Part 1! Boudica’s Quest for Vengeance Part 1
As seen in my previous post, Boudica had surpassed all expectations. She shocked the ancient world by inspiring an army of thousands of Britons to finally take back what had been theirs originally. They were fighting against the abuses her people had faced for seventeen years at the hands of the Romans. Boudica and her warriors had burnt the great city of Camulodunum to the ground and decimated the ninth legion. Fear spread quickly across the the land, but Governor Paulinus was not about to be defeated…
Boudica’s next target was Londinium (modern day London), which (at the time) was a relatively new city. It was created to be a trading port with the continent and was mostly populated by traders, craftsmen, and wealthy citizens. Londinium was estimated to have a population of about 30,000. This wealthy city was ripe for looting and, unfortunately for the citizens, there was no military presence (especially with the ninth legion now inoperable). The second legion was called in to fight, yet they failed to arrive. The people of Londinium knew that they were ill prepared. Continue reading “Boudica’s Quest for Vengeance Part 2”
This is a post (well now posts) I have been looking forward to creating for a while. It is the story of Boudica, the warrior queen, who led her army of Britons on to fight against their Roman oppressors in 60 AD. Not much is known about her personally, yet her legend lives on through books, shows, statues, art, etc. The name Boudica is easiest to understand as a Celtic version of Victoria, this meaning Victory. There is speculation whether this was truly her name, or a title given to her. Before I begin her tale, we must discuss some background knowledge of Romanized Britannia that will give context to the story. Also, note that most of the primary sources historians use are Roman writings of the events and archaeological evidence. There are no written sources from the Britons themselves. Continue reading “Boudica’s Quest for Vengeance Part 1”
To the North, South, East, and West she was proclaimed Queen and to each proclamation an approval was received from the congregation. The moment she had waited for had come. She made a solemn oath in front of God to defend the Church, uphold the laws, and use justice and mercy in judgements. She knelt and accepted the anointing from the bishop of Carlisle. Slowly she stood up, taking in the moment, and went to the nearby pew to put on the robe of purple velvet and a mantle of gold. Though extremely nervous, she had to show strength in front of her people.
Sitting upon the chair of state before the high altar she was able to view the majesty of Westminster Abbey. So much history surrounded her; how many of her predecessors were crowned here as well? Would she be hated or loved as they all went through?
The ring representing England and her people was placed on her right hand, as if she was getting married. First, St. Edwards crown was placed on her head then removed. Next, the imperial crown was placed in the same position. At a full seven pounds she could barely lift her head to see the crowd, but she would not show weakness. A lighter crown was then replaced for the rest of the ceremony (did her mother once wear this crown as well?) and one by one the lords and bishops came up to give homage to her; Lords who may have opposed her just a few months ago. She stifled a laugh from the irony of this day; the daughter of the “Great Whore” had now become the sole Queen of England…… Continue reading “Elizabeth’s Journey to Queenship”
This week in history marks the anniversary of Edward VIII’s abdication of the English throne in favor of marrying the woman he loved, Wallis Simpson, which took place in 1936. Edward had met Simpson in 1931 and they became an item by 1934. This relationship caused a great scandal because Simpson was already married to Ernest Aldrich Simpson…her second husband. She was an American, she had already been divorced once, and was now planning to divorce again to marry Prince Edward. This was unacceptable at the time for a future royal, let alone the future queen. Society was very different then and divorce was not approved by the Church of England of which the monarchy is still the head of (thanks to Henry VIII…who ironically gained a divorce!). Since Edward was the eldest son of George V; he was subject to the Royal Marriages Act of 1772.
In 1772, George III created this act as a reaction to his brothers both marrying “commoners” which was some kind of disgrace to the crown (though maybe it was just because George III was jealous that he could not have married for choice). This act states that any descendant of George II could not marry without the currently reigning sovereigns consent. This consent had to be documented and any marriages that did not have this consent were considered null and void. Continue reading “The Royal Marriage Act of 1772”
As a kid I dreamed (and lets be real still wishes) of being an archaeologist. You get to travel the world and discover the lost secrets of history. You get to be the first to touch something that no living person has touched in hundreds of years. I imagine it would feel like you would have some connection to those who came before you and, honestly, I want to feel like I am experiencing what others before me did. It would almost be like you were time traveling. Unfortunately, I grew up and the realities of life set in such as student debt, a good salary, and finding stability. A girl can still dream though!
