Dunstable Swan Jewel
The Dunstable Swan Jewel is a gold and enamel brooch in the form of a swan made in England or France in about 1400 and now in the British Museum, where it is on display in Room 40. It was excavated in 1965 on the site of Dunstable Friary, is presumed to have been intended as a livery badge given by an important figure to his supporters; the jewel is a rare medieval example of the recently developed and fashionable white opaque enamel used in en ronde bosse to totally encase an underlying gold form. It is invariably compared to the white hart badges worn by King Richard II and the angels surrounding the Virgin Mary in the painted Wilton Diptych of around the same date, where the chains hang down; the jewel is formed as a standing or walking mute swan "gorged" with a gold collar in the form of a royal crown with six fleur-de-lys tines. There is a gold chain terminating in a ring attached to the crown, the swan has a pin and catch on its right side for fastening the brooch to clothes or a hat.
The swan is 3.2 cm high and 2.5 cm wide, the length of the chain is 8.2 cm. The swan's body is in white enamel, its eyes are of black enamel, which once covered the legs and feet, where only traces now remain. Tiny fragments of pink or red enamel remain on the beak; the jewel is a unique survival of the most expensive form of livery badge, otherwise only known from inventories and representations in paintings. These were badges in various forms made for a leading figure bearing his personal device, given to others who would demonstrate by wearing them that they were in some way his employees, allies or supporters, they were common in England in the age of "bastard feudalism" from the mid-fourteenth century until about the end of the fifteenth century, a period of intense factional conflict which saw the deposition of Richard II and the Wars of the Roses. A lavish badge like the jewel would only have been worn by the person whose device was represented, members of his family or important supporters, servants who were in regular close contact with him.
However the jewel lacks the ultimate luxury of being set with gems, for example ruby eyes, like the gems on the lion pendants worn by Sir John Donne and his wife in their portraits by Hans Memling, now in the National Gallery and several examples listed on the 1397 treasure roll of Richard II. In the Wilton Diptych, Richard's own badge has pearls on the antler tips, which the angels' badges lack; the white hart in the badge on the Treasury Roll, which the painted one may have copied, had pearls and sat on a grass bed made of emeralds, a hart badge of Richard's inventoried in the possession of Duke Philip the Good of Burgundy in 1435 was set with 22 pearls, two spinels, two sapphires, a ruby and a huge diamond. Cheaper forms of badge were more distributed, sometimes freely indeed, rather as modern political campaign buttons and tee-shirts are, though as in some modern countries wearing the wrong badge in the wrong place could lead to personal danger. In 1483 King Richard III ordered 13,000 fustian badges with his emblem of a boar for the investiture of his son Edward as Prince of Wales, a huge number given the population at the time.
Other grades of boar badges that have survived are in lead and gilded copper high relief, the last found at Richard's home of Middleham Castle in Yorkshire, likely worn by one of his household when he was Duke of Gloucester. The British Museum has a flat lead swan badge with low relief, typical of the cheap metal badges which were similar to the pilgrim badges that were common in the period. In 1377, when the young Richard II's unpopular uncle, John of Gaunt, was Regent, one of his more than 200 retainers, Sir John Swinton, unwisely rode through London wearing Gaunt's badge on a livery collar; the mob attacked him, pulling him off his horse and the badge off him, he had to be rescued by the mayor from suffering serious harm. Over twenty years after Gaunt's son Henry IV had deposed Richard, one of Richard's servants was imprisoned by Henry for continuing to wear Richard's livery badge. Many of the large number of badges of various liveries recovered from the Thames in London were discarded hurriedly by retainers who found themselves impoliticly dressed at various times.
Beginning harmlessly under Edward III in a context of tournaments and courtly celebrations, by the reign of his grandson, Richard II, the badges had become seen as a social menace, were "one of the most protracted controversies of Richard's reign", as they were used to denote the small private armies of retainers kept by lords for the purpose of enforcing their lord's will on the less powerful in his area. Though they were a symptom rather than a cause of both local baronial bullying and the disputes between the king and his uncles and other lords, Parliament tried to curb the use of livery badges; the issuing of badges by lords was attacked in the Parliament of 1384, in 1388 they made the startling request that "all liveries called badges, as well of our lord the king as of other lords... shall be abolished", because "those who wear them are flown with such insolent arrogance that they do not shrink from practising with reckless effrontery various kinds of extortion in the surrounding countryside... and it is the boldness inspired by these badges that makes them unafraid to do these things".
