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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 ...


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) ...


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! ...


19

tl; dr No, Edward III paid a token tribute of £1,000 in 1333 (in expectation of receiving papal favours in return). In 1365, the English parliament debated the latest papal demand for tribute. They concluded that John’s original surrender of the realm to the Pope had been invalid, since it had lacked the assent of the bishops. From the perspective of the ...


16

SHORT ANSWER From the point of view of the English king and parliament, England stopped being a Papal fief in 1365. In 1365 parliament debated the latest papal request and concluded that John’s original surrender of the realm had been invalid since it had lacked the assent of the bishops. This marked the formal end to English recognition of the ...


13

Short answer The two accounts cited in your question are not so much contradictory as very short versions of what was a lengthy series of negotiations over many months. The 1360 Treaty of Bretigny, which ceded sovereignty over large parts of France to Edward III, was an important part of Henry V’s demands but the English King wanted more than just French ...


13

Firstly, it is worth noting that the Black Death actually reached England in June 1348, not in the twelfth century as you stated. But to answer your specific question, no the idea of appointing escheators wasn't caused by the Black Death. The system for of appointing escheators was initiated in 1232, and by 1341 had already achieved the form that was to ...


13

The short answer is we're not sure. When the Roman State was in decline and had to withdraw from England, (coincidentally?) Germanic tribal power was on the increase. That left a power vacuum in England at the same latitudes that coastal Germanic tribes were already living on the opposite shore of the North Sea. Unfortunately, it also left a literacy vacuum,...


12

The Erenow site has an image of the seal on it's page titled The Fears of Henry IV, although it isn't particularly high resolution, and doesn't provide further details for the source of the image: This seems to match the description that you mentioned on p 242 of Charles Boutell's English Heraldry "... a very remarkable Seal, used by HENRY IV. a short ...


12

Ell In England, the ell was usually 45 in (1.143 m), or a yard and a quarter. It was mainly used in the tailoring business but is now obsolete. Although the exact length was never defined in English law, standards were kept; the brass ell examined at the Exchequer by Graham in the 1740s had been in use "since the time of Queen Elizabeth". Selvedge A ...


10

With one hinge folded we see a four-column matrix affording an unusual crosswise reading. It's probably custom work, as none of us have located a similar object online, and isn't really a ruler at all: the discontinuity at the other hinge makes any length measurement onto the second half incorrect. This device had perhaps three functions: to exhibit the high ...


10

There are two contemporary accounts of those festivities - "Langham letter" and "The Princely Pleasures at the Courte at Kenelwoorth". These have a certain discrepancy in how they describe this particular episode, but none of them mentions the dolphin being underwater, or it being an automaton. Here's how the author of "Princely Pleasures" describes the ...


10

According to the chronicler Orderic Vitalis (1075 – c. 1142), most of the royal treasure was recovered: The dwellers on the coast, as soon as they ascertained that the reports of the disaster was well founded, dragged to the shore the wreck of the ship, with the whole of the royal treasure; and almost all that was in the vessel, the crew and ...


10

Although marked as obsolete in the O.E.D. (1928), this oldest meaning for the word leisure is attested as late as 1640: Leisure: a. Freedom or opportunity to do something specified or implied b. opportunity


10

"Stave" is/was the plural of "staff"... "ton" is the root of "town" but the original term meant something closer to "enclosed place". So it's possible that the name originated from a place that was enclosed with staffs... But towns also took their names from specialty products that were produced there... so it is also possible that the town produced "staves"...


10

The hand gesture showing the middle fingers together has been variously described as a ‘W’ or ‘pseudo-zygodactylous gesture’ or the ‘El Greco gesture’. It seems to have originated in late renaissance or Mannerism period from 1520 to the late 17th century, and was subsequently adopted by many artists in later periods. El Greco was not the first to use this ...


