Alfonso X of Castile
Alfonso X, called the Wise, was the King of Castile, León and Galicia from 30 May 1252 until his death. During the Imperial election of 1257, a dissident faction chose him to be King of the Romans on 1 April and he renounced his imperial claim in 1275, and in creating an alliance with England in 1254, his claim on Gascony as well. Alfonso X fostered the development of a court that encouraged learning. Jews and Christians had prominent roles in his court, Alfonso was a prolific author of Galician poetry, such as the Cantigas de Santa Maria, which are equally notable for their musical notation as for their literary merit. Alfonsos scientific interests—he is sometimes nicknamed the Astrologer —led him to sponsor the creation of the Alfonsine tables, as a legislator he introduced the first vernacular law code in Spain, the Siete Partidas. He created the Mesta, an association of farmers in the central plain. He fought a war with Portugal, but a less successful one with Granada. The end of his reign was marred by a war with his eldest surviving son, the future Sancho IV.
Born in Toledo, Kingdom of Castile, Alfonso was the eldest son of Ferdinand III of Castile and his mother was the paternal cousin of Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II, to whom Alfonso is often compared. His maternal grandparents were Philip of Swabia and Irene Angelina, little is known about his upbringing, but he was most likely raised in Toledo. For the first nine years of his life Alfonso was only heir to Castile until his paternal grandfather king Alfonso IX of Leon died and his father united the kingdoms of Castile and Leon. He began his career as a soldier, under the command of his father, after the election of Theobald I as king of Navarre, his father tried to arrange a marriage for Alfonso with Theobalds daughter, Blanche of Navarre, but the move was unsuccessful. At the same time, he had a relationship with Mayor Guillén de Guzmán. In 1240, he married Mayor Guillén de Guzmán, but the marriage was annulled, in the same period he conquered several Muslim strongholds in Al-Andalus alongside his father, such as Murcia and Cadiz.
In 1249, Alfonso married Violante of Aragon, the daughter of King James I of Aragon and Yolande of Hungary, Alfonso succeeded his father as King of Castile and León in 1252. The following year he invaded Portugal, capturing the region of the Algarve, King Afonso III of Portugal had to surrender, but he gained an agreement by which, after he consented to marry Alfonso Xs daughter Beatrice of Castile, the land would be returned to their heirs. In 1263 he returned Algarve to the King of Portugal and signed the Treaty of Badajoz, in 1254 Alfonso X signed a treaty of alliance with the King of England and Duke of Aquitaine, Henry III, supporting him in the war against Louis IX of France. In 1256, at the death of William II of Holland, Alfonsos descent from the Hohenstaufen through his mother, Alfonsos election as King of the Romans by the imperial prince-electors misled him into complicated schemes that involved excessive expense but never succeeded
Thomas Becket was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162 until his murder in 1170. He is venerated as a saint and martyr by both the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion and he engaged in conflict with Henry II, King of England, over the rights and privileges of the Church and was murdered by followers of the king in Canterbury Cathedral. Soon after his death, he was canonised by Pope Alexander III, the main sources for the life of Becket are a number of biographies that were written by contemporaries. A few of these documents are by unknown writers, although traditional historiography has given them names, the other biographers, who remain anonymous, are generally given the pseudonyms of Anonymous I, Anonymous II, and Anonymous III. Besides these accounts, there are two other accounts that are likely contemporary that appear in the Quadrilogus II and the Thómas saga Erkibyskups. Besides these biographies, there is the mention of the events of Beckets life in the chroniclers of the time. These include Robert of Torignis work, Roger of Howdens Gesta Regis Henrici Secundi and Chronica, Ralph Dicetos works, William of Newburghs Historia Rerum, Becket was born about 1119, or in 1120 according to tradition.
He was born in Cheapside, London, on 21 December and he was the son of Gilbert Beket and Gilberts wife Matilda. Gilberts father was from Thierville in the lordship of Brionne in Normandy, Matilda was of Norman ancestry, and her family may have originated near Caen. Gilbert was perhaps related to Theobald of Bec, whose family was from Thierville. Gilbert began his life as a merchant, perhaps as a textile merchant and he served as the sheriff of the city at some point. They were buried in Old St Pauls Cathedral, one of Beckets fathers wealthy friends, Richer de LAigle, often invited Thomas to his estates in Sussex where Becket was exposed to hunting and hawking. According to Grim, Becket learned much from Richer, who was a signatory of the Constitutions of Clarendon against Thomas. Beginning when he was 10, Becket was sent as a student to Merton Priory in England and attended a school in London. He did not study any subjects beyond the trivium and quadrivium at these schools, later, he spent about a year in Paris around age 20.