Richard offered to give up his own badges, to the delight of the House of Commons of England, but the House of Lords refused to give up theirs, the matter was
Feudalism was a combination of legal and military customs in medieval Europe that flourished between the 9th and 15th centuries. Broadly defined, it was a way of structuring society around relationships derived from the holding of land in exchange for service or labour. Although derived from the Latin word feodum or feudum in use, the term feudalism and the system it describes were not conceived of as a formal political system by the people living in the Middle Ages. In its classic definition, by François-Louis Ganshof, feudalism describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility revolving around the three key concepts of lords and fiefs. A broader definition of feudalism, as described by Marc Bloch, includes not only the obligations of the warrior nobility but those of all three estates of the realm: the nobility, the clergy, the peasantry bound by manorialism. Since the publication of Elizabeth A. R. Brown's "The Tyranny of a Construct" and Susan Reynolds's Fiefs and Vassals, there has been ongoing inconclusive discussion among medieval historians as to whether feudalism is a useful construct for understanding medieval society.
There is no accepted modern definition of feudalism, at least among scholars. The adjective feudal was coined in the 17th century, the noun feudalism used in a political and propaganda context, was not coined until the 19th century, from the French féodalité, itself an 18th-century creation. In a classic definition by François-Louis Ganshof, feudalism describes a set of reciprocal legal and military obligations among the warrior nobility, revolving around the three key concepts of lords and fiefs, though Ganshof himself noted that his treatment related only to the "narrow, legal sense of the word". A broader definition, as described in Marc Bloch's Feudal Society, includes not only the obligations of the warrior nobility but those of all three estates of the realm: the nobility, the clergy, those living by their labour, most directly the peasantry bound by manorialism. Since the publication of Elizabeth A. R. Brown's "The Tyranny of a Construct" and Susan Reynolds's Fiefs and Vassals, there has been ongoing inconclusive discussion among medieval historians as to whether feudalism is a useful construct for understanding medieval society.
Outside a European context, the concept of feudalism is used only by analogy, most in discussions of feudal Japan under the shōguns, sometimes medieval and Gondarine Ethiopia. However, some have taken the feudalism analogy further, seeing feudalism in places as diverse as Spring and Autumn period in China, ancient Egypt, the Parthian empire, the Indian subcontinent and the Antebellum and Jim Crow American South; the term feudalism has been applied—often inappropriately or pejoratively—to non-Western societies where institutions and attitudes similar to those of medieval Europe are perceived to prevail. Some historians and political theorists believe that the term feudalism has been deprived of specific meaning by the many ways it has been used, leading them to reject it as a useful concept for understanding society; the term "féodal" was used in 17th-century French legal treatises and translated into English legal treatises as an adjective, such as "feodal government". In the 18th century, Adam Smith, seeking to describe economic systems coined the forms "feudal government" and "feudal system" in his book Wealth of Nations.
In the 19th century the adjective "feudal" evolved into a noun: "feudalism". The term feudalism is recent, first appearing in French in 1823, Italian in 1827, English in 1839, in German in the second half of the 19th century; the term "feudal" or "feodal" is derived from the medieval Latin word feodum. The etymology of feodum is complex with multiple theories, some suggesting a Germanic origin and others suggesting an Arabic origin. In medieval Latin European documents, a land grant in exchange for service was called a beneficium; the term feudum, or feodum, began to replace beneficium in the documents. The first attested instance of this is from 984, although more primitive forms were seen up to one-hundred years earlier; the origin of the feudum and why it replaced beneficium has not been well established, but there are multiple theories, described below. The most held theory was proposed by Johan Hendrik Caspar Kern in 1870, being supported by, amongst others, William Stubbs and Marc Bloch.
