Thou art a Villain: The Changing Nature of Treason in the Middle Ages

The thirteenth and fourteenth centuries have many defining features, yet one in particular stands out for its political significance. Unlike the preceding centuries, politics in England became increasingly violent, especially among the nobility – the earls and baronial class. While rebellions had occurred at key times during the twelfth and thirteenth centuries – notably with … More Thou art a Villain: The Changing Nature of Treason in the Middle Ages

A Lesson in Loyalty: The Life of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke (Part Two)

Aymer de Valence, by the close of 1312, had regained the king’s confidence. The murder of Piers Gaveston at the hands of the Blacklow earls as they became known had shocked contemporaries. The earl of Pembroke would from this moment do everything in his power to serve Edward II, but in doing so, provided a … More A Lesson in Loyalty: The Life of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke (Part Two)

A Lesson in Loyalty: The Life of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke (Part One)

Aymer de Valence is not a name that leaps out of the annals of history. Many would be hard pressed to place him, let alone have a sense of his many achievements. But his achievements were great, and he had an impressive pedigree; his great-grandfather being William Marshall, one of Christendom’s greatest knights. His career … More A Lesson in Loyalty: The Life of Aymer de Valence, Earl of Pembroke (Part One)

How to hold a Medieval Parliament: By those who were there (Part Two)

Following on from part one, those called to parliament still have much to do and many rules to abide by. The studious clerk who started penning his treatise must have been either very keen, on a good commission or had underestimated the enormity of his task. There are still nine ‘rules’ left to discuss. He … More How to hold a Medieval Parliament: By those who were there (Part Two)

How to hold a Medieval Parliament: By those who were there (Part One)

At some point during the reign of Edward II a studious clerk, most likely between 1316-1324, sat down to work one evening and took his pen to parchment and wrote a treatise. This treatise set out, rather helpfully for us seven hundred years later, the ‘dos’ and ‘dont’s’ of holding a medieval parliament as dictated … More How to hold a Medieval Parliament: By those who were there (Part One)