He did not, study canon or civil law at this time, some time after Becket began his schooling, Gilbert Beket suffered financial reverses, and the younger Becket was forced to earn a living as a clerk. Theobald entrusted him several important missions to Rome and sent him to Bologna. His efficiency in those posts led to Theobald recommending him to King Henry II for the vacant post of Lord Chancellor, as Chancellor, Becket enforced the kings traditional sources of revenue that were exacted from all landowners, including churches and bishoprics
Normandy is one of the regions of France, roughly corresponding to the historical Duchy of Normandy. Administratively, Normandy is divided into five departments, Eure, Orne and it covers 30,627 km², forming roughly 5% of the territory of France. Its population of 3.37 million accounts for around 5% of the population of France, Normans is the name given to the inhabitants of Normandy, and the region is the homeland of the Norman language. The historical region of Normandy comprised the region of Normandy, as well as small areas now part of the départements, or departments of Mayenne. For a century and a following the Norman conquest of England in 1066, Normandy and England were linked by Norman. Archaeological finds, such as paintings, prove that humans were present in the region in prehistoric times. Celts invaded Normandy in successive waves from the 4th to the 3rd century BC, when Julius Caesar invaded Gaul, there were nine different Celtic tribes living in Normandy. The Romanisation of Normandy was achieved by the methods, Roman roads.
Classicists have knowledge of many Gallo-Roman villas in Normandy, in the late 3rd century, barbarian raids devastated Normandy. Coastal settlements were raided by Saxon pirates, Christianity began to enter the area during this period. In 406, Germanic tribes began invading from the east, while the Saxons subjugated the Norman coast, the Roman Emperor withdrew from most of Normandy. As early as 487, the area between the River Somme and the River Loire came under the control of the Frankish lord Clovis, the Vikings started to raid the Seine Valley during the middle of the 9th century. As early as 841, a Viking fleet appeared at the mouth of the Seine, after attacking and destroying monasteries, including one at Jumièges, they took advantage of the power vacuum created by the disintegration of Charlemagnes empire to take northern France. The fiefdom of Normandy was created for the Norwegian Viking leader Hrólfr Ragnvaldsson, Rollo had besieged Paris but in 911 entered vassalage to the king of the West Franks, Charles the Simple, through the Treaty of Saint-Clair-sur-Epte.
In exchange for his homage and fealty, Rollo legally gained the territory which he, the name Normandy reflects Rollos Viking origins. The descendants of Rollo and his followers adopted the local Gallo-Romance language and they became the Normans – a Norman-speaking mixture of Saxons and indigenous Franks and Celts. Besides the Norman conquest of England and the subsequent conquests of Wales and Ireland, Norman families, such as that of Tancred of Hauteville, Rainulf Drengot and Guimond de Moulins played important parts in the Norman conquest of southern Italy and Crusades. They carved out a place for themselves and their descendants in the Crusader states of Asia Minor, the 14th century Norman explorer Jean de Béthencourt established a kingdom in the Canary Islands
John, King of England
John, known as John Lackland, was King of England from 6 April 1199 until his death in 1216. The baronial revolt at the end of Johns reign led to the sealing of Magna Carta, the youngest of five sons of King Henry II of England and Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine, was at first not expected to inherit significant lands. Following the failed rebellion of his brothers between 1173 and 1174, John became Henrys favourite child. He was appointed the Lord of Ireland in 1177 and given lands in England, Johns elder brothers William and Geoffrey died young, by the time Richard I became king in 1189, John was a potential heir to the throne. John unsuccessfully attempted a rebellion against Richards royal administrators whilst his brother was participating in the Third Crusade, John spent much of the next decade attempting to regain these lands, raising huge revenues, reforming his armed forces and rebuilding continental alliances. Johns judicial reforms had a impact on the English common law system. An argument with Pope Innocent III led to Johns excommunication in 1209, Johns attempt to defeat Philip in 1214 failed due to the French victory over Johns allies at the battle of Bouvines.
