King Oswy of Northumbria was a follower of Celtic Christianity. When he married the daughter of King Edwin she brought with her the Roman Chistian tradition. The conflicts between the two traditions led to a meeting at Whitby where a new monastery had been recently founded. After several days of discussion the King chose to adopt the Roman traditions. The meeting is known as the Synod of Whitby.
Theodore of Tarsus arrived in England to become the new Archbishop of Canterbury. Under Theodore's leadship the structure of the English Church was changed. Lands were donated and new dioceses were created. Before this time bishops had a monastery but had no defined areas of their own and were missionaries. It was at around this time that the rule of St. Benedict was introduced into the country.
A bishop called Benedict Biscop, originally coming from Northumbria, had accompanied Theodore of Canterbury from Rome. Under Biscop's guidance the twin monasteries at Wearmouth and Jarrow for monks and nuns was founded. The monasteries became an important centre for learning and Biscop made several journeys to Rome to bring back books for the libraries at his monasteries. One of Biscop's pupils was Bede who was one of the most important scholars of his time. Bede wrote the Ecclesiastical History of the English People. This work detailed the history of the Anglo-Saxon people and has given us an understanding of the times that he lived in.
The abbey of Cluny was founded by William I, Duke of Aquitaine (d.918). The abbey became the founding member of a new Order of Monks known as the Cluniacs. All of Cluny's daughter houses sent money back to the abbey and it became very rich.
Eadwig sent Dunstan into exile. The reason for this is that Dunstan had caught Eadwig and Aelgifu together before they were married and at a time when Eadwig should have been attending an important meeting. Dunstan must have upset Eadwig at this point and was sent into exile.
Through the Winter months Aethelred provided the Vikings with lodgings and pound16,000 in cash to stop the raids on his land. Aethelred was also the sponsor at the baptism of Olaf Trygvasson. Olaf was given instruction from the Bishop of Winchester.
Bishop Aldhun, the first Bishop of Durham, consecrated a cathedral at the location where the remains of St. Cuthbert had been relocated to. The remains were at Lindisfarne and were moved because of the danger of Viking raids.
Aethelred paid the Vikings a sum of pound24,000 to try and stop further invasions. In an attempt to strengthen his position against the Vikings he married Emma, the daughter of Richard Duke of Normandy. Aethelred also ordered the murder of all Danes in England but some escaped to report back. Not surprisingly the Viking attacks started again.
Edward the Confessor is thought to have been born sometime between 1003 and 1005 at Islip in Oxfordshire. His father was Aethelred II, the Unready, and his mother was Emma of Normandy, daughter of Robert I, Earl of Normandy.
The Vikings captured Canterbury and obtained a payment of pound48,000. In a drunken rage the Vikings murdered Aelfheah, the Archbishop of Canterbury. Aelfheah was the man that had baptised Olaf Trygvasson in the Winter of 994. Outraged by the actions of his fellow men Thorkell the Tall defected to the side of Aethelred along with 45 Viking ships to help defend England from further Viking attacks.
The See of Devon and Cornwall had been located at Crediton in Devon but in 1050 Edward the Confessor moved the See to Exeter. This moved the cathedral from an obscure location to a more important one. Edward gave the new Bishopric to Leofric.
Stigand, the Bishop of Winchester, mediated in the conflicts between the Godwines and Edward the Confessor. The Norman Archbishop of Canterbury, Robert of Jumieges, fled the country with other bishops who had been appointed by Edward. Stigand assumed the title of Archbishop of Canterbury. Robert of Jumieges appealed to Pope Leo IX and Stigand was excommunicated.
Although the split between the East and West Churches can not easily be put down to one event, the conflict caused in 1054 between Pope Loe IX and the patriarch of Constantinople is often thought, rightly or wrongly, as the key moment. Pope Leo IX sent a delegation to Constantinople to discuss differences which resulted in the excommunication of the patriarch by the delegation and in return the excommunication of the delegation by the patriarch.
Odo,the Bishop or Bayeux, became William the Conqueror's deputy in England and was assisted by William Fitz Osbern until Osbern's death in 1071. Odo also became the Earl of Kent and his wealth and land became considerable.
William the Conqueror placed Lanfranc in the position of Archbishop of Canterbury a move designed to strengthen his hold on the English throne. Thomas of Bayeux, a pupil of William's brother Odo, was put in the position of Archbishop of York after the death of Ealred who died on September 11th, 1069. Archbishop Stigand was imprisoned in Winchester.
The first cathedral at Old Sarum was built between 1075 and 1092. Its builder was Bishop Osmund, who was supposed to be William the Conqueror's nephew. From 1072 until 1078, Osmund was William's Chancellor and in 1078 Osmund was given the title of Bishop of Salisbury.
At the Council of London Archbishop Lanfranc instigated the movement of many English Bishoprics to more important locations. One of these was the Bishopric of Sherborne and Wilton which moved to Old Sarum.
