Henry V of England
Henry V called Henry of Monmouth, was King of England from 1413 until his early death in 1422. He was the second English monarch of the House of Lancaster. Despite his short reign, Henry's outstanding military successes in the Hundred Years' War against France, most notably in his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, made England one of the strongest military powers in Europe. Immortalised in the plays of Shakespeare, Henry is known and celebrated as one of the great warrior kings of medieval England. In his youth, during the reign of his father Henry IV, Henry gained military experience fighting the Welsh during the revolt of Owain Glyndŵr and against the powerful aristocratic Percy family of Northumberland at the Battle of Shrewsbury. Henry acquired an increasing share in England's government due to the king's declining health, but disagreements between father and son led to political conflict between the two. After his father's death in 1413, Henry assumed control of the country and asserted the pending English claim to the French throne.
In 1415, Henry embarked on war with France in the ongoing Hundred Years' War between the two nations. His military successes culminated in his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt and saw him come close to conquering France. Taking advantage of political divisions within France, he conquered large portions of the kingdom and Normandy was occupied by the English for the first time since 1345–1360. After months of negotiation with Charles VI of France, the Treaty of Troyes recognised Henry V as regent and heir apparent to the French throne and he was subsequently married to Charles's daughter, Catherine of Valois. Following this arrangement, everything seemed to point to the formation of a union between the kingdoms of France and England, in the person of King Henry, his sudden and unexpected death in France two years condemned England to the long and difficult minority of his infant son and successor, who reigned as Henry VI in England and Henry II in France. Henry was born in the tower above the gatehouse of Monmouth Castle in Wales, for that reason was sometimes called Henry of Monmouth.
He was the son of Henry of Bolingbroke and Mary de Bohun, thus the paternal grandson of the influential John of Gaunt, great-grandson of Edward III of England. At the time of his birth, Richard II, his first cousin once removed, was king. Henry's grandfather, John of Gaunt, was the king's guardian; as he was not close to the line of succession to the throne, Henry's date of birth was not documented. However, records indicate that his younger brother Thomas was born in the autumn of 1387 and that his parents were at Monmouth in 1386 but not in 1387, it is now accepted that he was born on 16 September 1386. Upon the exile of Henry's father in 1398, Richard II took the boy into his own charge and treated him kindly; the young Henry accompanied King Richard to Ireland. While in the royal service, he visited Trim Castle in County Meath, the ancient meeting place of the Irish Parliament. In 1399, Henry's grandfather died. In the same year, King Richard II was overthrown by the Lancastrian usurpation that brought Henry's father to the throne and Henry was recalled from Ireland into prominence as heir apparent to the Kingdom of England.
He was created Prince of Wales at his father's coronation and Duke of Lancaster on 10 November 1399, the third person to hold the title that year. His other titles were Duke of Earl of Chester and Duke of Aquitaine. A contemporary record notes that during that year, Henry spent time at The Queen's College, Oxford under the care of his uncle Henry Beaufort, the chancellor of the university. From 1400 to 1404, he carried out the duties of High Sheriff of Cornwall. Less than three years Henry was in command of part of the English forces, he led his own army into Wales against Owain Glyndŵr and joined forces with his father to fight Henry "Hotspur" Percy at the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403. It was there that the sixteen-year-old prince was killed by an arrow that became stuck in his face. An ordinary soldier might have died from such a wound, but Henry had the benefit of the best possible care. Over a period of several days, John Bradmore, the royal physician, treated the wound with honey to act as an antiseptic, crafted a tool to screw into the broken arrow shaft and thus extract the arrow without doing further damage, flushed the wound with alcohol.
The operation was successful, but it left Henry with permanent scars, evidence of his experience in battle. For eighteen months in 1410–11, Henry was in control of the country during his father's ill health and took full advantage of the opportunity to impose his own policies; when the king recovered, he dismissed the prince from his council. The Welsh revolt of Owain Glyndŵr absorbed Henry's energies until 1408; as a result of the king's ill health, Henry began to take a wider share in politics. From January 1410, helped by his uncles Henry Beaufort and Thomas Beaufort, legitimised sons of John of Gaunt, he had practical control of the government. Both in foreign and domestic policy he differed from the king, who discharged the prince from the council in November 1411; the quarrel of father and son was political only, though it is probable that the Beauforts had discussed the abdication of Henry IV. Their opponents endeavoured to defame the prince, it may be that the tradition of Henry's riotous youth, immortalised by Shakespeare, is due to political enmity.