When he returned to England, John faced a rebellion by many of his barons, although both John and the barons agreed to the Magna Carta peace treaty in 1215, neither side complied with its conditions. Civil war broke out shortly afterwards, with the barons aided by Louis of France and it soon descended into a stalemate. John was born to Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine on 24 December 1166, Henry had inherited significant territories along the Atlantic seaboard—Anjou and England—and expanded his empire by conquering Brittany. The result was the Angevin Empire, named after Henrys paternal title as Count of Anjou and, more specifically, its seat in Angers. The Empire, was fragile, although all the lands owed allegiance to Henry. As one moved south through Anjou and Aquitaine, the extent of Henrys power in the provinces diminished considerably, scarcely resembling the concept of an empire at all. Some of the ties between parts of the empire such as Normandy and England were slowly dissolving over time.
It was unclear what would happen to the empire on Henrys death, most believed that Henry would divide the empire, giving each son a substantial portion, and hoping that his children would continue to work together as allies after his death. To complicate matters, much of the Angevin empire was held by Henry only as a vassal of the King of France of the line of the House of Capet. Henry had often allied himself with the Holy Roman Emperor against France, shortly after his birth, John was passed from Eleanor into the care of a wet nurse, a traditional practice for medieval noble families. Eleanor left for Poitiers, the capital of Aquitaine, and sent John and this may have been done with the aim of steering her youngest son, with no obvious inheritance, towards a future ecclesiastical career
Angevin kings of England
The Angevins /ændʒvɪns/ were an English royal house in the 12th and early 13th centuries, its monarchs were Henry II, Richard I and John. As a political entity this was different from the preceding Norman. Geoffrey became Duke of Normandy in 1144 and died in 1151, in 1152 his heir, added Aquitaine by virtue of his marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine. Henry inherited the claim of his mother, Empress Matilda, Henry was succeeded by his third son, whose reputation for martial prowess won him the epithet Cœur de Lion or Lionheart. He was born and raised in England but spent very little time there during his adult life, despite this Richard remains an enduring iconic figure both in England and in France, and is one of very few kings of England remembered by his nickname as opposed to regnal number. When Richard died, his brother John – Henry’s fifth and only surviving son – took the throne, in 1204 John lost much of the Angevins continental territories, including Anjou, to the French crown. He and his successors were recognized as dukes of Aquitaine.
The loss of Anjou from which the dynasty is named is the rationale behind Johns son—Henry III of England— being considered the first Plantagenet—a name derived from a nickname for Geoffrey. Where no distinction is made between the Angevins—and Angevin era— and subsequent English Kings, Henry II is the first Plantagenet king, in addition it is used pertaining to Anjou, or any sovereign, government derived from this. As a noun it is used for any native of Anjou or Angevin ruler, the term Angevin Empire was coined in 1887 by Kate Norgate. Whereas the Angevin part of this term has proved uncontentious the empire portion has proved controversial, in 1986 a convention of historical specialists concluded that there had been no Angevin state and no empire but the term espace Plantagenet was acceptable. The Angevins descend from Geoffrey II, Count of Gâtinais and Ermengarde of Anjou, in 1060 this couple inherited, via cognatic kinship, the county of Anjou from an older line dating from 870 and a noble called Ingelger.
It was from this marriage that Geoffrey’s son, inherited the claims to England and Anjou that marks the beginning of the Angevin and this was the third attempt by Geoffrey’s father Fulk V to build a political alliance with Normandy. The first was by marrying his daughter Matilda to Henry’s heir William Adelin, Fulk married his daughter Sibylla to William Clito, heir to Henrys older brother Robert Curthose, but Henry had the marriage annulled to avoid strengthening William’s rival claim to his lands. As society became more prosperous and stable in the 11th century, the twelfth-century chronicler Ralph de Diceto noted that the counts of Anjou extended their dominion over their neighbours by marriage rather than conquest. The marriage of Geoffrey to the daughter of a king occurred in this context, King Henry’s great relief in 1133 at the birth of a son to the couple, described as the heir to the Kingdom, is understandable in the light of this situation. According to William of Newburgh writing in the 1190s, the plan failed because of Geoffrey’s early death in 1151.
