The Late Middle Ages (XIV-XVc.c.)
Dealing with the Celts:Wales and IrelandIn 1284 King Edward I united West Wales with England and made his son Prince of Wales to demonstrate English dominanceThe Norman nobles and Irish chiefs became almost completely independent from the English Crown
Dealing with the Celts: ScotlandKingship crisis in 1290. John Balliol as English solutionThe rebellion of the nobles. Stealing the Stone of DestinyWilliam Wallace and Robert Bruce leaders of a Scottish nationalist resistance movement. Edward, the Hammer of Scotts Robert Bruce king of Scotland: victories, defeats and new attempts. A spider legend
The Scots clergy meeting in 1320, writing to the Pope:for as long as even one hundred of us remain alive, we will never consent to subject ourselves to the domination of the English
Edward II (1307-1327)Unsuccessful campaign in Scotland: completely defeated by Robert Bruce in 1314Political weakness and barons hostility: was forced to renounce the crown in favour of his son, Edward (the Third)
Edward III (1327-1377)Within a few years successfully restored the prestige of the English crownFostered the idea of chivalry, basing the conduct of his court on those of Arthurian legends 1344 a Round Table tournament at Windsor: re-establishing the original Arthurian order of knights. The myth shaped reality.1348 The Order of the Garter the prestigious order in todays Britain. Honi soit qui mal y pense (Let him be ashamed who sees wrong in it)- the motto on the coat of arms of the royal family
Edward IIIs son EdwardBecame known as the Black Prince in the XVI c. (because of the colour of his armour)Like his father was a natural leader enjoying warThe live embodiment of the principles of chivalry,A creator of the Code of Chivalry: according to which a perfect knight shouldFight for his good name if insultedServe God and the kingDefend any lady in need
The Hundred Years War (1337-1453)Scottish-French Alliance: whenever England attacks one of them, the other should enter the warComplicated relations with France: King of England was still the kings of France vassal (as Duke of Aquitaine) but refused to recognise his overlordshipFrench kings interference with Englands trade interests (wool export to Flanders (Burgundys province) and wine import from Gascony (Aquitaine) in exchange of corn and woolen cloth)
The Hundred Years WarThe real cause was the clash of trade interests, so it was a trade war with FranceThe pretext for the war was that Edward III had claimed the right to the French Crown
The results of the Hundred Years War:Crecy was one of the greatest English victories against terrible odds.The English Crown now held both sides of the English Channel as well as an important trading gateway into Europe
At Crecy he took as his motto Ich Dien (I serve) from the standard of the defeated king of Bohemia (still on the 2p coin)
The Black Death (1348-1350) the most catastrophic outbreak of plague in EuropeWas in two forms: bubonic and pneumonicFirst came to Britain from black rats from the ship landed in the port of DorsetFrom the port it spread inland and by the end of 1349 covered all of BritainNearly half of the population died. It reached pre-plagued level only by the middle of the XVI c.(4mln)
The outcomes of the Black Death:The dramatic fall in populationShortage and expense of labourLabourers wages rose 2-3 times above the pre-plague levelLandowners started letting out land to freeman farmers on firma agreementA new class of yeomen (of small farmers renting manorial lands) came into being an important part of the agricultural economy even nowadays
The rebels gained access to the Tower of London where they murdered several of the king's ministers, including the Archbishop of Canterbury. An illumination from Froissart's Chronicles.
An encounter of Richard II and Wat Tyler at Smithfield, the occasion when Tyler was killed . An illumination from Froissart's Chronicles..
The Growth of Parliament1258 - Simon de Montfort called a council of nobles parliament/parlament (a discussion meeting) which took control of treasury and forced the king to agree to some conditionsIn the later XIV c. representatives from all shires (counties) and towns were summoned to form the House of CommonsThe consent of the Commons was necessary when adopting statutes and introducing extra taxation which became a key factor in the growth of democracy
Relations with France in the XVc.The Norman Conquest in reverse at Henry V (1413-1422): conquered the empire (the battle at Agincourt, 1415) and won the French throne (marriage to Katherine de Valois, 1420, baby-son as an heir)Henry VI (1422-1477) lost all French territories but Calais (despite being crowned as the king of France after Joan of Arc success). The Hundred Years War was over.
The Battle of Agincourt 25 October 1415 as recorder in Froissarts Chronicles. The rival armies can be identified by their heraldic banners, either the lions of England or the lilies of France.
The Wars of the RosesHenry VI madness (1453) and the question of the successionTwo main contenders: son Edward (born in 1453 by Princess Margaret) and Richard, Duke of York (who was chosen by the council of nobles and ruled effectively till 1455 when Henrys sanity suddenly returned)The split of nobility: one grouping supporting Henrys family the Lancastrians (red rose), the other, the Yorkists (white rose), supporting Richard
The pendulum of the war was swinging back and forth with the initial success of the Yorkists but eventually the Lancastrians won the decisive victory in the battle of Bosworth, described by Shakespeare in Richard III. Henry Tudor (grandson of Henry Vs widow, Katherine, and Owen Tudor of Wales) defeated Richard III and was crowned at the battlefieldIt lasted for 30 years (1455-1485) and was also known as The Thirty Years War
Richard III. A late sixteenth century portrait which is based on one painted during the kings lifetime.
At the battle of Bosworth he was betrayed by his supporters but refused to flee to safety and fought to the last in the best traditions of medieval chivalry.After Harolds death in 1066 he was the only English king to die in battle
Economic changes in the XIV c.The replacement of raw wool by finished cloth as Englands main exportFlemings (=the Flemish from Flanders now Belgium) move to England in search of workSpinster is an unmarried woman in contemporary English (from spinning all her life)
Language, literature and the artsDuring the XIV c. the English language gradually superseded French as the language of the court and literature.The political implications of the Hundred Years War with France helped the decline of the French language at court (the language of the enemy)
The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
William Caxton printing press
Chaucer's London, a panorama looking over Tower. The view, from a late fifteenth century illumination, somewhat distorts the topography.
Chaucer reading Troilus and Cressida to the court.
The nave of Lincoln Cathedral built between 1209 and 1235. All over England cathedrals were rebuilt in the thirteenth century in the new Gothic style imported from France.
Sir Geoffrey Luttrell, Lord of Irnham, in Lincolnshire together with his wife, Agnes Sutton, in a miniature in his psalter executed about 1325 to 1335. The manuscript is filled with marginal scenes depicting everyday life in the early fourteenth century.
A 14th century document depicts the granting of Aquitaince to the Black Prince, who kneels before his father, Edward III.
New College, Oxford, was founded in 1379 to train clergy to fill the places left by the Black Death. By tradition the college was built on the site of the city's plague pit (shown in the picture).In the XV c. Eton College and Kings College, Cambridge, were founded by Henry VI (1422-1471)