Henry's record of involvement in war and politics in his youth, disproves this tradition. The most famous incident, his quarrel wi
Priory Church of St Mary, Abergavenny
The Priory Church of St Mary, Abergavenny is a parish church in the centre of Abergavenny in Monmouthshire, Wales. St. Mary's has been called "the Westminster Abbey of Wales" because of its large size, the numerous high status tomb monuments and medieval effigies surviving within it; the church was designated as a Grade I listed building on 1 July 1952. It was the church of the Benedictine Priory, established under Hamelin de Balun the first Norman holder of the title Lord Abergavenny, which in the 1090s became Baron Bergavenny. At this time it was a cell of the Abbey of Saint Vincent at Le Mans in France. Recent archaeological surveys have revealed significant finds of Roman Samian ware pottery, suggesting that the church may have been built on the site of a previous place of Romano-British and Celtic worship. Henry de Abergavenny was a prior here and at Llandaff in the late 12th century and was chosen to assist at the coronation of King John I of England in 1199. Successive Lords of Abergavenny were by necessity benefactors, including William de Braose, 4th Lord of Bramber.
In 1320 John Hastings, 2nd Baron Hastings, called on the Pope to set up an investigation into the Priory, in which the monks were accused of failing to maintain the Benedictine Rule. The prior, Fulk Gaston, absconded to the mother Abbey with the church silver. By the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries the Priory had four monks. Due to the close connections between the Lords of Abergavenny and the Tudor dynasty the priory was spared and became the parish church; the church is cruciform in layout and impressively large with a nave 172 feet in length. The central tower has ten bells; the church is in the Decorated and Perpendicular Period architectural styles and was, like many churches, subjected to Victorian period refurbishment in the 19th century, with sadly little trace of the original Norman architecture surviving. The Norman baptismal font was rediscovered in the churchyard in the 19th century; the oaken choir stalls with carved misericords and carved lattice work backs, are 15th-century survivals.
They bear the name of the prior at that time Wynchestre and his own stall remains raised and surmounted by a mitre. The chief claim to fame for the church today lies in its collection of effigies; the effigies are in wood and marble and range in date from the 13th century to the 17th century. One effigy is that of John de Hastings, Lord of Abergavenny and shows him as a young knight, wearing a long surcoat over a hauberk and a hood of fine chainmail; the chapel is named after Dr David Lewis, first Principal of Jesus College, whose tomb it contains. In the chapel are two female effigies. One holds a heart in her palm, a device used to signify a possible heart burial, dates from the end of the 13th century: she is believed to be Eva de Braose and bears a shield bearing the Cantilupe arms, her neighbour, a second female effigy, dates from the 14th century, is said to be a member of the Hastings family who died while pursuing her pet red squirrel when it escaped and ran along the castle walls at Abergavenny Castle, causing her to fall to her death.
The effigy has a light chain around her waist, documented as having once been attached to a small squirrel which formed part of the effigy. It has since been knocked off or defaced during the Commonwealth or Protectorate period; the Herbert Chapel contains recumbent monuments and effigies, in both alabaster and marble, associated with the ap Thomas and Herbert families. Sir Richard Herbert was brought up with the young Henry Tudor, the future Henry VII, at Raglan Castle. In 1485 Herbert supported Henry's claim to the throne, fighting with him as he defeated Richard III at the Battle of Bosworth, it is this support that saw St Mary's spared the worst of the despoliation of monasteries in the dissolution. Within the chapel are monumental brasses dating from the 16th and 17th centuries. Edward Neville, 3rd Baron Bergavenny William ap Thomas and his 2nd wife Gwladys ferch Dafydd Gam John Hastings, 2nd Baron Hastings Laurence Hastings, 1st Earl of Pembroke Richard Herbert of Coldbrook and his wife Margaret Verch Thomas Sir Richard Herbert The Jesse is an elaborate large, 15th-century wooden carving which would have once been part of an larger carving forming a Jesse Tree telling the lineage of Jesus Christ based on that in the Bible.