Henry’s brother Geoffrey died in 1154, too soon to receive Anjou, the unity of Henry’s assemblage of domains was largely dependent on the ruling family, influencing the opinion of most historians that this instability made it unlikely to endure
Henry the Young King
Henry, known as the Young King, was the second of five legitimate sons of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine but the first to survive infancy. Beginning in 1170, he was titular King of England, Duke of Normandy, Count of Anjou, Henry the Young King was the only King of England since the Norman conquest to be crowned in the lifetime of his father, but never exercised any power. Little is known of the young prince Henry before the associated with his marriage. His mothers children by her first marriage to Louis VII of France were Marie of France, Countess of Champagne and he had one older brother, William IX, Count of Poitiers, and his younger siblings included Matilda, Geoffrey, Eleanor and John. He was known in his own lifetime as Henry the Young King to distinguish him from his father, because he was not a reigning king, he is not counted in the numerical succession of kings of England. Henry did not appear to have been interested in the day-to-day business of government. His father, however, is reputed to have failed to delegate authority to his son, the majority opinion amongst historians is that of W. L.
Warren, The Young Henry was the only one of his family who was popular in his own day. It was true that he was the one who gave no evidence of political sagacity, military skill. And elaborated in a book, He was gracious, affable, courteous. Unfortunately he was shallow, careless, high-hoped, improvident, the Young Kings contemporary reputation, was by no means so negative. This had much to do with his place in the enthusiastic tournament culture of his own day. We can see this from his appearances in the History of William Marshal, the biography of the assigned to him as a tutor in 1170. The History depicts him as constantly moving from one tournament to another across northern, with his cousins, Count of Flanders, and Baldwin V, Count of Hainaut and Namur, he was one of the key patrons of the sport. He is said to have spent over £200 a day on the great retinue of knights he brought to the tournament of Lagny-sur-Marne in November 1179, if he lacked political weight, the Young Kings patronage gave him celebrity status throughout western Europe.
The baron and troubador Bertran de Born, who knew him, said that he was the best king who took up a shield. There was a perception amongst his contemporaries and the generation that his death in 1183 marked a decline both in the tournament and knightly endeavour. His former chaplain, Gervase of Tilbury, said that his death was the end of everything knightly, the young Henry played an important part in the politics of his fathers reign. On 2 November 1160, he was betrothed to Margaret of France, daughter of King Louis VII of France and his wife, Constance of Castile
Valladolid is a city in Spain and the de facto capital of the autonomous community of Castile and León. It has a population of 309,714 people, making it Spains 13th most populous municipality and its metropolitan area ranks 20th in Spain with a population of 414,244 people in 23 municipalities. The city is situated at the confluence of the Pisuerga and Esgueva rivers, and located within five winegrowing regions, Ribera del Duero, Toro, Tierra de León, Valladolid was originally settled in pre-Roman times by the Celtic Vaccaei people, and the Romans themselves. It remained a settlement until being re-established by King Alfonso VI of Castile as a Lordship for the Count Pedro Ansúrez in 1072. The Catholic Monarchs, Isabel I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, married in Valladolid in 1469 and established it as the capital of the Kingdom of Castile and of united Spain. Christopher Columbus died in Valladolid in 1506, while authors Francisco de Quevedo, the city was briefly the capital of Habsburg Spain under Phillip III between 1601 and 1606, before returning indefinitely to Madrid.
The city declined until the arrival of the railway in the 19th century, among the events that are held each year in the city there is Holy Week, Valladolid International Film Week, and the Theatre Festival and street arts. There is no evidence for the origin of the modern name of Valladolid. Another theory suggests that the name derives from the Arabic expression Ballad Al-Walid بلد الوليد, yet a third claims that it derives from Vallis Olivetum, meaning valley of the olives. In texts from the ages the town is called Vallisoletum, meaning sunny valley. The city is popularly called Pucela, a nickname whose origin is not clear. Another theory is that Pucela comes from the fact that Pozzolana cement was sold there, the Vaccaei was a Celtic tribe, the first people with stable presence on the sector of the middle valley of the River Duero documented in historical times. Remains of Celtiberian and of a Roman camp have been excavated near the city, the nucleus of the city was originally located in the area of the current San Miguel y el Rosarillo square, and was surrounded by a palisade.
