Monthly Archives: July 2014

Mary and Louis of Orléans : A princely wedding in the summer of 1534

Marie de Guise’s first marriage

Marie de Guise-Lorraine 1515-2015

There are no pictures – neither of the young woman of eighteen, nor of her husband, Louis of Orléans, duke of Longueville, born 1510, the great chambellan of France. Mary of Guise, eldest daughter of duke Claude of Guise and Antoinette of Bourbon, was introduced to the French Court tree years ago, in march 1531, when she was only fifteen. It had been for a royal wedding, the second for king Francis I of France. His new queen was the sister of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, spanish raised Eleanor of Austria. From the descriptions in the Céremonial François, we know how Mary looked like when she followed the Queen from the Saint-Denis cathedral into the city of Paris.

But what gown wore Mary for her own wedding? How was her hair done? Which jewels did she wear? Only one thing we are sure of: there was no white…

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Where are the Goblins Now?

Sisters of The Bruce

Deep in a tangled forest lies a hidden treasure for history lovers. A few miles from the village of Gifford, the ruins of Yester Castle are almost lost, caught within a stranglehold of roots of great trees. Brambles clutch at the unwary who tread the faintly visible path down a gully into an old water course and up along a narrow spine of land. It would be easy to imagine a horde of goblins hiding in the woods, watching and waiting … but I get ahead of myself.
Yester Castle belonged to the Lords of Gifford (sometimes spelt Giffard, and mostly called Hugh or Hugo) an old Anglo-Norman family granted land in the glorious East Lothian area of southern Scotland around the time of David I in the 12th century. By my reckoning that makes them contemporaries of the early Bruces, the Lords of Annandale, ancestors of Robert the Bruce.

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The Development of the Mediaeval Town.

Mediaeval castles

If a map of medieval Europe is examined, it is quite striking to see the differences in where centres of population would form. Almost exclusively limited within the confines of Italy and the Mediterranean at the beginning of the 11th century, towns rapidly developed along the coasts of the north, in France, England, and the Netherlands. They spread out west along the Mediterranean coast, with Avignon, Barcelona and Granada in Spain taking prominence. More interesting however is the question of why towns didn’t form elsewhere, we see little to no development in the north-east of Europe. This essay will therefore look at the impact of developments in trade and commerce upon the towns which formed.

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To answer the question of how much urban independence could be developed, we must first understand how this essay defines a medieval town or city. It would not do for this essay to be concerned…

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