10

Many, including William II, Henry I, Stephen, Henry II, John, Henry IV, Edward IV, Richard III, Henry VII, William III, Mary II, Anne, George I (i.e., were not next heir of previous monarch by primogeniture). Richard III is squishy. It depends whether Edward V and his brother were already dead. Note that I was explicit about how I interpreted "line of ...


10

Cromwell was a Puritan, and Puritan were scriptural literal-ists. They found no scriptural justification for the celebration of Christmas. They associated it with paganism, and residual Papist idolatry. To be fair Christmas traditions in seventeenth century Britain were pretty boisterous.. The Puritans believed in plain dress, no singing (outside of ...


9

The short answer is that the members of Court of Exchequer were called Barons because that was members of that court were called. The answer is that the titles and court were created in the 1190's when there was no such thing as the House of Lords and titles were not regulated as they were later. To show that not all Barons are in the House of Lords. ...


9

I offer this only because no one has yet provided a more informed answer. A few centuries earlier, writing in the early Eighth century, St Bede complained in his 'History of the English Church and People' [also sometimes called 'Ecclesiastical History of the English People'] that in his day people of influence were taking advantage of the exemption of ...


7

Here is my two penn'orth: Whatever D means, it translates to 9 shillings and fourpence, which is 112 pennies. 112 is the number of pounds in a (British) hundredweight. (These units, shilling and hundredweight, were still taught when I was at school in the 1960's.) So I suggest that D means pennies. Pennies were divided into four farthings prior to 1960, ...


7

Biographies of both Mowat and Kingsford are in agreement that the final round of envoys to Paris, in spring 1415, negotiated in apparent good faith and were willing to relent on Henry's claim to the French throne in return for concessions beyond that to which the French were willing to agree. The counter terms from the French were apparently such to ...


7

Robert Bartlett, professor of Medieval History at the University of St Andrews, has written that the success of Henry II's short cross type coinage issued in 1180 was so great that no one was willing even to tamper with its inscription, so that English pennies bore the legend 'King Henry' throughout the reigns of Richard I and John. Source: Robert ...


6

tl; dr Yes, you could get bail in the Victorian period. No, it didn't have to be in cash. Yes, someone else could provide the sureties required by the court. Some women could provide the sureties required by the court if they wished to. Wives could only do so in the later part of the Victorian period (when they were actually permitted to own property in ...


6

This is an example of frankalmoin, a type of feudal land tenure where land was given to the church free of any military, religous or secular service. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frankalmoin The practice came into disrepute when grants of land were made to the church and then leased back to the donor. In this case, the grant was made to the Church but ...


6

This is what the War of the Roses was about. The Houses of Lancaster and York fought each other until the Lancaster branch went extinct. For a moment it seemed like things may have ended there -- which is to say, England moving on, with an usurper on the throne. But the House of Tudor inherited the Lancastrian claim, and its supporters ultimately prevailed.


5

The Court of Common Pleas Wikipedia: Court of Common Pleas This was created to hear "common pleas", that is cases between subject and subject which did not directly involve the king. It was also granted jurisdiction to review and amend the decisions of older courts. It was also known as the 'Common Bench'. The Court of Common Pleas was headed by a Chief ...


5

Some time ago, a relative contacted the British Museum about this item and I have just received their feedback. The museum staff admit it had "several" of them puzzled so they contacted the Museum of the History of Science at Oxford. In sum, they came up with the following: The item pictured is known as a Ready Reckoner; these were used for "quickly pricing ...


4

The etymology of the word leisure traces it back to "license," permission to do something. In the context of a mine, it would mean permission to extract the ore. Later, the connotation of the term changed to "take it easy," or permission to not do anything.The source opines that it may have developed in tandem with, or along the lines of, "pleasure," ...


4

A good resource is this page on the National Archive's site. It's a very useful page, listing several different ways you can read historic newspapers, such as websites and physical locales. You may not be able to find much (many of the websites are paywalled or are for a different location), but there is some stuff. For example, here's some news about ...


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