Dying in custody

The United States has one of the highest rates of people dying in police custody. In medieval England, King John had one of the highest rates of people dying in his prisons or special confinement. And high-profile deaths to boot. There are surely degrees of cruelty but whether keeping your foot on someone's neck for... Continue Reading →

Una, două despre uscarea rufelor

Am crescut, ca majoritatea amicilor mei români, la bloc. Nu orice bloc, în nici un caz un bloc din cele care se ridică azi, cu intrare pentru persoane cu dezabilitati si  parcare subterană. Dimpotrivă, intrarea în blocul copilariei mele făcea uneori din orice om sănătos o persoană cu dezabilitați (mai ales iarna) iar subteranul era... Continue Reading →

Joust casualties

In the film A Knight's Tale, Joscelin asks Adhemar if "men are killed in the joust". He replies that accidents do happen. Fair enough! On 22 February 1216 Geoffrey of Mandeville died of a wound he had received "when, as is the custom of the Francs, horsemen attacked each other in turns with lances or poles while... Continue Reading →

The 1215 siege of Rochester Castle

Rex iterum refectis copiis armatorum, V idus Octobris (Sunday, 11 October 1215), die Dominica, Roffensem civitatem improvisus occupavit et ingressus castellum obsedit, machinis multimodis obsessos infestans. Erant autem in castello praecipui Willelmus de Albegni, et Reginaldus de Cornhulle, Willelmus de Amesforde, et alii plures nobiles cum plus quam centum militibus et servientibus, ac balistariis stenuis... Continue Reading →

This is England, part 1

  I haven't really seen the country, I've only been there/here a few times and more than two-thirds of them in London. Most people I talked to would not move there, would rather stay where they are, in busy Europe or "somewhere better". For most, England is London and London vouches for all British. Fortunately... Continue Reading →

The Pipe Rolls of Medieval England

I''ve just discovered quite a lot on the condition of the Exchequer Pipe Rolls as sources for historians nowadays. Here are some useful links for researchers: The Pipe Rolls Society, in charge of editing the manuscripts, has published more than 90 volumes of edited material that is available for sale throught their website. This is... Continue Reading →

The English: a people without a history?

by openDemocracy Author: Michael Collins Of all Britain's peoples, the English have traditionally been the centrepiece of 'British history'. Nonetheless, argues UCL historian Michael Collins, it is they who have the most to worry about when it comes to their sense of the past. According to A. J. P. Taylor, in 1934 Oxford University Press commissioned its History... Continue Reading →

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