Osmond was a Norman who came to England with William the Conqueror. He exchanged his noble title for that of a religious one and became Bishop at Old Sarum after Herbert. Osmond continued the construction work of a new cathedral at Old Sarum.
The abbot of Monte Cassino, a man called Desiderius, was elected Pope a year after the death of the previous pope Gregory VII. His reign was not to last long as he retired to his abbey at Monte Cassino with ill health and died in September of 1087.
Work on rebuilding St. Paul's Cathedral started after the Old St. Paul's burnt down and a good deal of London as well. The person in charge of the rebuilding work was Mauritius, chaplain to William the Conqueror and Bishop of London. The new Cathedral was reportedly extremely large.
Urban II was elected Pope in 1088. His real name was Odo of Lagery and chose the name Urban when he became Pope. He had at first been a monk at the abbey at Cluny from 1070 and had become a prior there.
The cathedral at Old Sarum was completed and dedicated to Blessed Virgin. The cathedral was damaged by a storm only five days after the dedication service and the roof destroyed. The location of the cathedral meant it exposed to the wind and the sermons were sometimes drowned out by the sound.
Anselm became Archbishop of Canterbury in 1093 succeeding Lanfranc. The post of Archbishop of Canterbury had been held open by William Rufus so that he could collect for himself the church's income. Anselm died in 1109.
William fell ill early in this year and the illness was so serious that reports went out saying that he had died. William granted land to many religious houses in preparation for his death but when he recovered he claimed the land back.
Herbert de Losinga purchased the see (seat of the bishop) for the area around Norwich. The bishops seat was at Thetford but Herbert moved it to Norwich itself before starting the construction of a new cathedral.
At the Council of Piacenza a delegation visited Pope Urban II led by the Byzantine Emperor Alexius Comnenus to raise the problems he was having fighting the Muslims in the East. Pope Urban removed the excommunication that had been placed on the Emperor by Pope Gregory and promised to help.
On the last day of the Council or Clemont Pope Urban II preached about the oppression being inflicted on the Christians in the Middle East by the Muslim Seljuks. Christian churches were being destroyed and Christians attacked. The Pope called for the Christians in the West to help.
Following Pope Urban's speech at Clermont Peter the Hermit, a simple man with a powerful ability to move people by his words, started preaching for Christians to help their fellow Christians in the East. He started to gain a large number of followers eager to go to Jerusalem with promises of absolution and freedom from a life of hunger and depravation. His followers were poor, not prepared for the journey and not armed.
At Constantinople the Emperor Alexius welcomed Peter's army but there were too many people and no provision had been made for them. There was a general lack of discipline that resulted in repeated attacks and thefts from surrounding villages. Alexius warned Peter to wait for better trained troops to arrive before moving on but the pressure of the army was so great on Constantinople that they were forced to move before help could arrive.
While the People's Crusade led by Peter the Hermit was being crushed in the Holy Land, preparations for the First Crusade carried on in Europe. Those leaders involved were Raymond of Toulouse, Hughes Count of Vermandois, Robert Count of Flanders, Robert Duke of Normandy and Etienne Count of Blois. The leaders arranged to meet at Constantinople and set off taking different routes. Some followed the path across Europe taken by Peter the Hermit, while others took a more southerly routes via the Alps and the Adriatic.
When the crusaders arrived at Constantinople they were greeted by Emperor Alexius. The Emperor was happy for the crusaders to capture areas of the Holy Land but he wanted the land to be under his control. Alexius persuaded the Leaders of the crusaders to swear an oath of allegiance to him and to hand over the land they captured. They could however be allowed to live on and rule that land but not own it.
The abbey of Citeaux in Burgundy was founded by Robert of Mosleme. The abbey did not prosper until around 1113 when Stephen Harding became abbot and a couple of years later St. Bernard became the abbot of Clairvaux its daughter house. The abbey of Citeaux was the start of the massively important Cistercian Order.
William Rufus was buried under the tower of Winchester Cathedral. The tower fell down either in 1101 or 1107. The cause was blamed on the wickedness of the King's bones but was probably due to poor construction or uncertain foundations.
Disagreements began to arise between Henry I and Archbishop Anselm over the appointment of bishops and abbots into important Church positions. Anselm believed that it was a matter for the Church to decide and should not be controlled by the King. No concession could be agreed upon and once again Anselm went into exile as the King confiscated the lands that the archbishop owned.
Under threat of excommunication Henry I met Archbishop Anselm at Laigle in Normandy to settle the disputes that had led to the Archbishop's exile from England. An agreement was reached and Aneslm returned to england in the following year.
Gundulf's thirty year career of magnificent castle and cathedral design and construction came to an end with his death. His plans for the reconstruction of Rochester Cathedral were left incomplete. It was not until 1115 that construction work was to resume under the direction of Ernulf.
