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95

I think both sources copied Early European History by Hutton Webster, published about a century ago. The underlying claim is true: Medieval animals were much smaller than today's. However, it is obvious that "a calf" is not a meaningful unit of comparison. The historical weight of livestock is mainly determined from archaeological studies as well as records ...


88

English meadows and forests are and were full of psychoactive substances. They were used. Quite creatively. In what psychiatrists call polytoxicomania. In what aficionados call synergistic combinations. This answer defines 'drugs' as mind-altering substances. The psychoactives do not need to be on the level of effectiveness of Oktoberfest inebriation or ...


80

No, England would not have been called "England" in the early post-Roman period. The name "England" derives from the Old English name Englaland, which means "Land of the Angles". The earliest recorded use of the term that I'm aware of is in the late ninth century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People, which had ...


76

Well, it wasn't smooth. First of all, there was already a minority of "reform" viewpoint in England before Henry VIII. It was centered in the intelligentsia and gentry. So when Henry VIII decided to divorce the Church to marry Anne Boleyn, a significant and influential minority not only was in favor, but wanted to go further, faster. And, as always, a ...


57

I'm going to say that England should not be considered as having been a colony of France. From the wiki page for colony a colony is a territory under the immediate political control of a state, distinct from the home territory of the sovereign When William took power he did so on behalf of himself and not on behalf of France, and he ruled as King of ...


47

Quite a bit, actually. Graeco-Roman mythology was a significant part of the education curriculum. Much of the educated elite would have been broadly familiar with ancient Greek mythologies through its Latin form, albeit overlaid with a Christian point of view. In High Medieval England, an anthology of six works known collectively as the Liber Catonianus (...


46

British policy on the continent has traditionally been to maintain the balance of power (this is also really a general European thing). This amounted to shifting alliances all over the continent. Though France and Britain are "traditional" enemies (as neighbours were wont to be in Europe), they certainly hadn't been at war for anywhere near "close to 1000 ...


46

The Agrarian History of England and Wales E. J. T. Collins, Joan Thirsk Cambridge University Press, 2000 page 993: Retailers complained that railway milk was not as fresh as town milk, and a difference in price reflected this fact. The European Cities and Technology Reader: Industrial to Post-industrial City, David C. Goodman, Psychology Press, 1999, ...


41

This cannot be answered comprehensively here. But a few key points might be revealed. The precautions mentioned in the question are by far not the only ones that were given, just mere examples. At the time, medical and lay authorities throughout Europe sought to give rational explanations for the virulent plague, which was clearly contagious. They issued ...


41

Not only was it not totally smooth, but it also wasn't much of a change. At least not on personal human timeframes. You have to realize that the break in England didn't happen because anybody had any kind of doctrinal issue with Rome. King Henry VIII was not a protestant, did not like Protestantism, and did not want protestants in his Church. The only part ...


39

It's a pounce pot, being used to dry the wet ink without having to blot it. As noted here, the pounce itself could be made from any of powdered gum sandarac; crushed pumice (origin of pounce I believe), cuttlefish bone, or eggshell; or allum mixed with resin. This was used both to size the writing surface as well as to dry the ink after writing, and the ...


37

The sandbag is from a quintain, a "jousting dummy" if you will: On Offham green there stands a Quintain, a thing now rarely to be met with, being a machine much used in former times by youth, as well to try their own activity as the swiftness of their horses in running at it. The cross piece of it is broad at one end, and pierced full of holes; and a bag ...


36

The surname 'Hood' implied where the individual was from. For all purposes, there were many people with the last name. The name Robin Hood is accounted as not an uncommon name in the middle ages. There is a corpus of evidence that there were outlaw stories circulating about a Robin Hood during the reign of King John. However, there are cases of multiple ...


35

During the 1830s and 1840s. In the twenties dueling was still common. From 1815 to 1830 Castlereagh, Canning, and Wellington were responsible in turn for the government of England, and they all fought duels. In the thirties dueling died out under the pressure of public opinion, and in 1844 the amended articles of war stated that any officer who fought a ...


34

Although I can't answer for heraldry, there were a number of factors that influenced the red colour of English, then British military uniforms. During the 16th to early 20th centuries, primary colours and red especially helped to blur soldiers together, so that the enemy from a distance found it difficult to distinguish numbers and individuals accurately. ...