Archaeological proofs of the existence of three ancient lines of walls have been found, the area was captured from the Moors in the 10th century, and Valladolid was a village until King Alfonso VI of León and Castile donated it to Count Pedro Ansúrez in 1072. He built a palace for himself and his wife, Countess Eylo, the Collegiate of St. Mary, in 1469 Queen Isabella I of Castile and King Ferdinand of Aragon were married in the city, by the 15th century Valladolid was the residence of the kings of Castile. In 1506 Christopher Columbus died in Valladolid still convinced that he had reached the Indies in a house that is now a Museum dedicated to him and it was made the capital of the kingdom again between 1601 and 1606 by Philip III. The city was damaged by a flood of the rivers Pisuerga. Despite the damage to the old city by the 1960s economic boom, the Science Museum is next to the river Pisuerga
Louis VIII of France
Louis VIII the Lion was King of France from 1223 to 1226. He claimed the title King of England from 1216 to 1217, Louis VIII was born in Paris, the son of King Philip II of France and Isabelle of Hainaut, from whom he inherited the County of Artois. While Louis VIII only briefly reigned as king of France, he was a leader in his years as crown prince. During the First Barons War of 1215-17 against King John of England, after his victory at the Battle of Roche-au-Moine in 1214, he invaded southern England and was proclaimed King of England by rebellious barons in London on the 2 June 1216. He was never crowned and renounced his claim after being excommunicated and repelled, in 1217, Louis started the conquest of Guyenne, leaving only a small region around Bordeaux to Henry III of England. Louiss short reign was marked by an intervention using royal forces into the Albigensian Crusade in southern France that decisively moved the conflict towards a conclusion and he died in 1226 and was succeeded by his son Louis IX.
In summer 1195, a marriage between Louis and Eleanor of Brittany, niece of Richard I of England, was suggested for an alliance between Philip II and Richard, but it failed and this led to a sudden deterioration in relations between Richard and Philip. On 23 May 1200, at the age of 12, Louis was married to Blanche of Castile, daughter of King Alfonso VIII of Castile and Eleanor of England, the marriage could only be concluded after prolonged negotiations between King Philip II of France and Blanches uncle John. In 1214, King John of England began his campaign to reclaim the Duchy of Normandy from Philip II. John was optimistic, as he had built up alliances with Holy Roman Emperor Otto IV, Count Renaud of Boulogne. Johns plan was to split Philips forces by pushing north-east from Poitou towards Paris, while Otto and Ferdinand, supported by the Earl of Salisbury, marched south-west from Flanders. Whereas Philip II took personal command of the front against the emperor and his allies. The first part of the campaign went well for the English, with John outmanoeuvring the forces under the command of Prince Louis, John besieged the castle of Roche-au-Moine, a key stronghold, forcing Louis to give battle against Johns larger army.
The local Angevin nobles refused to advance with the king, left at something of a disadvantage, shortly afterwards, Philip won the hard-fought Battle of Bouvines in the north against Otto and Johns other allies, bringing an end to Johns hopes of retaking Normandy. In 1215, the English barons rebelled against the unpopular King John in the First Barons War, the barons offered the throne to Prince Louis, who landed unopposed on the Isle of Thanet in eastern Kent, England, at the head of an army on 21 May 1216. There was little resistance when the prince entered London, and Louis was proclaimed king at Old St Pauls Cathedral with great pomp and celebration in the presence of all of London. Even though he was not crowned, many nobles, as well as King Alexander II of Scotland on behalf of his English possessions, on 14 June 1216, Louis captured Winchester and soon controlled over half of the English kingdom. But just when it seemed that England was his, King Johns death in October 1216 caused many of the barons to desert Louis in favour of Johns nine-year-old son
Burgos is a city in northern Spain and the historic capital of Castile. It is situated on the confluence of the Arlanzón river tributaries and it has about 180,000 inhabitants in the actual city and another 20,000 in the metropolitan area. It is the capital of the province of Burgos, in the community of Castile. A large number of churches and other buildings from the medieval age remain, the city is surrounded by the Fuentes Blancas and the Paseo de la Isla parks. The city forms the principal crossroad of northern Spain along the Camino de Santiago and it has a well-developed transportation system, forming the main communication node in northern Spain. In 2008, the international Burgos Airport started to offer commercial flights, furthermore, AVE high speed trains are planned to start service in the near future, stopping at the newly-built Rosa de Lima train station. The Museum of Human Evolution was opened in 2010, unique in its kind across the world, the museum features the first Europeans, which lived in this area 800,000 years ago.