Kern derived the word from a putative Frankish term *fehu-ôd, in which *fehu means "cattle" and -ôd means "goods", implying "a moveable object of value." Bloch explains that by the beginning of the 10th century it was common to value land in monetary terms but to pay for it with moveable objects of equivalent value, such as arms, horses or food. This was known as feos, a term that took on the general meaning of paying for something in lieu of money; this meaning was applied to land itself, in which land was used to pay for fealty, such as to a vassal. Thus the old word feos meaning movable property changed little by little to feus meaning the exact opposite: landed property. Another theory was put forward by Archibald R. Lewis. Lewis said the origin of'fief' is not feudum, but rather foderum, the earliest attested use being in Astronomus's Vita Hludovici. In that text is a passage about Louis the Pious that says annona militaris quas vulgo foderum vocant, which can be translated as "Louis forbade that military provender (which they popular
Edward IV of England
Edward IV was the King of England from 4 March 1461 to 3 October 1470, again from 11 April 1471 until his death. He was the first Yorkist King of England; the first half of his rule was marred by the violence associated with the Wars of the Roses, but he overcame the Lancastrian challenge to the throne at Tewkesbury in 1471 to reign in peace until his sudden death. Before becoming king, he was Duke of Earl of March, Earl of Cambridge and Earl of Ulster. Edward of York was born at Rouen in Normandy, the second son of Richard, 3rd Duke of York, Cecily Neville, he was the eldest of the four sons. He bore the title Earl of March before his accession to the throne. Edward's father Richard, Duke of York, had been heir to King Henry VI until the birth of Henry's son Edward in 1453. Richard carried on a factional struggle with the king's Beaufort relatives, he established a dominant position after his victory at the First Battle of St Albans in 1455, in which his chief rival Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, was killed.
However, Henry's Queen, Margaret of Anjou, rebuilt a powerful faction to oppose the Yorkists over the following years. In 1459 Margaret moved against the Duke of York and his principal supporters—his brother-in-law Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, Salisbury's son Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, who rose in revolt; the Yorkist leaders fled from England after the collapse of their army in the confrontation at Ludford Bridge. The Duke of York took refuge in Ireland, while Edward went with the Nevilles to Calais where Warwick was governor. In 1460 Edward landed in Kent with Salisbury and Salisbury's brother William Neville, Lord Fauconberg, raised an army, occupied London. Edward and Fauconberg left Salisbury besieging the Tower of London and advanced against the king, with an army in the Midlands, defeated and captured him in the Battle of Northampton. York returned to England and was declared the king's heir by parliament, but Queen Margaret raised a fresh army against him, he was killed at the Battle of Wakefield on 30 December 1460, along with his second surviving son Edmund, Earl of Rutland, the Earl of Salisbury.
This left Edward, now Duke of York, at the head of the Yorkist faction. He defeated a Lancastrian army at Mortimer's Cross in Herefordshire on 2–3 February 1461, he united his forces with those of Warwick, whom Margaret's army had defeated at the Second Battle of St Albans, during which Henry VI had been rescued by his supporters. Edward's father had restricted his ambitions to becoming Henry's heir, but Edward now took the more radical step of proclaiming himself king in March 1461, he advanced against the Lancastrians, having his life saved on the battlefield by the Welsh Knight Sir David Ap Mathew. He defeated the Lancastrian army in the exceptionally bloody Battle of Towton in Yorkshire on 29 March 1461. Edward had broken the military strength of the Lancastrians, he returned to London for his coronation. King Edward IV named Sir David Ap Mathew Standard Bearer of England and allowed him to use "Towton" on the Mathew family crest. Lancastrian resistance continued in the north, but posed no serious threat to the new regime and was extinguished by Warwick's brother John Neville in the Battle of Hexham in 1464.
Henry VI had escaped into the Pennines, where he spent a year in hiding, but was caught and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Queen Margaret fled abroad with many of their leading supporters. Edward IV had deposed Henry VI, but there was little point in killing the ex-king as long as Henry's son remained alive, since this would have transferred the Lancastrian claim from a captive king to one, at liberty. At the age of nineteen, Edward exhibited remarkable military acumen, he had a notable physique and was described as handsome and affable. His height is estimated at 6 feet 4.5 inches, making him the tallest among all English and British monarchs to date. Most of England's leading families had remained loyal to Henry VI or remained uncommitted in the recent conflict; the new regime, relied on the support of the Nevilles, who held vast estates and had been so instrumental in bringing Edward to the throne. However, the king became estranged from their leader the Earl of Warwick, due to his marriage.
Warwick, acting on Edward's behalf, made preliminary arrangements with King Louis XI of France for Edward to marry either Louis' daughter Anne or his sister-in-law Bona of Savoy. He was humiliated and enraged to discover that, while he was negotiating, Edward had secretly married Elizabeth Woodville, the widow of John Grey of Groby, on 1 May 1464. Edward's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville has been criticised as an impulsive action that did not add anything to the security of England or the York dynasty. A horrified Privy Council told him with unusual frankness, when he announced the marriage to them, "that he must know that she was no wife for a prince such as himself, for she was not the daughter of a duke or earl... but a simple knight." Christine Carpenter argues against the idea that it had any political motivation, that Edward's creation of a strong Yorkist nobility meant that he did not need the "lightweight connections" of the Woodvilles, whereas Wilkinson described the marriage as both a "love match, a cold and calculated political move".