It is unique in Britain and described by Tate Britain as one of the finest medieval sculptures in the world. In 2016 a new stained-glass Jesse window designed by Helen Whittaker was installed in the Lewis Chapel, incorporating the wooden Jesse at its foot; the project was visited in April 2016 by the Archbishop of the Most Revd John Sentamu. The Jesse effigy was placed on a newly designed plinth in position below the Jesse Window in 2017. Around 1830 a secondhand organ, built by John Byfield in 1760 for the Lord Mayor's Chapel in Bristol, was sold to Mr. H. Smith and moved to the church, it was moved down when the church was being restored. It had the half being the swell organ; the restoration committee decided not to sell the old instrument but to have it enlarged, in 1883, they contracted with Conacher and Co who enlarged it to three manuals and 27 speaking stops. It was re-opened on 21 February 1884, the festivities including a recital by the newly appoint
Simon de Montfort's Parliament
Simon de Montfort's Parliament was an English parliament held from 20 January 1265 until mid-March of the same year, instigated by Simon de Montfort, a baronial rebel leader. Simon de Montfort had seized power in England following his victory over Henry III at the Battle of Lewes during the Second Barons' War, but his grip on the country was under threat. In an attempt to gather more support he summoned representatives from not only the barons and the knights of the shires, as had occurred in previous parliaments, but burgesses from the major towns; the resulting parliament in London discussed radical reforms and temporarily stabilised Montfort's political situation. Montfort was killed at the Battle of Evesham that year, but the idea of inviting both knights and burgesses to parliaments became more popular under the reign of Henry's son Edward I. By the 14th century this had become the norm, with the gathering becoming known as the House of Commons; this parliament is sometimes referred to as the first English parliament and Montfort himself is termed the founder of the Commons.
In 1258, King Henry III of England faced a revolt among the English barons. Anger had grown about the way the King's officials were raising funds, the influence of his Poitevin relatives at court and his unpopular Sicilian policy. Within Henry's court there was a strong feeling that the King would be unable to lead the country through these problems. On 30 April, Hugh Bigod marched into Westminster in the middle of the King's parliament, backed by his co-conspirators, including Simon de Montfort, the Earl of Leicester, carried out a coup d'état. Henry, fearful that he was about to be arrested and imprisoned, agreed to abandon his policy of personal rule and instead govern through a council of 24 barons and churchmen, half chosen by the King and half by the barons; the pressure for reform continued to grow unabated and a parliament met in June. The term "parliament" had first appeared in the 1230s and 1240s to describe large gatherings of the royal court, parliamentary gatherings were held periodically throughout Henry's reign.
They were used to agree upon the raising of taxes which, in the 13th century, were single, one-off levies on movable property, intended to support the King's normal revenues for particular projects. During Henry's reign, the counties had begun to send regular delegations to these parliaments, came to represent a broader cross-section of the community than the major barons; the new parliament passed a set of measures known as the Provisions of Oxford, which Henry swore to uphold. These provisions created a smaller council of 15 members, elected by the barons, which had the power to appoint England's justiciar and treasurer, which would be monitored through triennial parliaments. Pressure from the lesser barons and the gentry present at Oxford helped to push through wider reform, intended to limit the abuse of power by both the King's officials and the major barons. More radical measures were passed by the new council the next year, in the form of the Provisions of Westminster; the disagreements between the leading barons involved in the revolt soon became evident.
Montfort championed radical reforms that would place further limitations on the authority and power of the major barons as well as the Crown. Over the next four years, neither Henry nor the barons were able to restore stability in England, power swung back and forth between the different factions. By early 1263, what remained of Henry's authority had disintegrated and the country slipped back towards open civil war. Montfort convened a council of rebel barons in Oxford to pursue his radical agenda and by October, England faced a civil war. Montfort marched east with an army and London rose up in revolt. Montfort took Henry and Queen Eleanor prisoner, although he maintained a fiction of ruling in Henry's name, the rebels replaced the royal government and household with their own, trusted men. Montfort's coalition began to fragment, Henry regained his freedom of movement and renewed chaos spread across England. Henry appealed to his brother-in-law Louis of France for arbitration in the dispute.
