Swan you say? Medieval Feasting!

Medieval feast

A guest post on medieval food and feasting in the Middle Ages by author Regan Walker.

Letter Written by Sir George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury to His Wife, Bess of Hardwick, 1568

Bess of Hardwick, 1550s. (Wikipedia)

Susan Abernethy’s latest piece looks at a letter from Sir George Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury to his wife, lady-in-waiting to Elizabeth I, Bess Hardwick.

Yolande de Dreux, Queen of Scots

Yolande de Dreux, Queen of Scotland. Sceau de Yolande d'Ecosse - Duchesse de Bretagne (Wikipedia)

Susan Abernethy brings us back to medieval Scotland once again to look at another Scottish Queen, Yolande de Dreux.

Marie de Coucy, Queen of Scots

Coat of arms of Alexander II, King of Scots. Arms of Alexander II, as shown in Matthew Paris' Historia Anglorum, c. 1250 (Wikipedia)

Susan Abernethy brings us the story of Alexander II of Scotland’s French Queen, Marie de Coucy.

The Life of Lady Katherine Gordon

Parkin Warbeck (Wikicommons)

This week, Susan Abernethy brings us an article on Lady Katherine Gordon.

A Viking Mess – Northmen: A Viking Saga Movie Review

Northmen: A Viking Saga. Photo by Variety.com

This week’s medieval movie is Northmen: A Viking Saga.

The Norwegian Attack on Iona in 1209-10: The Last Viking Raid?

Photochrom print of Iona from about 1905

A closer look at what happened in and around Iona in the early 1200s, makes the interpretation that this was just another such ‘classic viking raid’ rather unlikely.

Bulls, bere and black oatmeal: Iona’s economy in the later Middle Ages

Iona Abbey - photo by Mike Beltzner

This paper will take a brief look at some of the landholdings of both the abbey and the nunnery, and at how they were used – and perhaps misused – over this period.

Sweetheart Abbey Breviary acquired by National Library of Scotland

sweetheart abbey breviary - photo courtesy National Library of Scotland.

A monastic treasure written in Scotland 700 years ago has been acquired by the National Library of Scotland.

The Law of Treason in the English Border Counties in the Later Middle Ages

England / Scotland border British Railways sign board by the east coast mainline, marking the border.  Photo by Callum Black / Wikimedia Commons

The formulation of a general and comprehensive law of treason by the English government in the mid-fourteenth century allowed northerners to impose harsh penalties on those who offended them most grievously.

Institutionally Constrained Technology Adoption: Resolving the Longbow Puzzle

Longbows at the Battle of Agincourt

Historians have long puzzled over why this missile weapon—clearly superior to its alternative, the crossbow—was monopolized by the English for so long

Celebrating the New Year, Medieval Style

The Festival of Fools - Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1525)

A look at New Year’s in the Middle Ages.

Book Review: Hidden Britain by Alvin Nicholas

Books: Hidden Britain by Alvin Nicholas

Tourism with a twist? Tired of the same old tours and droning guides? Alvin Nicholas’s book on manors, mansions, castles, nooks and crannies, reveals there’s more to Britain than meets the eye.

The Christmas Eve massacre of 986

Iona Abbey - photo by dun_deagh / Flickr

For the year 986, the Annals of Ulster records, ‘Iona was plundered by Danes on Christmas Eve, and they killed the abbot and fifteen men of the seniors of the church.’ What more can we learn about this attack and why it happened?

Did People Ice Skate in the Middle Ages?

Medieval ice skates made of bone on display at the Museum of London. Photo by Steven G. Johnson, Wikipedia.

How did medieval people pass the time during the coldest part of the year? I came across several instances of medieval people strapping on skates and taking a twirl (or a tumble!) on the ice. Here is how it all began!

‘The Worst Disaster Suffered by the People of Scotland in Recorded History’: Climate Change, Dearth and Pathogens in the Long Fourteenth Century

16th century map of Scotland

It is not the aim of this essay to provide an environmental history of medieval Scotland or even just of the fourteenth century in Scotland; that is a much larger task than can be addressed here. Rather, the intention is to explore the nature of the evidence that is available within the documentary record and place it alongside the various forms of proxy data for climate history to produce a synthetic narrative.

Macbeth: Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard star in dark, gritty interpretation of Macbeth

Macbeth movie poster - UK (2015)

Macbeth opened in October in London to critical acclaim. The movie is being released today in Canada and the US.

The Two Wives of Robert II, King of Scotland

The seal of Robert II, King of Scotland.

Robert II, King of Scots and grandson of Robert the Bruce was a handsome, charming man who had many descendants. He not only had two wives who had numerous children but many mistresses who had babies as well.

Guns in Scotland: the manufacture and use of guns and their influence on warfare from the fourteenth century to c.1625

Detail from a contemporary drawing of Edinburgh Castle under siege in 1573, showing it surrounded by attacking batteries

Guns first came into use in Western Europe in the fourteenth century and the Scots were using them by the 1380s.

Glimpse of medieval trade revealed along the River Forth

School pupils from St Ninian's Primary School uncovering the medieval harbour of Cambuskenneth Abbey © GUARD Archaeology Ltd

Over two weeks in September, the Cambuskenneth Harbours project brought together a wide range of experts and local volunteers to investigate the medieval harbour of Cambuskenneth Abbey, which lies on the River Forth near Stirling.

Rival bishops, rival cathedrals: the election of Cormac, archdeacon of Sodor, as bishop in 1331

Ruined remains of Snizort Cathedral. Photo by Richard Dorrell / Wikimedia Commons

In the early fourteenth century, the diocese of Sodor, or Sudreyjar meaning Southern Isles in old Norse, encompassed the Isle of Man and the Hebrides.

Trickery, Mockery and the Scottish Way of War

The earliest known depiction of the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 from a 1440s manuscript of Walter Bower's Scotichronicon

This article seeks to examine two prominent themes, those of trickery and mockery, in how warfare against England was represented in Scottish historical narratives of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries.

Who Were The Celts? The British Museum Offers Answers with New Exhibition

Gundestrup Cauldron Silver  Gundestrup, northern Denmark, 100 BC–AD 1 © The National Museum of Denmark. The British Museum. Photo by Medievalists.net

The British Museum just opened its latest exhibit, Celts: Art and Identity this past Thursday, covering 2,500 years of Celtic history. The exhibit explores Celtic identity and how it eveolved from the time of the Ancient Greeks to the present through art, culture, daily life, religion and politics.

5 Cool Celtic Things at the British Museum

(L) Horned helmet. Bronze, glass, Found along the Thames river near Waterloo, London, England (200-100 BC). (R) Greek helmet, bronze. Olympia, South-Western Greece (460 BC), The British Museum.Photo by Medievalists.net.

I attended the opening of the British Museum’s, Celts: Art and Identity exhibit on Sept 24th. It showcases stunning art, jewellery, weaponry, daily and religious objects to tell the story of the Celtic people.

The Battle of Neville’s Cross as told in the Lanercost Chronicle

Battle of Neville's Cross from a 15th-century Froissart manuscript

The year 1346 is remembered in England mostly for the Battle of Crecy, where King Edward III defeated the French forces in one of the most important battles of the Hundred Years War. That year also saw another major battle, this one fought on English soil.

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