J. R. Lander suggested in 1980 that the King was "infatuated," echoing P. M. Kendall's view that he was acting out of lust. Elizabeth's mother was Jacquetta of Luxembourg, wi
Edward I of England
Edward I known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. Before his accession to the throne, he was referred to as The Lord Edward; the first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons. In 1259, he sided with a baronial reform movement, supporting the Provisions of Oxford. After reconciliation with his father, however, he remained loyal throughout the subsequent armed conflict, known as the Second Barons' War. After the Battle of Lewes, Edward was hostage to the rebellious barons, but escaped after a few months and joined the fight against Simon de Montfort. Montfort was defeated at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, within two years the rebellion was extinguished. With England pacified, Edward joined the Ninth Crusade to the Holy Land; the crusade accomplished little, Edward was on his way home in 1272 when he was informed that his father had died.
Making a slow return, he was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 19 August. He spent much of his reign reforming common law. Through an extensive legal inquiry, Edward investigated the tenure of various feudal liberties, while the law was reformed through a series of statutes regulating criminal and property law. However, Edward's attention was drawn towards military affairs. After suppressing a minor rebellion in Wales in 1276–77, Edward responded to a second rebellion in 1282–83 with a full-scale war of conquest. After a successful campaign, Edward subjected Wales to English rule, built a series of castles and towns in the countryside and settled them with English people. Next, his efforts were directed towards Scotland. Invited to arbitrate a succession dispute, Edward claimed feudal suzerainty over the kingdom; the war that followed continued after Edward's death though the English seemed victorious at several points. Edward I found himself at war with France after the French king Philip IV had confiscated the duchy of Aquitaine, which until had been held in personal union with the Kingdom of England.
Although Edward recovered his duchy, this conflict relieved English military pressure against Scotland. At the same time there were problems at home. In the mid-1290s, extensive military campaigns required high levels of taxation, Edward met with both lay and ecclesiastical opposition; these crises were averted, but issues remained unsettled. When the King died in 1307, he left to his son Edward II an ongoing war with Scotland and many financial and political problems. Edward I was a tall man for his era, hence the nickname "Longshanks", he was temperamental, this, along with his height, made him an intimidating man, he instilled fear in his contemporaries. He held the respect of his subjects for the way he embodied the medieval ideal of kingship, as a soldier, an administrator and a man of faith. Modern historians are divided on their assessment of Edward I: while some have praised him for his contribution to the law and administration, others have criticised him for his uncompromising attitude towards his nobility.
Edward I is credited with many accomplishments during his reign, including restoring royal authority after the reign of Henry III, establishing Parliament as a permanent institution and thereby a functional system for raising taxes, reforming the law through statutes. At the same time, he is often criticised for other actions, such as his brutal conduct towards the Welsh and Scots, issuing the Edict of Expulsion in 1290, by which the Jews were expelled from England; the Edict remained in effect for the rest of the Middle Ages, it was over 350 years until it was formally overturned under Oliver Cromwell in 1657. Edward was born at the Palace of Westminster on the night of 17–18 June 1239, to King Henry III and Eleanor of Provence. Edward is an Anglo-Saxon name, was not given among the aristocracy of England after the Norman conquest, but Henry was devoted to the veneration of Edward the Confessor, decided to name his firstborn son after the saint. Among his childhood friends was his cousin Henry of Almain, son of King Henry's brother Richard of Cornwall.
Henry of Almain would remain a close companion of the prince, both through the civil war that followed, during the crusade. Edward was in the care of Hugh Giffard – father of the future Chancellor Godfrey Giffard – until Bartholomew Pecche took over at Giffard's death in 1246. There were concerns about Edward's health as a child, he fell ill in 1246, 1247, 1251. Nonetheless, he became an imposing man; the historian Michael Prestwich states that his "long arms gave him an advantage as a swordsman, long thighs one as a horseman. In youth, his curly hair was blond, his speech, despite a lisp, was said to be persuasive."In 1254, English fears of a Castilian invasion of the English province of Gascony induced Edward's father to arrange a politically expedient marriage between his fifteen-year-old son and thirteen-year-old Eleanor, the half-sister of King Alfonso X of Castile. Eleanor and Edward were married on 1 November 1254 in the Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas in Castile; as part of the marriage agreement, the young prince received grants of land worth 15,000 marks a year.