Montfort's legal arguments held sway, but in January 1264, Louis announced the Mise of Amiens, condemning the rebels, upholding the King's rights and annulling the Provisions of Oxford. The Second Barons' War broke out in April, when Henry led an army into Montfort's territories. Becoming desperate, Montfort marched in pursuit of Henry and the two armies met at the Battle of Lewes on 14 May. Despite their numerical superiority, Henry's forces were overwhelmed. Captured, Henry was forced to pardon the rebel barons and reinstate the Provisions of Oxford, leaving him, as historian Adrian Jobson describes, "little more than a figurehead". Simon de Montfort claimed to be ruling in the King's name through a council of officials. However, he had effective political control over the government though he was not himself the monarch, the first time this had happened in English history. Montfort held a parliament in London in June 1264 to confirm new constitutional arrangements for England. Montfort was unable to consolidate his victory at Lewes and widespread disorder persisted across the country
Norman conquest of England
The Norman Conquest of England was the 11th-century invasion and occupation of England by an army of Norman, Breton and French soldiers led by the Duke of Normandy styled William the Conqueror. William's claim to the English throne derived from his familial relationship with the childless Anglo-Saxon king Edward the Confessor, who may have encouraged William's hopes for the throne. Edward was succeeded by his brother-in-law Harold Godwinson; the Norwegian king Harald Hardrada invaded northern England in September 1066 and was victorious at the Battle of Fulford, but Godwinson's army defeated and killed Hardrada at the Battle of Stamford Bridge on 25 September. Within days, William landed in southern England. Harold marched south leaving a significant portion of his army in the north. Harold's army confronted William's invaders on 14 October at the Battle of Hastings. Although William's main rivals were gone, he still faced rebellions over the following years and was not secure on his throne until after 1072.
The lands of the resisting English elite were confiscated. To control his new kingdom, William granted lands to his followers and built castles commanding military strongpoints throughout the land. Other effects of the conquest included the court and government, the introduction of the Norman language as the language of the elites, changes in the composition of the upper classes, as William enfeoffed lands to be held directly from the king. More gradual changes affected the agricultural classes and village life: the main change appears to have been the formal elimination of slavery, which may or may not have been linked to the invasion. There was little alteration in the structure of government, as the new Norman administrators took over many of the forms of Anglo-Saxon government. In 911 the Carolingian French ruler Charles the Simple allowed a group of Vikings under their leader Rollo to settle in Normandy as part of the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte. In exchange for the land, the Norsemen under Rollo were expected to provide protection along the coast against further Viking invaders.
Their settlement proved successful, the Vikings in the region became known as the "Northmen" from which "Normandy" and "Normans" are derived. The Normans adopted the indigenous culture as they became assimilated by the French, renouncing paganism and converting to Christianity, they adopted the langue d'oïl of their new home and added features from their own Norse language, transforming it into the Norman language. They intermarried with the local population and used the territory granted to them as a base to extend the frontiers of the duchy westward, annexing territory including the Bessin, the Cotentin Peninsula and Avranches. In 1002 English king Æthelred the Unready married Emma of Normandy, the sister of Richard II, Duke of Normandy, their son Edward the Confessor, who spent many years in exile in Normandy, succeeded to the English throne in 1042. This led to the establishment of a powerful Norman interest in English politics, as Edward drew on his former hosts for support, bringing in Norman courtiers and clerics and appointing them to positions of power in the Church.
Childless and embroiled in conflict with the formidable Godwin, Earl of Wessex and his sons, Edward may have encouraged Duke William of Normandy's ambitions for the English throne. When King Edward died at the beginning of 1066, the lack of a clear heir led to a disputed succession in which several contenders laid claim to the throne of England. Edward's immediate successor was the Earl of Wessex, Harold Godwinson, the richest and most powerful of the English aristocrats. Harold was elected king by the Witenagemot of England and crowned by the Archbishop of York, although Norman propaganda claimed the ceremony was performed by Stigand, the uncanonically elected Archbishop of Canterbury. Harold was challenged by two powerful neighbouring rulers. Duke William claimed that he had been promised the throne by King Edward and that Harold had sworn agreement to this, his claim to the throne was based on an agreement between his predecessor, Magnus the Good, the earlier English king, whereby if either died without heir, the other would inherit both England and Norway.
William and Harald at once set about assembling ships to invade England. In early 1066, Harold's exiled brother, Tostig Godwinson, raided southeastern England with a fleet he had recruited in Flanders joined by other ships from Orkney. Threatened by Harold's fleet, Tostig moved north and raided in East Anglia and Lincolnshire, but he was driven back to his ships by the brothers Edwin, Earl of Mercia, Morcar, Earl of Northumbria. Deserted by most of his followers, Tostig withdrew to Scotland, where he spent the summer recruiting fresh forces. King Harold spent the summer on the south coast with a large army and fleet waiting for William to invade, but the bulk of his forces were militia who needed to harvest their crops, so on 8 September Harold dismissed them. King Harald Hardrada invaded northern England in early September, leading a fleet of more than 300 ships carrying 15,000 men. Harald's army was further augmented by the forces of Tostig, who threw his support behind the Norwegian king's bid for the throne.