I bring this up because I have been following an amazing archaeological find of our current day. Found in the Thames River in London, a great ship from the 17th century was found impeccably preserved. Talk about traveling back in time! Much of The London, which was the name the ship was known as, was preserved under a deep layer of mud and silt. Continue reading “Preserved in Time: The London Shipwreck”
Why are we so fascinated to know what a woman who lived centuries ago truly looked like and why this particular woman? In the media, Anne Boleyn has been characterized in three different ways. She has been romanticized and sexualized, she has been portrayed as a cold-hearted witch, and she has been portrayed as a martyr/victim of a tyrannical king. This seems unfair to a real woman who actually lived and had many of the same stresses as we do.
She is so fascinating to us because we all want to know how she kept the rapt attention of Henry VIII for seven long years (without becoming his mistress) in order to achieve marriage and queenship. Henry was so enamored by this woman that the Imperial ambassador in England recorded that “The King cannot leave her for an hour.” Henry was risking excommunication and war for this one woman. Continue reading “Will the real Anne Boleyn please stand up?”
Remember that weird ritual we did back in elementary/middle school in order to scare ourselves? If we would go in front of a mirror at night, or exactly at midnight, or whenever they told you and say bloody Mary three times in the dark she would appear in the mirror before you (and apparently curse you or something). When I was in elementary school that used to scare the crap out of me and I refused to even partake. I wouldn’t even look into a mirror at night for a brief period (I know I was a wimp!), but then I grew up and wondered…why are we so scared of Mary Tudor? If I could get this “ritual” to work I would do it to ask her questions about history and what life was like in her time (because I am a nerd)! But, anyway, I wanted to write a post about how she got her name and, well, why I feel bad that she has been remembered this way in a child’s game. Continue reading “The Tale of Bloody Mary”
On this day, Saturday, October 14,1066 the Battle of Hastings took place and changed history in one fell swoop. It did not take a whole campaign, but one gruesome battle for the Normans to conquer England and begin a new dynasty.
It began at around 9 am that morning with the English positioned on the higher ground. They were battle ready, but the quick march from the north and their previous victory at Stamford Bridge had taken its toll. The English stood shoulder to shoulder and created the traditional shield wall, as this was how fighting had taken place in England up to this point. The Normans brought something new to the table by creating three lines of soldiers; archers followed by the infantry and then followed by the mounted knights. The English did not have separate forces like this.
William carried a banner granted to him by the Pope, Continue reading “On this Day in History: Battle of Hastings”
Not everyone in Normandy was thrilled about Williams great idea to invade England. The Duke wanted a great number of ships to carry thousands of men across the channel, all in just a few months. Not to mention, transporting men and ships and horses on a sea journey was extremely risky, they could lose everything in one great storm. But, nothing was going to stop William and his stubborn personality was ingrained in him since he was a child.
William of Normandy had actually been born a bastard (his father the Duke and his mother a commoner in the ducal household) and Continue reading “Meanwhile in Normandy…”
Who was Harold Godwinson?
History is told by the victors so often the story of the last Anglo-Saxon King goes unrecognized. Harold Godwinson was born in the 1020s, the son of Godwine Earl of Wessex. When he was twenty-three he became the Earl of the East Angles and began commanding naval troops along the south coast of England (believe it or not England had a great navy even during the Anglo-Saxon days). His father and King Edward the Confessor fell into disagreement and the whole family of the Godwins were exiled in 1051. In 1052, Harold led an invasion to force the King to restore their family’s power and in 1053, after Godwin’s death, Harold became Earl of Wessex (the most powerful office in England after the King). Throughout the next eleven years Harold consolidated his power and became the most powerful and wealthiest man in England. Continue reading “Death of Edward the Confessor”