Although the endowments King Henry made were sizeable, they offered Edwa
Gentry are "well-born and well-bred people" of high social class in the past. In the United Kingdom, the term gentry refers to the landed gentry, the majority of the land-owning social class who were armigerous, but did not have titles of nobility. Gentry, in its widest connotation, refers to people of good social position connected to landed estates, upper levels of the clergy, "gentle" families of long descent who never obtained the official right to bear a coat of arms; the historical term gentry by itself, so Peter Coss argues, is a construct that historians have applied loosely to rather different societies. Any particular model may not fit a specific society, yet a single definition remains desirable. Linguistically, the word gentry arose to identify the social stratum created by the small number, by the standards of Continental Europe, of the Peerage of England, of the parts of Britain, where nobility and titles are inherited by a single person, rather than the family, as usual in Europe.
Before creation of the gentry, there were analogous traditional social elites. The adjective patrician describes the governing elites in a medieval metropolis, such as those of the free cities of Italy, the free imperial cities of Germany and Switzerland, the Hanseatic League, which were different from the gentry; the Indo-Europeans who settled Europe and Western Asia and the Indian subcontinent conceived their societies to be ordered in a tripartite fashion, the three parts being castes. Castes came to be further divided as a result of greater specialisation; the "classic" formulation of the caste system as described by Georges Dumézil was that of a priestly or religiously occupied caste, a warrior caste, a worker caste. Dumézil divided the Proto-Indo-Europeans into three categories: sovereignty and productivity, he further subdivided sovereignty into two complementary sub-parts. One part was formal and priestly, but rooted in this world; the other was powerful and priestly, but rooted in the "other", the supernatural and spiritual world.
The second main division was connected with the use of force, the military, war. There was a third group, ruled by the other two, whose role was productivity: herding and crafts; this system of caste roles can be seen in the castes which flourished on the Indian subcontinent and amongst the Italic peoples. Examples of the Indo-European castes: Indo-Iranian – Brahmin/Athravan, Kshatriyas/Rathaestar, Vaishyas Roman – Flamines, Quirites Celtic – Druids, Plebes Anglo-Saxon – Gebedmen, Weorcmen Slavic – Volkhvs, Krestyanin/Smerd Nordic – Earl, Thrall Greece – Eupatridae, Demiurgi Greece – Homoioi, HelotsKings were born out of the warrior or noble class. Emperor Constantine convoked the First Council of Nicaea in 325 whose Nicene Creed included belief in "one holy catholic and apostolic Church". Emperor Theodosius I made Nicene Christianity the state church of the Roman Empire with the Edict of Thessalonica of 380. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century, there emerged no single powerful secular government in the West, but there was a central ecclesiastical power in Rome, the Catholic Church.
In this power vacuum, the Church rose to become the dominant power in the West. In essence, the earliest vision of Christendom was a vision of a Christian theocracy, a government founded upon and upholding Christian values, whose institutions are spread through and over with Christian doctrine; the Catholic Church's peak of authority over all European Christians and their common endeavours of the Christian community—for example, the Crusades, the fight against the Moors in the Iberian Peninsula and against the Ottomans in the Balkans—helped to develop a sense of communal identity against the obstacle of Europe's deep political divisions. The classical heritage flourished throughout the Middle Ages in both the Byzantine Greek East and Latin West. In Plato's ideal state there are three major classes, representative of the idea of the "tripartite soul", expressive of three functions or capacities of the human soul: "appetites", "the spirited element" and "reason" the part that must guide the soul to truth.