Robert was the son Walter, the 6th High Steward of Scotland, and Marjorie Bruce the daughter of Robert I, King of the Scots. Robert was born in 1316. Because it was thought that Robert I would die without an male heir it was decided that his daughter''s son, Robert, should become king if circumstances did not change. Circumstances did change with the birth of a boy to Robert I''s second wife Elizabeth. The boy became David II, king of Scotland after the death of Robert I. It was not until the death of David II in 1371 that Robert, at the age of fifty-five, became King of Scotland. Robert had many children, possibly twenty or more. The marriage to his first wife, Elizabeth Mure, was considered invalid as they were closely related but his second marriage to Euphemia Ross, was declared legal. The problems other the legitimacy of his children would prove to be a source of dispute for his descendants. Robert died at the age of seventy-four and was succeeded by his son John, Earl of Carrick, who took the name Robert III.
Bernard at the age of 22, his brothers and several Burgundian nobles reached the monastery at Citeaux. As there had not been any new novices for some years, Stephen Harding, the abbot, accepted them willingly.
The Count of Champagne was preparing to travel to the Holy Land when he received a letter from the bishop of Chartres. The letter stated that the count was planning to join 'la milice du Christ' (the original name for the Templars ?). This seems to indicate that the order existed at this time, as the letter speaks of chastity, something not usually expected of a Crusader.
Alexander I founded this abbey on an island in the middle of the Forth river in Scotland. The Scottish king took refuge on the island in a storm and rewarded the hermit who looked after him with the foundation of a church.
Founded by Stephen, the future King of England, Furness Abbey was built near Barrow in Furness. Initially the order was Savigniac but were later converted to Cistercians in 1147 when the orders were merged.
Hugh de Payens may have been granted the land for the first Temple Church in London at this time. Consisting of an orchard, a cemetery, a round church. The position was possibly at the end of Chancery Lane. The temple was moved in 1161.
The Council of Troyes took place. Its aim was to consider the claim of the Knights Templars represented by Hughes de Payen and Andre de Montbard and was brought about by Bernard of Clairvaux. The Council provided papal approval for the Templars and resulted in many new recruits joining the order. The Order was provided it with its first rule, the Latin Rule.
The construction of a new choir was started at Canterbury Cathedral in 1093 by Prior Ernulf and completed by Prior Conrad was dedicated in the presence of Henry I, David of Scotland and many English Earls.
Initially Forde Abbey was situated at Brightly in Devon, but the site proved too difficult and in 1141 it was moved to its current location 4 miles south east of Chard in Somerset. The founding Cistercian monks came from Waverly Abbey in Surrey.
A Cistercian abbey was founded by monks from Tintern Abbey. The location of the abbey altered several times in the first few years, but finally settled at Kingswood in Gloucestershire. A sixteenth-century gatehouse is all that remains.
A Papal Bull issued by Pope Innocent II, a former Cistercian monk and proteacutegeacute of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, stated that the Knight Templars should owe allegiance to no one other than the Pope himself. This meant that the Templars answered to no one not even Kings or other political or religious authorities.
The construction of the abbey church of St Denis in Paris, the first Gothic Cathedral was begun in aorund 1140. Combining stained glass windows, flying buttresses, choir vaulting and rib vaults, it was a daring innovation in architecture. The specifications were set by the abbot of St Denis, Suger.
A new Cistercian abbey at Revesby was founded by monks from Rievaulx in this year. The abbey was founded by William de Roumare I, earl of Lincoln and the first abbot was Ailred, who moved back to Rievaulx in 1146 to become the head of that abbey.
The first formal Papal Bull of Crusade or 'Bulla cruciata' calling on France to restore the Holy Land to Christendom was issued by Pope Eugenius III, together with 'Quantum praedecessors' which was reissued on the 1st of March 1146.
At the Diet of Speyer the emperor Conrad III took the cross and secured the election of his son Henry as his successor in Germany. He was persuaded to take part in the crusade by the the Abbot of Clairvaux, St. Bernard.
The order of Savigny became part of the larger Cistercian movement in this year. The Savigny order was having trouble running its abbeys and it was decided that a merger with the more prosperous Cistercian order was advantageous for both sides.
Located in the Forest of Dean, in Gloucestershire, the remains of this Cistercian abbey are in the grounds of a private house. The abbey's benefactor was Roger, Earl of Hereford and it was populated by monks from Bordesley Abbey.
The Anglo-Saxon Chronicles are a series of historical timelines originally compiled on the orders of King Alfred the Great. The chronicles were maintained and added to by generations of anonymous scribes until the last entry was made in 1154.
A double election took place after the death of Pope Adrian IV. In February 1160, the council of Pavia choose Victor IV, but by the summer of 1160 the English, Norman and French churches had chosen Cardinal Roland Bandinelli.
Alexander III was elected to the position of Pope after the death of Adrian IV. Alexander was supported by the English and the French, but the Germans supported and elected a second Pope known as Octavian.