Advancing on York, the Norwegians defeated a northern English army under Edwin and Morcar on 20 September at the Battle of Fulford. The two earls had rushed to engage the Norwegian forces before King Harold could arrive from the south. Alth
Edward III of England
Edward III was King of England and Lord of Ireland from January 1327 until his death. Edward III transformed the Kingdom of England into one of the most formidable military powers in Europe, his long reign of 50 years was the second longest in medieval England and saw vital developments in legislation and government, in particular the evolution of the English parliament, as well as the ravages of the Black Death. Edward was crowned at age fourteen after his father was deposed by his mother, Isabella of France, her lover Roger Mortimer. At age seventeen he led a successful coup d'état against Mortimer, the de facto ruler of the country, began his personal reign. After a successful campaign in Scotland he declared himself rightful heir to the French throne in 1337; this started. Following some initial setbacks, this first phase of the war went exceptionally well for England; this phase would become known as the Edwardian War. Edward's years were marked by international failure and domestic strife as a result of his inactivity and poor health.
Edward III was a temperamental man but capable of unusual clemency. He was in many ways a conventional king. Admired in his own time and for centuries after, Edward was denounced as an irresponsible adventurer by Whig historians such as William Stubbs; this view has been challenged and modern historians credit him with some significant achievements. Edward was born at Windsor Castle on 13 November 1312, was referred to as Edward of Windsor in his early years; the reign of his father, Edward II, was a problematic period of English history. One source of contention was the king's inactivity, repeated failure, in the ongoing war with Scotland. Another controversial issue was the king's exclusive patronage of a small group of royal favourites; the birth of a male heir in 1312 temporarily improved Edward II's position in relation to the baronial opposition. To bolster further the independent prestige of the young prince, the king had him created Earl of Chester at only twelve days of age. In 1325, Edward II was faced with a demand from his brother-in-law, Charles IV of France, to perform homage for the English Duchy of Aquitaine.
Edward was reluctant to leave the country, as discontent was once again brewing domestically over his relationship with the favourite Hugh Despenser the Younger. Instead, he had his son Edward created Duke of Aquitaine in his place and sent him to France to perform the homage; the young Edward was accompanied by his mother Isabella, the sister of King Charles, was meant to negotiate a peace treaty with the French. While in France, Isabella conspired with the exiled Roger Mortimer to have Edward deposed. To build up diplomatic and military support for the venture, Isabella had her son engaged to the twelve-year-old Philippa of Hainault. An invasion of England was launched and Edward II's forces deserted him completely. Isabella and Mortimer summoned a parliament, the king was forced to relinquish the throne to his son, proclaimed king in London on 25 January 1327; the new king was crowned as Edward III at Westminster Abbey on 1 February at the age of 14. It was not long before the new reign met with other problems caused by the central position at court of Roger Mortimer, now the de facto ruler of England.
Mortimer used his power to acquire noble estates and titles, his unpopularity grew with the humiliating defeat by the Scots at the Battle of Stanhope Park and the ensuing Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton, signed with the Scots in 1328. The young king came into conflict with his guardian. Mortimer knew his position in relation to the king was precarious and subjected Edward to disrespect; the tension increased after Edward and Philippa, who had married at York Minster on 24 January 1328, had a son on 15 June 1330. Edward decided to take direct action against Mortimer. Aided by his close companion William Montagu and a small number of other trusted men, Edward took Mortimer by surprise at Nottingham Castle on 19 October 1330. Mortimer was executed and Edward III's personal reign began. Edward III was not content with the peace agreement made in his name, but the renewal of the war with Scotland originated in private, rather than royal initiative. A group of English magnates known as The Disinherited, who had lost land in Scotland by the peace accord, staged an invasion of Scotland and won a great victory at the Battle of Dupplin Moor in 1332.