Will Durant made a convincing case that certain prominent features of Plato's ideal community were discernible in the organization and effectiveness of "the" Medieval Church in Europe: For a thousand years Europe was ruled by an order of guardians like that, visioned by our philosopher. During the Middle Ages it was customary to classify the population of Christendom into laboratores and oratores; the last group, though small in number, monopolized the instruments and opportunities of culture, ruled with unlimited sway half of the most powerful continent on the globe. The clergy, like Plato's guardians, were placed in authority... by their talent as shown in ecclesiastical studies and administration, by their disposition to a life of meditation and simplicity, and... by the influence of their relatives with the powers of state and church. In the latter half of the period in which they ruled, the clergy were as free from family cares as Plato could desire... Celibacy was
Conscription, sometimes called the draft, is the compulsory enlistment of people in a national service, most a military service. Conscription dates back to antiquity and continues in some countries to the present day under various names; the modern system of near-universal national conscription for young men dates to the French Revolution in the 1790s, where it became the basis of a large and powerful military. Most European nations copied the system in peacetime, so that men at a certain age would serve 1–8 years on active duty and transfer to the reserve force. Conscription is controversial for a range of reasons, including conscientious objection to military engagements on religious or philosophical grounds; those conscripted may evade service, sometimes by leaving the country, seeking asylum in another country. Some selection systems accommodate these attitudes by providing alternative service outside combat-operations roles or outside the military, such as Siviilipalvelus in Finland, Zivildienst in Austria and Switzerland.
Several countries conscript male soldiers not only for armed forces, but for paramilitary agencies, which are dedicated to police-like domestic only service like Internal Troops, Border Guards or non-combat rescue duties like Civil defence troops – none of, considered alternative to the military conscription. As of the early 21st century, many states no longer conscript soldiers, relying instead upon professional militaries with volunteers enlisted to meet the demand for troops; the ability to rely on such an arrangement, presupposes some degree of predictability with regard to both war-fighting requirements and the scope of hostilities. Many states that have abolished conscription therefore still reserve the power to resume it during wartime or times of crisis. States involved in wars or interstate rivalries are most to implement conscription, whereas democracies are less than autocracies to implement conscription. Former British colonies are less to have conscription, as they are influenced by British anticonscription norms that can be traced back to the English Civil War.
Around the reign of Hammurabi, the Babylonian Empire used. Under that system those eligible were required to serve in the royal army in time of war. During times of peace they were instead required to provide labour for other activities of the state. In return for this service, people subject to it gained the right to hold land, it is possible that this right was not to hold land per se but specific land supplied by the state. Various forms of avoiding military service are recorded. While it was outlawed by the Code of Hammurabi, the hiring of substitutes appears to have been practiced both before and after the creation of the code. Records show that Ilkum commitments could become traded. In other places, people left their towns to avoid their Ilkum service. Another option was to sell Ilkum lands and the commitments along with them. With the exception of a few exempted classes, this was forbidden by the Code of Hammurabi. In medieval Scandinavia the leiðangr, leding, lichting, expeditio or sometimes leþing, was a levy of free farmers conscripted into coastal fleets for seasonal excursions and in defence of the realm.
The bulk of the Anglo-Saxon English army, called the fyrd, was composed of part-time English soldiers drawn from the freemen of each county. In the 690s Laws of Ine, three levels of fines are imposed on different social classes for neglecting military service; some modern writers claim. These thegns were the land-holding aristocracy of the time and were required to serve with their own armour and weapons for a certain number of days each year; the historian David Sturdy has cautioned about regarding the fyrd as a precursor to a modern national army composed of all ranks of society, describing it as a "ridiculous fantasy":The persistent old belief that peasants and small farmers gathered to form a national army or fyrd is a strange delusion dreamt up by antiquarians in the late eighteenth or early nineteenth centuries to justify universal military conscription. Medieval levy in Poland was known as the pospolite ruszenie; the system of military slaves was used in the Middle East, beginning with the creation of the corps of Turkish slave-soldiers by the Abbasid caliph al-Mu'tasim in the 820s and 830s.
The Turkish troops soon came to dominate the government, establishing a pattern throughout the Islamic world of a ruling military class separated by ethnicity and religion by the mass of the population, a paradigm that found its apogee in the Mamluks of Egypt and the Janissary corps of the Ottoman Empire, institutions that survived until the early 19th century. In the middle of the 14th century, Ottoman Sultan Murad I developed personal troops to be loyal to him, with a slave army called the Kapıkulu; the new force was built by taking Christian children from newly conquered lands from the far areas of his empire, in a system known as the devşirme. The captive children were forced to convert to Islam; the Sultans had the young boys trained over several years. Those who showed special promise in fighting skills were trained in advanced warrior skills, put into the sultan's personal service, turned into the Janissaries, the elite branch of the Kapıkulu. A n
England in the Late Middle Ages
England in the Late Middle Ages concerns the history of England during the late medieval period, from the thirteenth century, the end of the Angevins, the accession of Henry III – considered by many to mark the start of the Plantagenet dynasty – until the accession to the throne of the Tudor dynasty in 1485, taken as the most convenient marker for the end of the Middle Ages and the start of the English Renaissance and early modern Britain. At the accession of Henry III only a remnant of English holdings remained in Gascony, for which English kings had to pay homage to the French, the barons were in revolt. Royal authority was restored by his son who inherited the throne in 1272 as Edward I, he reorganized his possessions, gained control of Wales and most of Scotland. His son Edward II was defeated at lost control of Scotland, he was deposed in a coup and from 1330 his son Edward III took control of the kingdom. Disputes over the status of Gascony led Edward III to lay claim to the French throne, resulting in the Hundred Years' War, in which the English enjoyed success, before a French resurgence during the reign of Edward III's grandson Richard II.