Under the direction of the new Bishop of Paris, Maurice de Sulley, a new church was planned for Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The major construction work would last until around 1235 while minor construction would continue for another 100 years after that. The existing church was pulled down and construction work began in 1163.
Thomas Becket was consecrated as Archbishop of Canterbury on June 3rd. He accepted the pallium sent by the Pope on August 10th. A pallium is a piece of clothe sent by the Pope and is woven from white lamb's wool. It is draped around the neck.
Bishop Maurice de Sulley united the two Cathedrals of Paris, St. Stephen's and the Blessed Virgin with the construction of Notre Dame Cathedral and laid the foundations of the new building that was designed by Eudes de Montreuil.
The council held at the Royal Palace of Woodstock near Oxford was the scene for a clash between Henry II and Thomas Becket over the control of payments to Sheriffs. Becket opposed the plan and was going to oppose more of Henry's reforms in the near future.
Henry II put his plans before the Council of Westminster to reform the judicial system allowing the courts power over members of the Church which had the luxury of their own courts. Thomas Becket stood against the plans starting a rift between him and Henry that would led to Becket's death.
The Constitutions of Clarendon were series of statements laid down by Henry II regarding the relationship between the church and the state. One statement was the cause for the rift between Henry and Thomas Becket, that said that a member of the church who committed a crime should be available to be tried in a state court and not just a church one. Clarendon is near Salisbury.
At the Council of Northampton the Welsh rebellion and the Constitution of Clarendon were discussed. The Council tried Thomas Becket and found him guilty of perjury for failure to appear at Council and heresy. Becket was sentenced to forfeiture of his possessions. The sentence was quashed by King Alexander III and Becket fled to Lincoln on the 14th and then France in early November.
Henry II of England, Louis VII of France and Thomas Becket met at Montmirail to hold peace talks. Becket submitted to Henry excepting only on one point, and the negotiations failed. A second meeting took place at St. Leger-en-Yvelines, and a papal ultimatum was served on Henry.
King Henry II sent word to England saying that the conflict with Thomas Becket was at an end and his lands should be restored. Hearing this Becket returned to England landing on the south coast at Sandwich.
On Christmas Day Thomas Becket took to the pulpit at Canterbury Cathedral and gave his sermon. At the end of the sermon he excommunicated several of his enemies who had taken part in his earlier troubles with the King.
When Henry II heard that Thomas Becket had returned to England and was threatening to excommunicate his opponents, his outrage was such that four knights overhearing the King travelled to England and killed Becket inside Canterbury Cathedral.
King Henry II returned to England and visited Henry of Blois, the bishop of Winchester who was dying. He also met with Lord Rhys, the important south Wales prince. A series of meetings took place during 1171 and 1172 where an agreement was reached whereby Lord Rhys could keep his land and was given the title justiciar of south Wales.
The Compromise of Avranches. Even though Henry II was cleared of involvement in Thomas Becket's murder, he did penance before the Cathedral at Avranches in Normandy. The compromise was a deal struck between Henry and the church over the matter of Becket's death.
Canterbury Cathedral suffered another disastrous fire and was damaged so badly that it needed almost completely rebuilding. William of Sens was given the task of constructing a new Cathedral. William was injured by a fall from scaffolding and the work was continued by William the Englishman.
Earth tremors damaged the Cathedral at Lincoln beyond repair. The earthquake must have been very powerful as it was said that it was felt throughout the country. Only the West front survived in good shape and rest of the building had to be demolished.
The Christian Army of Jerusalem was beaten by Turkish forces at the Battle of Hattin. Guy of Lusignan was King of Jerusalem at this time. All Knights Templars and Hospitallers who survived the battle were executed afterwards. The Archbishop of Tyre, a man called Josias, was dispatched from the city to Europe to inform the Pope and European leaders of the disaster that had taken place and to ask for help.
Jerusalem fell to the Muslims and the al-Asqu mosque was returned to Islam. The Muslims allowed four Christian Priests to hold services in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. This was in contrast to the first Crusaders who since they first captured the city in 1099 had treated Jerusalem as theirs alone. The Muslim leader was Al-Malik al-Nasir Salad ed-Din Yusuf also known as Saladin.
When Josias, the Archbishop of Tyre, reached Rome and the Papel Court he informed Pope Urban III of the disaster at Hattin. The Pope was is poor health and the news was too much for him to bare ahd he died. Gregory VIII was elected as Pope but his reign only lasted for two months. Gregory died on 17th of December at Pisa.
Richard took the Cross. Before going on a Crusade a vow was taken and the person was given a piece of cloth in the shape of a cross to be sown onto the surcoat. To go on a Crusade meant a person was granted a plenary indulgence which freed them from the terrors of purgatory and hell if they killed the enemy and gave them the promise of eternal life in heaven.