They attempted to install Edward Balliol as king of Scotland in David II's place, but Balliol was soon expelled and was forced to seek the help of Edward III. The English king responded by laying siege to the important border town of Berwick and defeated a large relieving army at the Battle of Halidon Hill. Edward reinstated Balliol on the throne and received a substantial amount of land in southern Scotland; these victories proved hard to sustain, as forces loyal to David II regained control of the country. In 1338, Edward was forced to agree to a truce with the Scots. One reason for the change of strategy towards Scotland was a growing concern for the relationship between England and France; as long as Scotland and France were in an alliance, the English were faced with the prospect of fighting a war on two fronts. The French carried out raids on English coastal towns, leading to rumour
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
A monastery is a building or complex of buildings comprising the domestic quarters and workplaces of monastics, monks or nuns, whether living in communities or alone. A monastery includes a place reserved for prayer which may be a chapel, church, or temple, may serve as an oratory. Monasteries vary in size, comprising a small dwelling accommodating only a hermit, or in the case of communities anything from a single building housing only one senior and two or three junior monks or nuns, to vast complexes and estates housing tens or hundreds. A monastery complex comprises a number of buildings which include a church, cloister, library and infirmary. Depending on the location, the monastic order and the occupation of its inhabitants, the complex may include a wide range of buildings that facilitate self-sufficiency and service to the community; these may include a hospice, a school, a range of agricultural and manufacturing buildings such as a barn, a forge, or a brewery. In English usage, the term monastery is used to denote the buildings of a community of monks.
In modern usage, convent tends to be applied only to institutions of female monastics communities of teaching or nursing religious sisters. A convent denoted a house of friars, now more called a friary. Various religions may apply these terms in more specific ways; the word monastery comes from the Greek word μοναστήριον, neut. of μοναστήριος – monasterios from μονάζειν – monazein "to live alone" from the root μόνος – monos "alone". The earliest extant use of the term monastērion is by the 1st century AD Jewish philosopher Philo in On The Contemplative Life, ch. III. In England the word monastery was applied to the habitation of a bishop and the cathedral clergy who lived apart from the lay community. Most cathedrals were not monasteries, were served by canons secular, which were communal but not monastic. However, some were run by monasteries orders, such as York Minster. Westminster Abbey was for a short time a cathedral, was a Benedictine monastery until the Reformation, its Chapter preserves elements of the Benedictine tradition.
See the entry cathedral. They are to be distinguished from collegiate churches, such as St George's Chapel, Windsor. In most of this article, the term monastery is used generically to refer to any of a number of types of religious community. In the Roman Catholic religion and to some extent in certain branches of Buddhism, there is a somewhat more specific definition of the term and many related terms. Buddhist monasteries are called vihara. Viharas may be occupied by men or women, in keeping with common English usage, a vihara populated by females may be called a nunnery or a convent. However, vihara can refer to a temple. In Tibetan Buddhism, monasteries are called gompa. In Thailand and Cambodia, a monastery is called a wat. In Burma, a monastery is called a kyaung. A Christian monastery may be a priory, or conceivably a hermitage, it may be a community of men or of women. A charterhouse is any monastery belonging to the Carthusian order. In Eastern Christianity, a small monastic community can be called a skete, a large or important monastery can be given the dignity of a lavra.
The great communal life of a Christian monastery is called cenobitic, as opposed to the anchoretic life of an anchorite and the eremitic life of a hermit. There has been under the Osmanli occupation of Greece and Cyprus, an "idiorrhythmic" lifestyle where monks come together but being able to own things individually and not being obliged to work for the common good. In Hinduism monasteries are called matha, koil, or most an ashram. Jains use the Buddhist term vihara. In most religions the life inside monasteries is governed by community rules that stipulate the gender of the inhabitants and require them to remain celibate and own little or no personal property; the degree to which life inside a particular monastery is separate from the surrounding populace can vary widely. Others focus on interacting with the local communities to provide services, such as teaching, medical care, or evangelism; some monastic communities are only occupied seasonally, depending both on the traditions involved and the local weather, people may be part of a monastic community for periods ranging from a few days at a time to an entire lifetime.
The life within the walls of a monastery may be supported in several ways: by manufacturing and selling goods agricultural products, by donations or alms, by rental or investment incomes, by funds from other organizations within the religion, which in the past formed the traditional support of monasteries. There has been a long tradition of Christian monasteries providing hospitable and hospital services. Monasteries have been associated with the provision of education and the encouragement of scholarship and research, which has led to the establishment of schools and colleges and the association with universities. Christian monastic life has adapted to modern society by offering computer services, accounting services and management as well as modern hospital and educational administration. Buddhist monasteries, known as vihāra i