Threads from "An Old English Tapestry"

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: Before 1900' started by perdu42, Dec 26, 2018.

  1. perdu42 Well-Known Member

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    1093: In this year King Edgar wore his crown and held his court in Westminster at Candlemas; then in Gloucester for the Easter; then in York for Lammas; then in Westminster for Christmas.

    And in this year a severe frost followed a very wet year which we have already told and the rivers were frozen so hard that horsemen and wagons could travel on them; afterwards when the thaw came, drifting ice destroyed bridges.

    Here on Ash Wednesday Godgifu[1] passed away and the king gave it to Christina his sister. And here the king travelled into Wales with Bishop Cynewulf and Bishop Ælfgar and Bishop Gerard and Bishop Rhygfarch[2] as far as St David’s for the Pentecost; and the pilgrimage ended with King Rhys giving hostages and swearing an oath to be loyal in all things. Here Fothach passed away; this was on Whit Monday[3] and on Lammas eve[4] Giric submitted to the archbishop of York and was ordained by Sæman in St Peter’s.


    1094: In this year King Edgar wore his crown and held his court in Gloucester for the Easter; then in Chester for the Pentecost; finally in Winchester for Christmas.

    In this year the land was very stirred up and filled with great treachery, so that the petty kings[5] in Wales rose up and led their raiding land-armies and burned and laid waste the farms of those who were loyal to the king. The treachery soon burned itself out but before the king could gather his men Donald, who was previously king of the Scots returned and there was a battle outside Edinburgh and King Eadward and the ætheling Edgar and Bishop Giric and Mærleswein were killed and Donald was king in Scotland again.

    Here on 9 September Archbishop Wulfstan convened the synod at Clifton Hoo; and it was decided to split the seat of Lincoln and establish one at Oxford and Dunstan[6] who was given that seat was to use the old church at Dorchester until the new cathedral was built; and it was decided to create a new seat at Carlisle and Cæna[7] was to be its first bishop. And here Leofwine passed away and the monks chose Cynehelm[8].


    [1] Abbess of Wilton since 1067, died 2 March.

    [2] Respectively, the bishops of Chichester, Hereford, Norwich and St David’s.

    [3] Bishop Fothad II of St Andrews died 6 June.

    [4] 31 July.

    [5] Rhys ap Tewdwr of Deheubarth and the surviving sons of Bleddyn put aside their differences long enough to coordinate their activities but the alliance quickly fell apart.

    [6] Priest and canon of St John’s, Beverley.

    [7] Monk of Winchester (New Minster).

    [8] Abbot of Coventry since the death of arch-pluralist Leofric in November 1066. Succeeded by that abbey’s provost.
     
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  2. perdu42 Well-Known Member

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    Mlxxxxv Éastre: viii kl. aprl Her on þissum geare forðferde Wulfstan arcebisceop xv kl. feb
     
  3. Deadtroopers Well-Known Member

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    Nom , nom, nomm. Very tasty; I like the mixed style a lot. Only black mark - you've kept me up all night, ya bugger! :)
     
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  4. perdu42 Well-Known Member

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    Job accomplished then.

    And thankyou.
     
  5. The Professor Pontifex Collegii Vexillographiariorum

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    Can I suggest avoiding modern Welsh spelling if you're also avoiding modern English spelling when it comes to names.
     
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  6. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    What are Uhtred the Bold's descendent's going?
     
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  7. perdu42 Well-Known Member

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    :oops:, my bad. Noted for future random pages.
    And as consistency is important, I will get round to fixing the others...
     
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  8. perdu42 Well-Known Member

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    Did you mean, what are they doing? Or, where are they going?

    As to what they are doing, The Great Chronicle entries from 1087 onwards mentions the fate of a number of Uhtred the Bold's descendants. For example, Earl Oswulf II (died OTL 1067) of Bamburgh died at the Battle of Peebles 1090. The fates of Earl Waltheof I (died OTL 1076) of Huntington and Earl Cospatric I (died OTL c.1070's?) of Dunbar are also mentioned.
    What is not mentioned is that Earl Eadwulf V 'Rus' (died OTL c.1080) succeeded Oswulf II as Earl of Bamburgh. A family tree is in preparation...

    As to where they are going... time will tell
     
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  9. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    I think you mean "Destiny is all" or "Fate is inexorable". :-D
     
  10. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    Just had a thought about how England develops, especially in weapons development.

    Maybe the longsax stays around longer and evolves into a heavy single bladed weapon like the Falchion or the Messer (Broadsax?)

    [​IMG]

    Maybe in time a two handed version develops like the Kriegsmesser (Greatsax?)

    [​IMG]



    How does the English Army evolve without the Norman influence in the development of heavy cavalry?
     
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  11. perdu42 Well-Known Member

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    I like your idea... and thankyou for the question.

    A cut and paste from years old working notes -

    English military developments: earlier adaptation/adoption of the Welsh/war/long bow based on understanding of Battle of Hereford (Oct 1055) > missing at Hastings (Oct 1066) but used with great effect at Battle of ?? (Nov 1066)… quicker evolution of shieldwall into what would be called shiltron OTL ie development of spears > pikes and to a lesser extent halberds. Some earls (notably Harold of Hereford) will develop and form some kind of heavy cavalry force > cniht won’t develop into knight > prob. called rider (ridder/ritter) but will prob. remain marginal (elite?/preserve of the nobs).