After the damaging earth tremors of 1185 Bishop Hugh of Lincoln started rebuilding work on the Cathedral at Lincoln. His new scheme was followed even after his death apart from minor alterations up to the completion of the Angel Choir in 1280.
The Crown Wearing. Richard took part in a precession to Winchester Cathedral. The king wore a golden crown and was followed by notables from the Church and State. The previous Crown Wearing was in 1158.
Modifications to the west end of the church were undertaken under the direction of the abbot John de Cella. The plan was to add an extra three bays to the existing structure. Progress was slow due to mismanagement of the funds and when John de Cella died not much progress had been achieved. The work was completed under the direction of the next abbot, William of Trumpington.
King John had been married to Isabella of Gloucester for several years but they had no children. When John became king he quickly obtained a divorce leaving himself free to arrange a marriage that would give him political gain. Within the year he would marry Isabella of Angouleme, the daughter of an important baron in Aquitaine.
Founded by King John who wanted to become an object of prayer by the Cistercian order. The abbey was built on the site of a hunting lodge in the New Forest and was colonised by monks directly from Citeaux.
When Hubert Walter died a dispute began between King John and the monks of Canterbury over who should become the new Archbishop of Canterbury. King John wanted John de Grey, Bishop of Norwich, to have the position but the monks wanted their sub-prior, Reginald. The matter was delayed until December when a mission sent to Rome could consult the Pope. Reginald himself went as part of the mission and stated that he had been elected by the monks. When King John heard of this he demanded that De Gray should be elected and the monks dutifully did.
Although the monks of Canterbury wanted their own sub-prior for the post of Archbishop and King John wanted John de Gray, Pope Innocent III chose Stephen Langton. Langton was originally from Lincolnshire but after teaching in Paris had moved to Rome where he had become a Cardinal. The monks of Canterbury accepted the Pope's decision and voted Langton in as the new Archbishop. King John did not agree.
The Pope threatened King John with the sentence of Interdict unless he accepted Stephen Langton as Archbishop of Canterbury. An Interdict meant that church services would be banned in England except for baptisms and confessions.
Peter of Castelnau, the papal legate, was murdered by heretics belonging to the Albigensains. The Albigensains were an extreme religious group based in the south of France. The Pope wanted them to cease their opposition to the Church. The murder led to the start of the Albegensian Crusade that would destroy the heretics.
With King John still refusing to accept Langton as Archbishop the Pope served the sentence of Interdict on England. In response King John confiscated church property. Many of the bishops of the great churches in the country fled abroad to the Continent.
In Northampton the Papal legate Pandulf served King John with his excommunication ordered by the Pope. For John this was a serious blow to his ability to rule the country as it absolved the King's subjects from their oaths of allegiance, gave the Barons reason to revolt and allowed the King of France to invade England to remove John from power.
A mysterious Crusade supposed to have consisted of children from Germany and possibly France. How young the children were who took part is not known and they may not have been children at all. The Crusaders did not get very far and many of those that took part never came back. They were either killed or sold into slavery.
A new site 2 miles from the original site at Old Sarum was chosen for the new Salisbury Cathedral. For a cathedral the construction work was completed in a very short time and the building was consecrated in 1258 only 38 years later.
At his coronation in Westminster Abbey, Henry was reminded of his duties at king to maintain peace, defend the rights of the crown and to dispense justice where required. Henry was only around thirteen years old. The day before the coronation Henry laid the foundation stone of a new Lady Chapel at the Abbey.
Stephen Langton returned to England and resumed the role of Archbishop of Canterbury. He performed a ceremony in Canterbury in which relics from St. Thomas Becket were put in a tomb. The 7th of July became St. Thomas of Canterbury's Day a major holy day.
Grace Dieu Abbey was founded in this year. It was a daughter house of the Cistercian abbey at Dore near Hereford. The foundation would have been earlier but the abbey was attacked and burnt by the Welsh in 1223. The abbey was situated near Monmouth, but no real remains can now be seen.
The Sixth Crusade was won with diplomacy by Frederick II, who had married the heiress of Jerusalem in 1225. He went to the East to claim his right to the throne, and taking advantage of internal disputes between the Sultan's family members, concluded the Treaty of Jaffa, which gave Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Nazareth back to the Christians.
On the death of Stephen Langton, the archbishop of Canterbury, the Pope, attempting to raise as much money from the clergy in England filled senior posts in the clergy with anyone who bidded the highest.
Pope Gregory IX condemned the links that both the Knights Templar and Knights Hospitaller had with the Assassin fighters in the Middle East. He issued a Bull, a formal proclamation issued by the pope, preventing further contact with the Assassins.
King Henry III married Eleanor, one of four daughters of Raymond count of Provence. Eleanor was 14 years old. Simon de Montfort, as Lord High Steward, took care of the banquet and kitchen arrangements. The ceremony took place at Canterbury Cathedral.
