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Author Archives: stokerpoe19

1322 – Robert the Bruce Defeats England’s Edward II at the Battle of Byland Moor

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Made famous in the movie Braveheart, Robert the Bruce would become King Robert I of Scotland (he was crowned in 1306, but the Scottish War for Independence would last nearly twenty more years).  He defeated English forces in Battle before, but his chances of victory increased when King Edward I died and was succeeded by his son Edward of Caernarfon, who was more occupied with unrest between the nobles of his own court and the murder of his favorite and possible lover Piers Gaveston.  Edward II was not a warrior king as his father had been and when he invaded Scotland in late 1322, but Bruce’s tactics of trickery left the English starving in a famine and when the king and his wife Queen Isabella took refuge at Byland Abbey in North Yorkshire, Bruce’s troops attacked and forced the royal couple to flee back to England.  The Scots had won their freedom.

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Posted by on October 14, 2017 in British Royalty

 

1537 – Edward VI of England is Born

Painting of Prince Edward as a baby, depicted with regal splendour and a kingly gesture. He is dressed in red and gold, and a hat with ostrich plume. His face has delicate features, chubby cheeks and a fringe of red-gold hair.

Edward was born to great fanfare and relief at Hampton Court Palace as the only legitimate son of Henry VIII, though his mother, Henry’s third wife Jane Seymour, died of complication from the birth and labor, which lasted for three days.  The prince was brought up by stepmothers and the women of his father’s household, and though he was only nine years old when he came to the throne of England and Ireland, he was highly intelligent and talented, and is described as a rather aloof young man, though he was also generous and kind like his mother, whom he was said to resemble right down to the color of his blond hair.

When in 1553 Edward grew devastatingly ill with what many believe to be tuberculosis (similar to his illegitimate half-brother Henry Fitzroy who died of the disease in 1536), he knew that he had to take drastic steps for his succession; while his oldest sister Mary was supposed to inherit the crown next, she was a devout Catholic and Edward had worked to secure Protestantism as the official religion of his country and feared that she would undo all he and his father had accomplished with the Reformation, and Elizabeth’s true legitimacy was still questioned due to charges of adultery and high treason that led to the execution of her mother Anne Boleyn.  In a bold move, he declared in his will that his successor would be his cousin Lady Jane Grey, daughter of the Duchess of Suffolk and granddaughter to Henry VIII’s sister.  When Edward finally did die at the age of just fifteen, it sparked a small civil war between Jane’s family (she was married to the son of the ambitious Duke of Northumberland who wanted a puppet to control on the throne) and Mary, who was the rightful heir.  In the End, Jane ruled for just nine short days before being imprisoned in the Tower of London where she was later executed along with her husband and father-in-law and Mary was declared Queen of England in her own right.

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2017 in British Royalty, The Tudors

 

Documentary Sunday – Nefertiti and the Lost Dynasty

 
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Posted by on October 8, 2017 in Ancient Times, Documentary Sunday

 

Documentary Sunday – Elizabeth’s Pirates

 
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Posted by on October 1, 2017 in Documentary Sunday, The Tudors

 

Documentary Sunday – Egypt’s Lost Queens

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2017 in Ancient Times, Documentary Sunday

 

1515 – Anna von Kleve (Anne of Cleves) is Born

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As daughter to the German Duke of Cleves, Anne (whose birth name was Anna of the La Marck family) was a prospective bride for King Henry VIII after the death of his third and favorite wife Jane Seymour.  Anne and her sister Amalia were both painted by the English court painter Hans Holbein and in 1539, Henry chose Anne as his new queen, but it was not to be a perfect match.  From the moment they met, Henry was put off by her, not only because of her lack of an education, but because upon their meeting, she tried to brush off the disguised king, perhaps not knowing who he was.  Nevertheless, the two were married in early January 1540 and they would divorce the same year.

Henry used the excuse of her being unattractive (which was far from the truth as many sources of the time praise her looks, especially her long blond hair) for not consummating his marriage, which he mentioned to his top adviser Thomas Cromwell; “I liked her not before, and I like her much worse now.”  He complained of her sagging breasts and unpleasant odors from her breath and body, even remarking how he believed she was not a virgin.  After several grueling months, an annulment was issued in July and the unhappy couple mutually ended their marriage.  Cromwell, whom had arranged the marriage, was arrested soon after for treason and eventually executed at the Tower of London.

Anne, however, thrived after her divorce.  She became good friends with Henry and was often referred to as the King’s Sister; the two played cards often and she was a frequent guest at court.  Despite not being the oldest of Henry’s six wives, she managed to live the longest, well into the reign of Henry’s eldest daughter Mary I, whose coronation she participated in.  On 16 July 1557, she died at the age of forty-two and became the only one of Henry’s wives to be buried in Westminster Abbey.

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2017 in British Royalty, The Tudors

 

Where Have I Been?

It takes a lot to keep a blog like this going, and for a long time, I did not have the drive to do that.  The fact is that I thought multiple times about deleting ToT for good.  I did not think there was a way to keep it going, especially when I did not have the heart to make posts anymore and was getting frustrated trying to find new and exciting things to say.

A lot of crazy things have happened since I’ve been away, some I’m not willing to disclose, but I lost all confidence as a result and just couldn’t write anymore.  It felt like work, and that is not what this blog is about.  I shouldn’t have to feel chained to my desk trying to write an article or find a video for Documentary Sunday, especially with college courses to take and essays to write.  So I took what I thought was going to be a few weeks to recharge, but this ended up being a lot longer – more than a few months.

Recent events let me reevaluate everything, especially in the last couple of weeks.  I got my confidence back, and while I may not have all the time in the world to make new posts, I will certainly be back on Thorns again very soon with new content that I find myself actually looking forward to for the first time in awhile.  I refuse to throw away three and a half years of work.  We’re going to make it to four years in December.

I want to thank everyone who reads this blog for your support over the past few years in the meantime, and reassure everyone that I will be back very soon, probably even this week.  I’m very grateful for you standing behind me!  Let’s keep the ball rolling!

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Posted by on August 13, 2017 in Uncategorized