary) was the largest […]

What was the Verge?

March 2, 2018 by Mercedes Rochelle | 3 Comments | Filed in General Topics

In a broad sense, from the time of Henry II (and before, probably) until the 15th century, the royal court was itinerant. There was no home base as we think of it; the king often spent a few days or a couple of weeks in one place. He rarely lingered more than a couple of […]

King Richard’s Household: The Servants

December 13, 2017 by Mercedes Rochelle | 5 Comments | Filed in Book Reviews, General Topics, Richard II

The more I research, the better I understand that what goes on behind the scenes is just as important as the high-profile episodes defining a king’s reign. So naturally, I was thrilled to discover “The Royal Household and the King’s Affinity: Service, Politics and Finance in England 1360-1413” by Chris Given-Wilson; this book brought me […]

Following the Tudors in exile: Part Two – Guest Post by Tony Riches

December 9, 2017 by Mercedes Rochelle | 1 Comment | Filed in General Topics

In Part One we followed Jasper and Henry Tudor’s escape from West Wales to Brittany. Now we follow events up to their return: When Yorkist agents began plotting to capture the Tudors Duke Francis moved Jasper and Henry to different fortresses further inland. I stayed by the river within sight of the magnificent Château de […]

Following the Tudors in exile: Part One – Guest Post by Tony Riches

November 29, 2017 by Mercedes Rochelle | 2 Comments | Filed in General Topics

In late August 1471 Jasper Tudor escaped the Yorkist siege of Pembroke Castle with his fourteen-year-old nephew Henry, the future King Henry VII.  Although Jasper owned a house in the nearby coastal town of Tenby, he knew the community could be full of York’s spies. Capture could mean execution as ‘rebels’ or incarceration in the […]

The Beginning of the Viking raids on Northumbria: Guest Post by Heidi Skarie

November 22, 2017 by Mercedes Rochelle | No Comments | Filed in General Topics

St. Paul’s Monastery in Jarrow, Northumbria is the setting of the opening scene of my novel, Annoure and the Dragon Ships. Jarrow is a town in northeast England on the River Tyne. Much of what we know about Jarrow is because it was the home of Bede, who was one of the greatest 8th century […]