Simon de Montfort married Henry III's sister, Eleanor secretly. She had been married to William, Earl of Pembroke (son of William Marshal?), but he died early and left her with his wealth. The Barons were not happy with this arrangement as they were not consulted.
The Crusade of Theobald of Champagne and the King of Navarre was a French expedition that did little, except obtain concessions from Damascus in Galilee, and Ascalon from Egypt. Richard of Cornwall, the brother of Henry III, arrived after Theobald had left, but managed to strengthen both concessions in Galilee, and the fortifications at Ascalon.
In London, the central tower and the choir of St. Paul's had been rebuilt during the first part of the thirteenth century and by 1240, building work was completed. Some changes were made at the end of this century, but then no major alterations occurred until after the Reformation.
The Chapter-house at Lichfield has two storeys, the lower one for the meetings and the upper one for the library. The building is roughly octagonal in shape, but two sides are double the length of the others.
Henry received a relic from the patriarch of Jerusalem consisting of a portion of the blood of Christ in a crystal vase. Henry walked with the vase in his hands clothed in a course robe from the treasury in St. Paul's to the church of Westminster where mass was said. He was assisted by attendants on both sides in case he slipped and dropped the vase.
After the Christians were defeated at Gaza in 1244, King Louis IX of France took the cross. He only managed to set sail for Cyprus some four years later, landing at Damietta in June of 1249, Louis had to wait until the Nile floods had reduced before continuing for Cairo. Held up and cut off from Damietta, the French King's camp was struck with disease and most of his men were killed or captured. Louis was taken prisoner and had to pay a ransom to be freed.
Henry III's daughter Margaret married Alexander III, king of the Scots, at York Minster. Both bride and groom were under the age of eleven at the time of the wedding. The festivities were huge as many members of the English and Scottish courts attended the wedding.
At the age of fifteen Prince Edward traveled from Portsmouth with his mother and the Archbishop of Canterbury to marry Eleanor of Castile the half-sister of the King Alfonso X of Castile. Both Edward were Eleanor are descended from Henry II. They arrived in Burgos, the capital of Castile, in August where the marriage was due to take place.
Work began on the construction of the Angel Choir at Lincoln Cathedral in order to house the body of St. Hugh. Work was completed in 1280. The celebration of the movement of the body was attended by King Edward I, the Queen and many important figures of the time.
Sections of the Norman apses at the eastern end of the church at St. Albans were damaged during the earthquake of 1250. It was decided to knock these down and replace them with a plan based on work that had been carried out at Westminster Abbey. The work took over sixty years to complete due to periods when funds were lacking.
Simon's son was sent to London to raise money and troops. He diverted back through Winchester which was loyal to the king and then moved through Oxford and Northampton. Edward (I) moved from Worcester to Bridgnorth destroying bridges and means of allowing Simon who was on the Welsh side of the Avon from crossing back. The people of Bristol, friendly to Simon's cause sent ships to Newport to help Simon cross, but they were intercepted and destroyed by Edward.
Prince Edward took the cross in preparation for a Crusade from Ottobuono Fieschi, the papal legate. Ottobuono Fieschi had been sent to help both Henry and Edward sort out troubles at home and was an important factor in the country's rule from 1265 to 1268.
Sufficient parts of Westminster Abbey were completed for the monks to hold their first service in the new building. October 13th was chosen possibly to commemorate the moving of Edward the Confessor's body just over 100 hundred years earlier. King Henry III died before he could witness the completion of the whole church.
King Louis IX of France once again set out on Crusade, not to the east but towards Tunis. Charles, the brother of Louis, influenced the direction as Charles had plans in the East. At Cathage in July, the plague broke out and in August Louis died.
A phial containing the blood of Jesus was presented to abbey of Hailes by the son of Richard, Earl of Cornwall. The phial had been guaranteed by the Patriarch of Jerusalem and had been bought from the Count of Flanders in 1267. A section of the abbey was rebuilt to hold the relic, and it was held in a purpose built shrine. A similar relic had been presented to the King Henry III several years before in 1247.
Edward I ordered the Jews to stop lending money and charging high rates of interest (usury). Instead, Edward suggested that the Jews should become farmers or learn crafts to earn a living. The Church controlled many of the trade guilds so it was impossible for the Jews to join and it was not possible for them to suddenly learn how to farm land. This led to hardship for many and some resorted to coin clipping. This meant shaving small amounts of metal from coins and melting the shavings down to sell for profit.
King Edward I raised the penalty for coin clipping from banishment to execution. Many Jews were arrested in London for coin clipping and almost 300 of them were executed for the crime. The practice entailed cutting slivers of metal off coins and forging new coins from the small pieces.
King Edward I and Queen Eleanor visited Glasonbury Abbey and ordered that the tomb of King Arthur be opened for their inspection. In a ceremony the remains were taken to the high altar and then reburied.