Burgos was selected as the Spanish Gastronomy Capital of 2013, there are several possible origins for the toponymy. When the city was founded, the inhabitants of the country moved into the fortified village. The city began to be called Caput Castellae, early humans occupied sites around Burgos as early as 800,000 years ago. When the Romans took possession of what is now the province of Burgos, in Roman times, it belonged to Hispania Citerior and to Hispania Tarraconensis. The region came to be known as Castile, i. e. land of castles, the city began to be called Caput Castellae. The county of Burgos, subject to the Kings of León, continued to be governed by counts and was extended, one of these counts, Fernán González. In the 11th century, the city became the see of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Burgos, throughout the 13th and 14th centuries, Burgos was a favourite seat of the kings of León and Castile and a favoured burial site. In 1285, Sancho IV added a new body to the consejo which came to dominate it, the jurado in charge of collecting taxes and overseeing public works, the alguacil was the royal official instituted to judge disagreements.
On 9 June 1345, sweeping aside the city government, Alfonso XI established direct rule of Burgos through the Regimiento of sixteen appointed men. In 1574, Pope Gregory XIII made the bishopric a Metropolitan archbishorpic, Burgos has been the scene of many wars, with the Moors, the struggles between León and Navarre, and between Castile and Aragon. In the Peninsular War against Napoleonic France, the siege of Burgos was a scene of a withdrawal for Arthur Wellesley, again in the 19th-century Carlist civil wars of the Spanish succession Burgos was the scene of a battle
Gascony is an area of southwest France that was part of the Province of Guyenne and Gascony prior to the French Revolution. The region is defined, and the distinction between Guyenne and Gascony is unclear, by some they are seen to overlap, while others consider Gascony a part of Guyenne. Most definitions put Gascony east and south of Bordeaux and it is currently divided between the region of Aquitaine and the region of Midi-Pyrénées. Gascony was historically inhabited by Basque-related people who appear to have spoken a language similar to Basque, the name Gascony comes from the same root as the word Basque. From medieval times until today, the Gascon language has been spoken, Gascony is the land of dArtagnan, who inspired Alexandre Dumass character dArtagnan in The Three Musketeers. It is home to Henry III of Navarre, who became king of France as Henry IV. In pre-Roman times, the inhabitants of Gascony were the Aquitanians, the Aquitanians inhabited a territory limited to the north and east by the Garonne River, to the south by the Pyrenees mountain range, and to the west by the Atlantic Ocean.
In the 50s BC, Aquitania was conquered by lieutenants of Julius Caesar, later, in 27 BC, during the reign of Emperor Augustus, the province of Gallia Aquitania was created. In 297, as Emperor Diocletian reformed the administrative structures of the Roman Empire, the territory of Novempopulania corresponded quite well to what we call now Gascony. The Aquitania Novempopulana or Novempopulania suffered like the rest of the Western Roman Empire from the invasions of Germanic tribes, the Visigoths were defeated by the Franks in 507, and fled into Spain and Septimania, as well as Albania. Novempopulania became part of the Frankish Kingdom like the rest of southern France, Novempopulania was far away from the home base of the Franks in northern France, and was only very loosely controlled by the Franks. Modern historians reject this hypothesis, which is sustained by no archeological evidence, for Juan José Larrea, and Pierre Bonnassie, a Vascon expansionism in Aquitany is not proved and is not necessary to understand the historical evolution of this region.
This Basque-related culture and race is, whatever the origin, attested in Medieval documents, the word Vasconia evolved into Wasconia, and into Gasconia. The gradual abandonment of the Basque-related Aquitanian language in favor of a local vulgar Latin, was not reversed, the replacing local vulgar Latin evolved into Gascon. It was heavily influenced by the original Aquitanian language, quite paradoxically the Basques from the French side of the Basque Country traditionally call anyone who does not speak Basque a Gascon. Meanwhile, Viking raiders conquered several Gascon towns, among them Bayonne in 842–844 and their attacks in Gascony may have helped the political disintegration of the Duchy until their defeat against William II Sánchez of Gascony in 982. In turn, the weakened ethnic polity known as Duchy of Wasconia/Wascones, unable to get round the general spread of feudalization and his 1152 marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine allowed the future Henry II to gain control of his new wifes possessions of Aquitaine and Gascony.
