Norman and Medieval England Everything you’ve ever wanted to know!
Norman England: 1066-1154 • King Harold was defeated by William the Conqueror in 1066 at the Battle of Hastings. • William – from Normandy, France • Significance - first time England was unified
William established… Feudalism: a system of land ownership based on service to the king. Created a strict social stratification that was pyramid shaped William redistributed the land. What belonged to 5000 Anglo-Saxons he claimed for himself and the few men who swore allegiance to him.
Domesday Book A survey conducted by William’s soldiers of all of England — every acre of land and every bit of livestock was recorded, and he claimed ownership of it all.
Kings who followed • William Rufus (son of William the Conqueror) • Henry I (Rufus’ son) • Stephen (grandson of William and put into place by the church)
The Middle Ages: 1154-1377 • Begins with the reign of Henry II • Strong king with plans to gain control from the Church that Stephen let slip away
Henry II • First of the Plantagenet family • Brilliant, strong king • Reign marked by power struggle with the church – this took many forms… • a change in the justice system • his relationship with his best friend, Thomas Becket
Henry II is also remembered for… • His friendship and conflict with Thomas Becket
They started out as friends… • Thomas wasan Anglo-Saxon who found power in the Catholic Church. • Thomas Becket became Henry’s most loyal subject and his greatest friend, and he was ultimately named Chancellor of England.
Things changed when… • Henry decided the best way to gain control over the Catholic Church was to name Thomas to the position of Archbishop of Canterbury.
This created all sorts of trouble • Thomas underwent a religious conversion • He then opposed Henry • Opposed Henry on the rights of Church vs. King’s rights, especially in regard to the trial of clergy for civil crimes • “Will no one rid me of this tiresome priest?”
Saint Thomas • Henry II petitioned Rome to name Thomas a saint. • Miracles began to occur at the site of his murder. • The pilgrimage to Canterbury Cathedral became the most prestigious pilgrimage a person could take.
Canterbury Cathedral The BEST pilgrimage in England due to the martyrdom of Thomas Becket
The Nave Notice the towering arches give impression of great height
Inside the cathedral Imagine you are a poor serf – what would you think of this?
A view of the back of the Cathedral Again, the size alone is impressive even to today’s standards.
The Miracles of Thomas Becket • “The miracles began immediately after his death. The blood from his head wounds, which formed a pool on the stone floor, was soaked up by the cloth rags that several of the laity present in the cathedral had. One man took his home to his sick wife, who was instantly cured. Similar reports of cures followed in the next few days, involving predominantly poor and sick local women. Becket’s blood touched the cloth, imbuing it with his saintly powers. Later, the blood would be watered down so much that the water contained the merest hint of a drop of blood in it, and sold to the pilgrims.”
Medieval cultural notes… • Knights, Crusades, Chivalry, Women and Medicine
Barons, Knights and Serfs • Oaths of feudal loyalty, of faithfulness and loyalty, were sworn by a vassal (knight) to his lord (Baron). • Pledges were often made over religious relics or with the vassal’s hands between those of his Baron. • They’d seal the pledge with a kiss. • The lord provided his serfs with land, simple housing, and protection. • The serf paid for these things by working the lord’s lands and by providing the lord with a portion of whatever they grew. • Serfs were different from slaves in that they were not owned, but couldn’t leave without permission.
From boy to knight… • Not every boy could become a knight; the parents had to be wealthy enough to purchase armor, weapons, horse(s), and servants. • Education began at age 7 as a page; pages learned manners, singing, dancing, and how to use shield and sword. • At age 14, pages could become squires (personal servants to knights).
The Crusades • Wars waged by European Christians against Muslims to control the Holy Land • Capture of rich Islamic cities like Baghdad and Cairo exposed Crusaders to cultures much more sophisticated than their own
Knights and Chivalry • Chivalry was a complete code of conduct that provided rules to control a lawless knight. • The knight’s first obligation was to defend his lord, his king, and his faith. • There were rules of warfare, like never attacking an unarmed opponent. • The code also covered how to treat a lady, how to help others, and how to resist the urge to run from danger.
Chivalry and Courtly Love • Adoring a particular lady, not necessarily one’s wife, was a means of achieving self-improvement. • Revering and acting in the name of a lady would make a knight more brave. • Courtly love was nonsexual — the knight would glorify his lady in words and wear her colors in battle, but she remained pure and out of reach. • A Knight's Tale • Gave rise to new literary form– the Romance • Did little though improve lives of women.