As Edward travelled with the body of his wife Eleanor from Harby near Lincoln where the Queen died to Westminster a series of crosses were later erected at each location that the body rested over night. These are known as the 'Eleanor Crosses'
Edward I died at Burgh-upon-the-Sands on the Solway with Scotland in view across the Firth. Right up until his death Edward's priority was the realms that he ruled. After his death Edward's body was embalmed and transported to Waltham Abbey in Essex. Here it lay unburied for several weeks presumably so that people could come and see the body lying in state. After this the body was taken to Westminster Abbey for a proper burial.
King Philippe of France ordered the arrest of all Knight Templars in France. The order to arrest the Templars was sent out several weeks before the date possibly giving the Templars time to hide their wealth.
Edward had delayed having the body of Gaveston buried until he had taken revenge for the murder, but because the King was powerless to act against the Ordainers, he decided to hold a lavish ceremony to bury his dead friend.
King Edward III married Philippa of Hainault at York Minster. The marriage was arranged as many were at the time. The arrangement was organised as early as 1323, when she was not yet nine years old. The Bishop of Exeter visited Hainault to see the girl.
King Edward III of England established the Order of the Garter, the first English order of knighthood. It was based on the Knights of the Round Table and King Arthur. The name of the order is supposed to have originated when Edward III picked up a garter that had been lost on the dance floor during a banquet. Edward tied the garter around his own leg telling all present not to pass judgement. The garter may have belonged to the beautiful Joan of Kent. Joan was later to marry Edward's son, the Black Prince.
To celebrate St. George's day Edward III held a large tournament at Windsor Castle. Edward, the Black Prince, oversaw the proceedings in which kings and nobles from all over Europe were given safe passage to take part in.
Under the direction of Archbishop Thoresby the eastern end of the building was extended elongating the choir. The architectural fashion of Decorated Gothic was changing to Perpendicular Gothic as this construction work was undertaken.
John Wycliffe was tried for heresy at the court of the bishop of London at St. Paul's. Wycliffe was supported by John of Gaunt but the trial failed to convict the religious reformer when it ended in riots and chaos.
Westminster Abbey was closed for several months after a murder took place in the Choir. The Abbey was not reopened for services until it was reconsecrated. Two knights called Schakell and Hawle had taken a Spanish Count prisoner whilst fighting with the Black Prince. As usual a ransom was required for the release of the Count. The Count was allowed to return to Spain to organise the ransom leaving his son as a hostage to ensure the ransom was paid. At this time John of Gaunt was in the process of acquiring the crown of Castile and the saga with the Count's son was an embarrassment. When the two knights refused to release their prisoner they were arrested and sent to the Tower of London. They managed to escape from the Tower and fled to Westminster Abbey and sanctuary, but this was ignored by a group of soldiers led by the Constable of the Tower, Alan Boxhall. Schakell was captured but Hawle and a monk were murdered in the Choir. Several of those involved were excommunicated meaning that they could not be buried after their deaths.
The marriage of King Richard II and the seven or eight year-old Isabella of Valois took place at Calais. Isabella was the daughter of Charles VI, King of France and Isabeau of Bavaria. Richard was near thirty years old but the marriage went ahead because it was part of a peace treaty between the English and French Kings.
Alien priories were those in England who were dependant on usually French mother houses. During the Hundred Years War these priories were seen as a security risk. They also were a means of transferring much needed English money to France. A law was passed confiscating these priories. Many were transferred over to other religious orders.
Joan was granted an audience with the dauphin at Vaucouleurs. At the meeting Charles had disguised himself as a servant and had a servant dress as himself. Joan was not fooled and picked the king out. Charles was impressed when Joan told him that God had told her that he was the true heir.
Joan's main objective was to liberate Paris from the Burgundians, but first she needed to free Compiegne. It was during the fighting here that she was wounded again and this time captured. Joan was then sold to the English who handed her over to the Church. As Compiegne was under the bishopric of Beauvais Joan was delivered to Pierre Cauchon, the Bishop of Beauvais, who led the trial.
A parliament was held at Bury St. Edmunds where the Duke of Gloucester was accused of treason and arrested. It was said that he was planning an uprising against the king. The accusations were made falsely by the Duke of Suffolk. Gloucester died only days after his arrest.
Edmund Tudor married Margaret Beaufort, the heiress of the Duke of Somerset. Margaret was only twelve years old. Edmund Tudor and Margaret Beaufort were the parents of Henry Tudor, the future King of England, Henry VII.
Lightning once again hit the wooden and lead spire at Norwich Cathedral causing a fire that spread to the roof. After this disaster stone was used in the roof to provide vaulting and used in the new spire to replace the wood.
Edward arranged for his sister Margaret to marry Charles the Duke of Burgundy. Burgundy had for some time been a supporter of the Yorkists and this marriage strengthened the bond. For Warwick, this was a disaster. Warwick had been attempting to make an alliance with France and that was not about to happen.