This addition to his already plentiful holdings made Henry the most powerful vassal in France, in 1248, Simon de Montfort was appointed Governor in the unsettled Duchy of Gascony
Reading Abbey is a large, ruined abbey in the centre of the town of Reading, in the English county of Berkshire. Reading Abbey is currently the focus of a major £3 million project called Reading Abbey Revealed and this project is conserving the ruins so that they can be re-opened to the public. Alongside the conservation, new interpretation of the Reading Abbey Quarter will be installed, Abbey Ward of Reading Borough Council takes its name from Reading Abbey, which lies within its boundaries. The abbey was founded by Henry I in 1121, as part of his endowments, he gave the abbey his lands within Reading, along with land at Cholsey. He arranged for land in Reading, previously given to Battle Abbey by William the Conqueror, to be transferred to Reading Abbey. Following its royal foundation, the abbey was established by a party of monks from Cluny Abbey in Burgundy, the abbey was dedicated to the Virgin Mary and St John the Evangelist. The first abbot, in 1123, was Hugh of Amiens who became archbishop of Rouen and was buried in Rouen Cathedral, the adjacent rivers provided convenient transport, and the abbey established wharves on the River Kennet.
The Kennet provided power for the water mills, most of which were established on the Holy Brook. When Henry I died in Lyons-la-Forêt, Normandy in 1135 his body was returned to Reading, other royal persons buried in the abbey include parts of Matilda of Scotland, William of Poitiers, and Constance of York. The abbey held over 230 relics including the hand of St James, a shrivelled human hand was found in the ruins during demolition work in 1786 and is now in St Peters RC Church, Marlow. The song Sumer is icumen in, which was first written down in the abbey about 1240, is the earliest known six part harmony from Britain, the original document is held in the British Library. Reading Abbey was frequently visited by kings and others, most especially by Henry III who often visited three or four times a year staying several weeks on each visit, the abbey was largely destroyed in 1538 during Henry VIIIs Dissolution of the Monasteries. The last abbot, Hugh Cook Faringdon, was tried and convicted of high treason and hanged, drawn.
After this, the buildings of the abbey were extensively robbed, with lead, some twenty years after the dissolution, Reading town council created a new town hall by inserting an upper floor into the former refectory of the hospitium of the abbey. The lower floor of this continued to be used by Reading School. For the next 200 years, the old building continued to serve as Readings town hall. Between 1785 and 1786, the old hall was dismantled and replaced on the site by the first of several phases of building that were to make up todays Reading Town Hall. St Jamess Church and School was built on a portion of the site of the abbey between 1837 and 1840 and its founder was James Wheble, who owned land in the area at that time
Richard I of England
Richard I was King of England from 6 July 1189 until his death. He ruled as Duke of Normandy and Gascony, Lord of Cyprus, Count of Poitiers, Anjou and Nantes and he was the third of five sons of King Henry II of England and Duchess Eleanor of Aquitaine. He was known as Richard Cœur de Lion or Richard the Lionheart because of his reputation as a military leader. He was known in Occitan as Oc e No, because of his reputation for terseness, by the age of 16, Richard had taken command of his own army, putting down rebellions in Poitou against his father. Richard spoke both French and Occitan and he was born in England, where he spent his childhood, before becoming king, however, he lived most of his adult life in the Duchy of Aquitaine, in the southwest of France. Following his accession, he spent very little time, perhaps as little as six months, most of his life as king was spent on Crusade, in captivity, or actively defending his lands in France. Rather than regarding his kingdom as a responsibility requiring his presence as ruler, nevertheless, he was seen as a pious hero by his subjects.
He remains one of the few kings of England remembered by his epithet, rather than regnal number, Richard was born on 8 September 1157, probably at Beaumont Palace, in Oxford, son of King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He was a brother of Count William IX of Poitiers, Henry the Young King. As the third son of King Henry II, he was not expected to ascend the throne. He was a brother of Duke Geoffrey II of Brittany, Queen Eleanor of Castile, Queen Joan of Sicily, and Count John of Mortain. Richard was the younger maternal half-brother of Countess Marie of Champagne, the eldest son of Henry II and Eleanor, died in 1156, before Richards birth. Richard is often depicted as having been the son of his mother. His father was Angevin-Norman and great-grandson of William the Conqueror, contemporary historian Ralph of Diceto traced his familys lineage through Matilda of Scotland to the Anglo-Saxon kings of England and Alfred the Great, and from there linked them to Noah and Woden. According to Angevin legend, there was even infernal blood in the family, while his father visited his lands from Scotland to France, Richard probably spent his childhood in England.
His first recorded visit to the European continent was in May 1165 and his wet nurse was Hodierna of St Albans, whom he gave a generous pension after he became king. Little is known about Richards education, during his captivity, English prejudice against foreigners was used in a calculated way by his brother John to help destroy the authority of Richards chancellor, William Longchamp, who was a Norman. One of the charges laid against Longchamp, by Johns supporter Hugh