Normandy, the land of alien phenomena

As I begin to scrutinise the “Barnwell Chronicle” ever so closely, I stumble upon a whole array of entries pointing to 13th century paranormal phenomena. Portents are legions but it is intriguing that the author failed to emphasise the link between the phenomena quoted below and their significance, which is only born out by the interposition of these two phrases between a mention to the Children’s Crusade of 1212 and the effects of the interdict over England thrown by Pope Innocent III four years previously.

“Apud Cadomum in Normannia visus est sanguis pluisse via. idus Iulii, feria via. Eodem die apud Faleise vise sunt tres cruces adinvicem in aere quasi pugnare.”

Blood seemed to have rained down at Caen in Normandy on the 6th Ides of July, the sixth day [10 July 1212?]. The same day at Falaise, three crosses seemed almost to fight each other in the sky.”

Falaise is 20 miles south of Caen.

So unusual were these events that a later reader expressed his fascination in the margin of one of the manuscripts:

Why three crosses then? I guess one on behalf of king John, another on behalf of the disgruntled barons and another on behalf of the Pope, who had placed an interdict over England in 1208 and excommunicated the king the following year.

A portent? Most likely, as after these notices, the whole hell breaks loose, first in London where 3000 people were said to have died in a fire on London Bridge.

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