31

There was a separation between the noble french and the vulgar Old English. Or as I wrote in my comment: Who cares about the language of peasants I found a nice source for this assumption Middle English (1100-circa 1500 AD): After William the Conqueror, the Duke of Normandy, invaded and conquered England in 1066 AD with his armies and became king, he ...


31

As Wikipedia notes, "King Arthur is a legendary British leader who, according to medieval histories and romances, led the defence of Britain against Saxon invaders in the late 5th and early 6th centuries AD" He was† therefore a Briton or Romano-British, not a Saxon, Angle, Jute or related tribe. This means that his native language would have been a Celtic ...


30

The Nun's Priest's Tale from Geoffrey Chaucer's Canterbury Tales: Lo heere Andromacha, Ectores wyf, That day that Ector sholde lese his lyf, She dremed on the same nyght biforn […] He wente for to fighte natheles, But he was slayn anon of Achilles. It would seem that Chaucer doesn't feel the need to give a lot of background on who ...


28

I wouldn't characterize post-Magna Carta England as having a weak central government. Compared to the Holy Roman Empire it had a very efficient central government, in which the parliament played an important role alongeside the king. The early English Parliament already had a House of Commons. Hence not only the nobility was given rights but the common ...


28

I agree with much of Semaphore's answer, which shows that actually Britain and France were not in a state of perpetual war. But I think your question really relates to "What changed?" so I'll try to answer that. Firstly, the end of the Napoleonic era. The Battle of Waterloo and following months were the end of the Napoleonic wars, and the end of the "Big" ...


28

There is almost no direct historical evidence that openly-practicing Muslims were LIVING in the British Isles in the decades and centuries after the Norman Invasion. But I guess I'll start this post by highlighting the one prominent fringe hypothesis that would say otherwise (note that I mean hypothesis in a loose scientific sense here, as in a well-...


28

Folk etymology is of little use here. And one Staverton is not necessarily of the same origin of another Staverton. So 'a staved town' is not really 'a staved town'. One Staverton may share its etymological origin with a Starbotton: The derivation of the name is the subject of much debate. It is thought to be derived from "Stamphotne" (1086 Domesday Book) ...


27

To answer this question, you first have to answer another complex question: Who are the English? This question turns out to be quite complex indeed because to this day scholars are unsure whether to subscribe to an invasionist/migrationist view or a diffusionist view in regards to the Britons, the Celtic people of Great Britain (excluding Scotland) which ...


26

The first place that I would search is the British Newspaper Archive. Note that this site requires a subscription to actually view the newspapers, although it is free to search. If you have a subscription, it is possible to zoom in on the high-resolution scans of the newspapers, making it easier to read the stories than it is with many of the originals! ...


25

There is some research on the medieval cattle topic here which lists many cattle sizes throughout the history of cattle usage. This shows the following figures for medieval times (numbers are the height to the top of the shoulder): Saxo-Norman and High Medieval (11th-13th C) [110 cm (43.3") or 100-130 cm (39.4-51.2")] Later Medieval (14th-15th C) [...


25

The short answer is yes. The detail will depend on where in the world you are based. In the UK, for example, we have the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives. Their website includes a search form to help you find a researcher who can help you with this kind of research. However, having said that, I suggest having a look at the ...


24

According to Wikipedia, it was 30 years at birth. However, the reason for such mortality age is due to infant mortality. If you managed to survive until the age of 21, you could expect to live until 45 or (depending on source) mid 60's. Health A millennium of health improvement The average life expectancy for a male child born in the UK between ...


24

There is a lot that we do not fully understand about the details of the succession in Anglo Saxon England. Indeed, it seems quite likely that the role of the council ('witena ġemōt', or 'Witan', if you prefer) changed over time. It seems certain that the council maintained some role in the succession process throughout the period. However, in general, the ...


23

Modern practice is this, according to An Heraldic Alphabet (p. 231, 1996 edition) by former Clarenceux King of Arms, J.P. Brooke-Little: (edited to add -- this was a new addition to the 1996 edition, mentioned as a change in the heraldic laws.) "...If a woman entitled to arms marries a man who does not have arms, she may continue to use her maiden arms,...


23

It looks like it might fit a padlock of a design similar to this: The padlock is locked by inserting the shackle (u-shaped part) into the body so that the ward springs (arrowhead shaped part of the shackle) clip into it. The key is used by inserting it into the slot of the body so that the holes in the key align with the shackle and any other pins in the ...


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