Women in the middle ages • A quote about women written in the 15th century sums it up nicely: • “A woman is a worthy wight / She serveth a man both daye and nyght / Thereto she putteth all her might.”
Women’s roles Even though women could become nuns, the Catholic Church also diminished women’s status by reclaiming convents that had been supported and run by women in earlier times. • Valued only in regard to the land she brought to marriage • Social standings depended on father’s or husband’s status • Had no political rights • Limited choices — wife or nun
Medicine in the Middle Ages • The four humors – bodily fluids that needed to be in the correct proportion in order to maintain health • Black bile (depression and delusions) • Yellow bile or choler (unkindness and instability) • Phlegm (sloth, obesity, hairless skin) • Blood (too much caused heart attacks and sensuality)
Kings Following Henry II How to Become the British Monarch
Richard the Lion Hearted • 1189-1199 • 3rd legitimate son of Henry II • Known as a great military leader and warrior • Took control of his own army by the age of 16 • Spent little time in England • Viewed the royal treasury as a personal source of revenue • Died without an heir
John 1199-1216 • Youngest of five sons of Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine • Favorite son of Henry II (the older brothers tried to rebel against Henry II) • John’s older brothers, William, Henry, and Geoffrey, died young, leaving only Richard ahead of him in line for the throne • Unsuccessfully tried to rebel against Richard, but was forgiven and was still crowned king after Richard’s death • Historical opinion of John: "hard-working administrator, an able man, an able general” • Historians also agree, though, that John “had many faults as king, like ‘distasteful, even dangerous personality traits, such as pettiness, spitefulness and cruelty.’” • As a result, he’s been popularized as a villain, the evil King John, in the Robin Hood movies • Selfish ruler: impoverished country with high taxes, jailed subjects at whim Evil King John
Magna CArta • The first document forced onto a king of England by a group of his subjects, the feudal barons, in an attempt to limit the king’s powers by law and protect their rights • An important step towards constitutional law that eventually served as a model for the American colonies
The next Kings • Henry III (1216-1272) (son of John) • Became King at age 9 • Weak and untrustworthy • Edward I (1272-1307) (son of Henry III) • Called the first parliament • 2 representatives from nobility, clergy and towns • Major step away from Feudalism due to growing middle class • Edward II (1307-1327) (son of Edward I) • Edward I’s biggest failure • Reign marked by incompetence, political squabbling, and military defeats
Edward III and England in 1300s • Edward III (1327-1377) • Noted for his military success and for restoring royal authority after the disastrous reign of his father, EdwardII • Transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe • Saw vital developments in legislation and government — in particular the evolution of the English parliament • After a successful campaign in Scotland he declared himself rightful heir to the French throne in 1337, starting what would become known as the Hundred Years' War • Joan of Arc • After this, Plantagenet dynasty ends and the Tudor dynasty begins. Edward III…or Albus Dumbledore?
Hundred Years’ War • A series of conflicts waged from 1337 to 1453 between the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of France for control of the French throne • Edward declared that he, not Philip, was the rightful King of France, a claim dating to 1328, when Edward's uncle, Charles IV of France, died without a direct male heir • Question of legal succession to the French crown was central to the war over generations of English and French claimants
Joan of Arc • A folk heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint • Born to a peasant family in north-east France • Claimed divine guidanceand led the French army to several important victories against England during the Hundred Years' War, paving the way for the coronation of Charles VII of France • Captured and transferred to the English in exchange for money, put on trial by the pro-English bishop, and burned at the stake for heresy when she was 19 years old • Twenty-five years after her execution, an inquisitorial court examined the trial, pronounced her innocent, and declared her a martyr • Said she had received visions from God instructing her to support Charles VII and recover France from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War • Overcame dismissive attitude of veteran commanders and caused the lifting of the siege in only nine days, turning the tide for the French
Changes in England • Social structure changes and so does political structure • New weapons: cannon and crossbow • Means less reliance on the knight and codes of chivalry – more reliance on the yeoman • Black Death — the plague • Killed 40% population • Decreased population of feudal Barons • Decreased control of Church • Emergence of prosperous Middle Class • Shift from barter system to money-gold coins