Archives: General Topics

The English Manor Part 2: The Free and the Unfree Peasants

February 14, 2017 by Mercedes Rochelle | 6 Comments | Filed in General Topics

In Part 1 of The English Manor, I gave a broad generalization of the average manor components. In Part 2, I’m going to do my best to differentiate between the classes of manorial population: the free and the unfree. This is harder than it sounds! One of the reasons this subject is so complicated is that by no […]

The English Manor Part 1: The Land

February 2, 2017 by Mercedes Rochelle | 7 Comments | Filed in General Topics, Richard II

I discovered this amazing map in Montague Fordham’s book, “A Short History of English Rural Life from the Anglo-Saxon Invasion to the Present Time” published in 1916. (It’s amazing what you will find on ForgottenBooks.com.) I’ve recently come to the conclusion that any study of the Middle Ages is incomplete without getting your hands around […]

Lord Mayors of London

January 20, 2017 by Mercedes Rochelle | 1 Comment | Filed in General Topics, Richard II

I found this paper, interestingly enough, as a loose insert in the used book I had received from England. The name of the book is THE TURBULENT LONDON OF RICHARD II. The book is practically unreadable, but does preserve lots of names and minutiae from the period that are of no interest to almost anybody. But you […]

Excerpt from FATAL RIVALRY, Part Three of The Last Great Saxon Earls trilogy

January 5, 2017 by Mercedes Rochelle | No Comments | Filed in General Topics, The Sons of Godwine

In this chapter, Harold has come back from his ineffectual meeting with the Northumbrian rebels and must relay their demands to King Edward and Tostig: TOSTIG REMEMBERS       Editha and I stood next to the wall watching as Harold entered the great hall accompanied by a group of men who were very nervous; the newcomers […]

Yule Celebrations in the Nordic lands

December 19, 2016 by Mercedes Rochelle | 1 Comment | Filed in General Topics

Yule celebrations are Pagan in origin and came from the Germanic countries. The celebrations were alive and well in the Nordic lands, and were most likely brought over to Anglo-Saxon England with the Viking settlers. Eventually, the midwinter celebrations merged with the Christian festival of Christmastide, better known as the 12 Days of Christmas. I […]

Harold Marches to York, September 1066

September 16, 2016 by Mercedes Rochelle | 3 Comments | Filed in General Topics, The Sons of Godwine

While working on my latest novel, FATAL RIVALRY, I have had quite a struggle putting together a timeline for events leading up to Stamford Bridge. Many histories (even Wikipedia) tell us that as soon as Harold learned of the defeat at Fulford, he rushed north and surprised the Vikings who expected him to be at the other end […]

Cospatric and the suspicious Christmas murder of 1064

August 27, 2016 by Mercedes Rochelle | 4 Comments | Filed in General Topics, The Sons of Godwine

One of the reasons given for the Northumbrian rebellion against Tostig in 1065 was the mysterious murder of Cospatric (or Gospatric) at the Christmas court in 1064. The assassination has been pinned on Queen Editha, Tostig’s sister, and it has been said that she ordered this killing in her brother’s interest. I always thought this […]

Who was Wulfnoth Godwineson?

August 19, 2016 by Mercedes Rochelle | 3 Comments | Filed in General Topics, The Sons of Godwine

Having passed the 950th anniversary year of the Battle of Hastings, most of us have heard the story about Harold Godwineson (or Godwinson), last of the Anglo-Saxon kings and the arrow in his eye. But how many know about his younger brother Wulfnoth? Born about 20 years after his famous sibling, Wulfnoth was whisked away […]

WHO PROMISED DUKE WILLIAM THE CROWN?

August 8, 2016 by Mercedes Rochelle | 1 Comment | Filed in General Topics, William the Conqueror

That is one of the most debated questions in Pre-Conquest history, with no answer in sight. Was William’s claim to the English throne the result of wishful thinking? Was he promised the crown directly by King Edward, or was the offer presented by a third party? Did Harold Godwineson even know about William’s designs on […]

The Fall of Edwin and Morcar, Ill-fated Earls

June 30, 2016 by Mercedes Rochelle | No Comments | Filed in General Topics, William the Conqueror

I imagine the chaos at the end of October, 1066 must have unsettled more than a few Anglo-Saxons. But it’s apparent they weren’t ready to accept William as their king just because he won the Battle of Hastings. As soon as word spread of the terrible battle, men started gathering at London—so many men that […]