    So, given your suggestion I can logically see the seax being developed into the Messer or similar as the sidearm of the pikemen.

    There is robust debate amongst English military leaders (very roughly along lines of reformers/modernists vs conservatives).. Edmund Haroldson who has been spending a lot of time in the Empire will be another advocate for continental 'doctrine' including use of heavy cavalry.
     
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  12. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    IIRC most western polearms IOTL (with the exception of the fouchard) developed as a response to plate armour. Having said that, there are a few weapons that could make a basis. The Atgeir has long been assumed to be a polearm from its description, although nothing resembling a polearm has ever been found in a Viking grave etc.

    Modern scholarship suggests the Atgeir might have been a spear with a cutting edge, similar to an ox tongue spear, and could have been an ancestor of the Sword Staff (Saxpole?). IOTL this polearm was nearly exclusive to medieval Scandanavia, here, probably not so much.

    However, unless plate develops earlier, this line of weapons development is centuries away.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
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  13. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    Just curious, is Lessons Learned from Hereford why the Normans eventually fail to conquer England?
     
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  14. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, now I'm going into total war mod mode for unit guides.

    Early Medieval period.

    Longbowmen (who knows maybe butterflies make "Longbow" a historically authentic term here).

    Fyrdmen: Militia unit with spear, shield, broadsax and boiled leather armour.

    Armoured spearmen: Mail, Atgeir/Oxtongue type spear, sword.

    Huscarls: Mail and greataxe

    Ridders: Mounted, mail, shield, spear, and handaxe, later replaced with a cavalry longsax?

    Maybe more regular contact with the ERE through the Varangian guard, interest in scale armour?
    Early jack o plates? :-D The description makes it sound a lot like scale armour inside a padded jacket.

    Trade with Ireland and continental Europe for better horses?
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
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  15. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    How did Billy the Bastard die here? Longbow? :-D
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
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  16. perdu42 Well-Known Member

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    Noted. Cheers.

    Thankyou for the question.
    Yes and no...
    What really happened at Hereford in 1055? The supposition I'm working under is that the archers of King Gruffydd and Earl Ælfgar caught the English force under Earl Ralf while they were still mounted, that is before they had dismounted to form up and fight, NOT that Earl Ralf tried to make them fight on horseback. It was the quality of that archery that forced the English to flee...

    So, at the Battle of Wolverton, archers - mainly from the Welsh 'vassals' Princes Bleddyn and Rhiwallon but also some English - were used to good effect. But ultimately the most compelling reason Duke Wiiliam II of Normandy (d.1066) failed in his conquest was that the English managed to raise another army some five weeks after Hastings.
     
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
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  17. perdu42 Well-Known Member

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    Cheers. :)
    The English did manage to save some of the horses from Duke William II's unsuccessful invasion... It is often under-estimated just how serious the English were about horse breeding and acquiring quality stock, although there is no doubt that the Conquest facilitated that process especially in regards 'warhorses'. Horse-trading and breeding will happen by those trying to develop a heavy cavalry.


    Thankyou for the question.
    Indirectly. His horse was brought down by archery and he wasn't quick enough to leap clear so it came down on top of him - still weak from dysentry he remained trapped there until gutted by some fyrdman. Or so the story goes...
     
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  18. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    Considering the conflicts between Wales, Scotland, and Denmark, I can see the border and maybe the coastal regions building up a strong martial tradition. Maybe one of the reforms of the later kings is creating new lordships over the borders to coordinate between the border shires. A March Earl, later becoming the etymology for Marshal? :-D
     
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  19. Some Bloke Well-Known Member

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    Billy the Bastard killed by some bloke. :-D
     
  20. perdu42 Well-Known Member

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    Apologies, the words in the above post are not meant to run on like that. It was meant to be an approximation of an entry from an Easter Table:
    Mlxxxxv
    Éastre: viii kl. aprl
    Her on þissum geare forðferde Wulfstan arcebisceop xv kl. feb


    I've given it a go but finding the medieval Welsh equivalent is not as simple as I'd hoped. Is this "Morgetuid ap Bleiddyn and one of his sons (Grippiud)" even close?
    _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _



    Extract from Merefin Swanton (ed.), The Great Chronicle Vol. 20: St Wæburh’s Recension, (Grantbridge: Grantbridge University Press, 2010)

    ____________________________________________________________________________________________

    1095: In this year King Edgar wore his crown and held his court in Worcester at Candlemas and for the Easter; then in York for the Pentecost and for Lammas; then in Westminster for Christmas

    Here in this year Archbishop Wulfstan passed away on 18 January; this humble and most holy of men was beloved by all people and was entombed beside the high altar in the cathedral of SS Mary and Oswald[1]. And here the king gave Æthelmær[2] the arch-seat and he left for Rome the week before Easter. Morcar, earl of Mercia and his son Ælfgar and the ætheling Edmund fought with the Welsh at Knighton and had the victory; Morgetuid was killed in the flight[3]. This same year also there was very unseasonable weather; and therefore all the earth-crops ripened all too moderately throughout all this land.

    Council of Clermont[4].


    [1] The church and abbey of Worcester.

    [2] Abbot of Tewkesbury who departed for Rome on 18 March.

    [3] Morgetuid ap Bleiddyn and one of his sons (Grippiud) was killed on 1 July.

    [4] Where Pope Urban II initiated the First Crusade. Interpolation.