The Medieval Herauld
Originally published in The Medieval Magazine and posted to Medievalist.net this article discusses the three days King Richard II met with the mob in 1381 during the peasant revolt. It illustrates the ways in which the young, fourteen year old, king defied the expectations of his nobles both in his decisions to meet with the peasants and in the concessions he made to their demands. Though many of the promises were rolled back in subsequent months and years, the willingness of the impressionable young King to meet with and concede to the commoners defied the societal norms of his station. Approximate read time 6.5 minutes.
June 29th 2020 Christopher Monk of Monk’s Modern Medieval Cuisine released an article about the language of recipe names and terms as he resumes his work on translating Forme of Cury, Richard II’s official cookery book. In this recipe, Crutoun, a dish of capon offal in a milk sauce thickened with egg and bread, he provides a translation of the recipe and an etymological exploration of the word Crutoun itself and how it may apply context to not just this dish, but similar dishes with similar names and name structure. Approximate read time 7.5 minutes.
Though we in the medieval community and armor enthusiasts know armor is not as burdensome as it has been portrayed in things like film (though more so in the past than in some more recent cinema) nevertheless the fallacy of armor being an immobilizing burden still clings on. In a video posted July 5th 2020, Mike Canfor mythbusts these ideas by demonstrating the mobility of 15th century plate by running an obstacle course including agility challenges, elevation challenges, and even an army-style low crawl under barricades. In addition to displaying the mobility of armor, it also showcases Mike’s athleticism, a level of fitness which would typify a professional melee combatant in history.
Bill Grandy, Director of Historical Swordsmanship at the Virginia Academy of Fencing is sponsoring Swords Without Borders, a fundraiser aimed at supporting the independent international medical humanitarian organization with suspiciously similar name; Doctors Without Borders. As an incentive to donations the event is simultaneously a raffle, where every $10 gains one entry into the drawing for over a dozen tantalizing prizes from premier purveyors of historical arms, items, and books including Davis Reproductions, Arms & Armor Inc., Freelance Academy Press, Handmade Revolution, Jesse Belsky StageSwords, Purpleheart Armoury, SPES Historical Fencing Gear USA, Storms Rising Leather, and TherionArms. Get your donations in soon, as the fundraiser ends July 31st.
Originally published on the City of York council page June 19th 2020, this is likely to be one in a series of interesting updates about the restoration of the central York medieval guildhall. Though archaeological investigation was begun long before restoration efforts commenced, demolition, excavation, and construction at the site continues to reveal new findings. In addition to the known and anticipated history of the medieval structure, previously unknown cooking, friary, and funerary deposits are being uncovered dating back as far as the Roman period. Approximate read time, 6 minutes.
Posted July 10th 2020 Ylva the Red does a dying experiment with wool and yellow dye from Gorse flowers. While the wool dying went as expected, it was interesting what she did with some linen in the 3rd bath. Video duration, 13:15.
Posted July 11th 2020 a video from Popula Urbanum takes us through through the process of transferring a pattern onto fabric before cutting it out. He explains how different patterns and different fabrics require different methods and techniques for marking. Highlighting these nuances he prepares the novice tailor and seamstresses in yet another way to be successful in their next project. Video duration 10:23.
An article from Thijs Porck highlights manuscripts annotated by Boniface. What he notes is the curious way in which the annotations are painstakingly arranged into triangles without regard for word boundaries. Though this may be more difficult to read, it is recognizable and medieval texts had less prominent word spacing anyway, and so the medieval reader was more used to determining the beginning and ends of words in context. Most interesting, they were accompanied by insertion marks, such as letters, which are matched by marks made in-line of the text itself; a clear predecessor notion to super-text numbered brackets of modern formatting.
As with the rest of the world, the British Archaeological Association has digitized or virtualized many of its otherwise in-person events. This gives us an unusual level of access to these lectures, presentations, and conferences. Roisin Astell writing for Medieval Art Research highlights three interesting lectures which have been recorded and posted online. The one most applicable to medieval living history is “Plan and Elevation: Twelfth-Century Drawings of Architecture” by Dr. Karl Kinsella which I watched with fascination, architecture being one of those passing interests I’d love to study more but never seem to get around to. I also watched the lecture on sculpture in Roman Britain and it was quite good.
As if a good English archer with warbow who’s draw length is heavier than the weight of most small children has not already given the average medieval combatant enough to fear, Tods Workshop‘s experimental archaeology with the lock-down longbow against a period accurate poplar shield has given the French something else to keep them up at night. Using a human substitute in the form of a joint of meat strapped to the arm section of the shield, protected by some mail, the video demonstrates how easily every arrow goes through the shield, and how many of them (especially the bodkin tipped ones) penetrate not just the shield but the mail and the flesh. Posted July 15th, 2020, Video duration 10:23