Warwick and the Duke of Clarence travelled to France where Clarence was married to Warwick's fifteen year old daughter Isabel. The ceremony was conducted by Warwick's brother George Neville the Archbishop of York.
King Edward IV's wife Elizabeth gave birth to her first son. Elizabeth had taken refuge at Westminster Abbey after King Henry VI had been restored to the throne by the Earl of Warwick and King Edward had fled to Burgundy. The baby was named Edward and would be heir to the English throne.
The marriage between Edward of Lancaster, the son of Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou, to Anne Neville, the daughter of Richard Neville the Kingmaker was a marriage to cement the agreement that Richard and Margaret would support each other and try to get Henry VI back on the English throne. The marriage took place in France at the Chateau d'Amboise where Margaret and Edward were exiled.
Pope Julius II gave permission for the marriage between Catherine of Aragon and Henry VIII. The legality of the marriage was in question because Catherine had been married to Henry's elder brother Arthur.
Upset by the abuses he saw in the Catholic Church, Martin Luther nailed the Ninety-five Theses to the door of the church of Wittenberg. The abuses included the practice of selling high positions in the Church for money and the sale of indulgences allowing those with enough wealth to be forgiven for their sins.
Henry VIII told Catherine of Aragon that their marriage was invalid because she had earlier been married to his brother Arthur. Anne Boleyn, who Henry had become besotted with, wanted Henry to divorce Catherine and to marry her.
Albeit the king's majesty justly and rightfully is and ought to be the supreme head of the Church of England, and so is recognised by the clergy of this realm in their convocations, yet nevertheless, for corroboration and confirmation thereof, and for increase of virtue in Christ's religion within the realm of England, and to repress and extirpate all errors, heresies and other abuses heretofore used in the same, be it enacted by authority of this present Parliament, that the king of our sovereign lord, his heirs and successors , kings of this realm, shall be taken, accepted and reputed the only supreme head on earth of the Church of England, called Anglicana Eccesia and shall have and enjoy, annexed and united to the imperial crownof this realm, as well the title and crown thereof, as all honours , pre-eminences, jurisdictions, privilages, authorities, immunities, profits and commodities to the said dignity of the supreme head of the same church belonging and appertaining and that our said sovereign lord, his heirs and successors, kings of this realm, shall have full power and authority from time to time to visit, repress, redress, record, order, correct, retrain and amend all such errors, heresies, abuses, offences,contempts and enormities, wahtsoever they be, which by any manner of spiritual authority or jurisdiction ought or may lawfully be reformed, repressed, ordred, redressed, corrected, restrained, or amended, most of the pleasure of Almighty God, the increase of virtue in Christ's religion and for the conservation of the peace , unity and tranquillity of this realm any usage, foreign law, foreign authority, prescription or any other thing of things to the contrary notwithstanding.
Henry VIII obtained much needed money by suppressing hundreds of religious houses across the country and selling off their lands and assets. The monasteries, abbeys and nunneries had in the past played an important role in the fabric of medieval life. Not only had they acted as a place of worship, but they were also a centre for education, refuge for travellers and provided food for the poor. But times were changing and education was being provided by newly created universities and inns were providing a place for travellers. Less people were interested in a monastic life. Henry and Thomas Cromwell sent out surveyors to report on the state of each religious community, starting with the smaller houses first. Those houses that were badly run or where disipline for the religious order they followed had become slack were closed down immediately and their lands and assets taken. The abbots were offered pensions or money to surrender their houses but also threatened with violence if they did not. Several abbots were executed for not surrendering their abbeys. The inhabitants of the houses were sent to larger abbeys or just abandoned. A second round of suppression followed that concentrated on the larger religious houses. But the suppression did not come without a cost. Several revolts were sparked by the Dissolution of the Monasteries.
Henry VIII ordered the destruction of the shrine of Thomas Becket at Canterbury Cathedral and the removal of all the offerings that had been made over the centuries. The bones were supposed to have been burned but may have been reburied sparking a mystery over the location of the remains today.
After a lengthy siege failed to take the well defended castle at St. Andrews, Mary of Guise asked the French for help. The castle at St. Andrews was captured and the Protestant leaders and John Knox were taken into custody.
Elizabeth agreed to attend a mass but when the day came she pretended to be ill and only took part under protest. Elizabeth had refused to attend any Catholic ceremony including the one that Mary had arranged after the death of Edward. Mary and Elizabeth disagreed strongly over religion.
A group of Scottish Lords signed a covenant promising to support the advancement 'the most blessed Word of God' and to push forward the Reformation in Scotland. This was a move against what they saw as the threat from France which came from the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots to the French Dauphin. They called themselves the Lords of the Congregation.
The army Charles had put together was no match for the Scottish army under the command of Leslie and so the King signed the Treaty of Berwick. While the Scots returned home happy that they could deal with their own church affairs, Charles had no intensions of abiding by the terms of the treaty and used the treaty as a means of gaining time to plan his next move.