The fourteenth century saw the Great Famine and the Black Death, catastrophic events that killed around half of England's population, throwing the economy into chaos and undermining the old political order. With a shortage of farm labour, much of England's arable land was converted to pasture for sheep. Social unrest followed in the Peasants' Revolt of 1381. Richard was deposed by Henry of Bolingbroke in 1399, who as Henry IV founded the House of Lancaster and reopened the war with France, his son Henry V won a decisive victory at Agincourt in 1415, reconquered Normandy and ensured that his infant son Henry VI would inherit both English and French crowns after his unexpected death in 1421. However, the French enjoyed another resurgence and by 1453 the English had lost all their French holdings. Henry VI proved a weak king and was deposed in the Wars of the Roses, with Edward IV taking the throne as the first ruling member of the House of York. After his death and the taking of the throne by his brother as Richard III, an invasion led by Henry Tudor and his victory in 1485 at the Battle of Bosworth Field, marked the end of the Plantagenet dynasty.
English government went through periods of reform and decay, with parliament emerging as an important part of the administration. Women had an important economic role and noblewomen exercised power on their estates in their husbands' absence; the English began to see themselves as superior to their neighbours in the British Isles and regional identities continued to be significant. New reformed monastic orders and preaching orders reached England from the twelfth century, pilgrimage became popular and Lollardy emerged as a major heresy from the fourteenth century; the Little Ice Age had a significant impact on living conditions. Economic growth began to falter at the end of the thirteenth century, owing to a combination of overpopulation, land shortages and depleted soils. Technology and science was driven in part by the Greek and Islamic thinking that reached England from the twelfth century. In warfare, mercenaries were employed and adequate supplies of ready cash became essential for the success of campaigns.
By the time of Edward III, armies were smaller. Medieval England produced art in the form of paintings, books and many functional but beautiful objects. Literature was produced in Latin and French and from the reign of Richard II there was an upsurge in the use of Middle English in poetry. Music and singing were important and were used in religious ceremonies, court occasions and to accompany theatrical works. During the twelfth century the Anglo-Norman architectural style became more ornate, with pointed arches derived from France, termed Early English Gothic. Geoffrey Plantagenet, Count of Anjou's marriage to the Empress Matilda meant that he gained control of England and Normandy by 1154, the marriage of Geoffrey's son Henry Curtmantle, to Eleanor of Aquitaine expanded the family's holdings into what was termed the Angevin Empire; as Henry II he acquired nominal control of Wales and Ireland. His son Richard I was a absentee English king, concerned more with the crusades and his holdings in France.
His brother John's defeats in France weakened his position in England. The rebellion of his English vassals resulted in the treaty called Magna Carta, which limited royal power and established common law; this would form the basis of every constitutional battle through the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. However, both the barons and the crown failed to abide by the terms of Magna Carta, leading to the First Barons' War in which the rebel barons invited an invasion by Prince Louis. John's death and William Marshall's appointment as the protector of the nine-year-old Henry III are considered by some historians to mark the end of the Angevin period and the beginning of the Plantagenet dynasty; when Henry III came to the throne in 1216, much of his holdings on the continent were occupied by the French and many of the barons were in rebellion as part of the First Barons' War. Marshall won the war with victories at the battles of Lincoln and Dover in 1217, leading to the Treaty of Lambeth by which Louis renounced his claims.
In victory, the Marshal Protectorate reissued the Magna Carta agreement as a basis for future government. Despite the treaty hostilities continued and Henry was forced to make significant constitutional concessions to the newly crowned Louis VIII of France and Henry's stepfather Hugh X of Lusignan. Between them, they ove