Battle of Marston Moor
The Battle of Marston Moor was fought on 2 July 1644, during the First English Civil War of 1642–1646. The combined forces of the English Parliamentarians under Lord Fairfax and the Earl of Manchester and the Scottish Covenanters under the Earl of Leven defeated the Royalists commanded by Prince Rupert of the Rhine and the Marquess of Newcastle. During the summer of 1644, the Covenanters and Parliamentarians had been besieging York, defended by the Marquess of Newcastle. Rupert had gathered an army which marched through the northwest of England, gathering reinforcements and fresh recruits on the way, across the Pennines to relieve the city; the convergence of these forces made. On 1 July, Rupert outmanoeuvred the Parliamentarians to relieve the city; the next day, he sought battle with them though he was outnumbered. He was dissuaded from attacking and during the day both sides gathered their full strength on Marston Moor, an expanse of wild meadow west of York. Towards evening, the Parliamentarians themselves launched a surprise attack.
After a confused fight lasting two hours, Parliamentarian cavalry under Oliver Cromwell routed the Royalist cavalry from the field and, with Leven's infantry, annihilated the remaining Royalist infantry. After their defeat the Royalists abandoned Northern England, losing much of the manpower from the northern counties of England and losing access to the European continent through the ports on the North Sea coast. Although they retrieved their fortunes with victories in the year in Southern England, the loss of the north was to prove a fatal handicap the next year, when they tried unsuccessfully to link up with the Scottish Royalists under the Marquess of Montrose. In Northern England, the Royalists had the advantage in numbers and local support, except in parts of Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire, where the Parliamentarians had support from the clothing-manufacturing towns which "naturally maligned the gentry". On 30 June 1643, the Royalists commanded by the Marquess of Newcastle defeated the Parliamentarian army of Lord Fairfax at the Battle of Adwalton Moor near Bradford.
Fairfax and his son, Sir Thomas Fairfax, fled with their remaining forces to the port of Hull, held for Parliament. Newcastle sent some of his army south into Lincolnshire, as part of a planned "three-pronged" advance on London, but was forced to besiege Hull with most of his forces; the siege failed, as the Parliamentarian navy could supply and reinforce the port and the garrison flooded wide areas around the city, while the Royalist detachments sent into Lincolnshire were defeated at the Battle of Gainsborough and the Battle of Winceby. In late 1643, the English Civil War widened. King Charles I negotiated a "cessation" in Ireland, which allowed him to reinforce his armies with English regiments, sent to Ireland following the Irish Rebellion of 1641, but Parliament took an greater step by signing the Solemn League and Covenant, sealing an alliance with the Scottish Covenanters. Early in 1644, a Covenanter army under the Earl of Leven entered the north of England on behalf of the English Parliament.
The Marquess of Newcastle was forced to divide his army, leaving a detachment under Sir John Belasyse to watch the Parliamentarians under Lord Fairfax in Hull, while he led his main body north to confront Leven. During March and early April, the Marquess of Newcastle fought several delaying actions as he tried to prevent the Scots from crossing the River Tyne and surrounding the city of Newcastle upon Tyne. Meanwhile, a Parliamentarian cavalry force under Sir Thomas Fairfax, campaigning in Cheshire and Lancashire during the winter, crossed the Pennines and entered the West Riding of Yorkshire. To prevent Sir Thomas rejoining Lord Fairfax in Hull, Belasyse occupied the town of Selby which lay between them. On 11 April, Sir Thomas Fairfax's force, reinforced by infantry under Sir John Meldrum, stormed Selby, capturing Belasyse and most of his force. Hearing the news, Newcastle realised. York was the principal city and bastion of Royalist power in the north of England, its loss would be a serious blow to the Royalist cause.
He hastily retreated there to forestall the Fairfaxes. Leven left a detachment under the Earl of Callendar to mask the Royalist garrison of Newcastle upon Tyne, followed the Marquess of Newcastle's army with his main body. On 22 April and the Fairfaxes joined forces at Wetherby, about 14 miles west of York. Together, they began the Siege of York; the siege was a rather loose blockade as the Covenanters and Parliamentarians concentrated on capturing smaller Royalist garrisons which threatened their communications with Hull. On 3 June, they were reinforced by the Parliamentarian army of the Eastern Association under the Earl of Manchester. York was now encircled and siege operations began in earnest. Leven was accepted as commander in chief of the three combined allied armies before York, it was politic to make the Scottish Covenanters pre-eminent in the north as they were the largest single contingent in the army, but Leven was a respected veteran of the Thirty Years' War. News of the siege soon reached Oxford.
From 24 April to 5 May, he held a council of war attended by his nephew and most renowned field commander, Prince Rupert. It was settled. Rupert set out from Shrewsbury with a small force on 16 May, his first moves were intended to ga
York is a historic walled city in North Yorkshire, England. At the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss, it is the historic county town of the historic county of Yorkshire. York Minster and a variety of cultural and sporting activities make it a popular tourist destination; the city was founded by the Romans as Eboracum in 71 AD. It became the capital of the Roman province of Britannia Inferior, of the kingdoms of Deira, Northumbria and Jórvík. In the Middle Ages, York grew as a major wool trading centre and became the capital of the northern ecclesiastical province of the Church of England, a role it has retained. In the 19th century, York became a hub of the railway network and a confectionery manufacturing centre; the economy of York is now dominated by services. The University of York and National Health Service are major employers, whilst tourism has become an important element of the local economy; the City of York local government district includes rural areas beyond the old city boundaries.
In 2011, it had a population of 198,051. The word York is derived from the Brittonic name Eburākon, a combination of eburos "yew-tree" and a suffix of appurtenance *-āko "belonging to-, place of-" meaning either "place of the yew trees"; the name Eboracum became the Anglian Eoforwic in the 7th century: a compound of Eofor-, from the old name, -wic a village by conflation of the element Ebor- with a Germanic root *eburaz. When the Danish army conquered the city in 866, its name became Jórvík; the Old French and Norman name of the city following the Norman Conquest was recorded as "Everwic" in works such as Wace's Roman de Rou. Jórvík, meanwhile reduced to York in the centuries after the Conquest, moving from the Middle English Yerk in the 14th century through Yourke in the 16th century to Yarke in the 17th century; the form York was first recorded in the 13th century. Many company and place names, such as the Ebor race meeting, refer to the Latinised Brittonic, Roman name; the 12th‑century chronicler Geoffrey of Monmouth, in his fictional account of the prehistoric kings of Britain, Historia Regum Britanniae, suggests the name derives from that of a pre-Roman city founded by the legendary king Ebraucus.
The Archbishop of York uses Ebor as his surname in his signature. Archaeological evidence suggests that Mesolithic people settled in the region of York between 8000 and 7000 BC, although it is not known whether their settlements were permanent or temporary. By the time of the Roman conquest of Britain, the area was occupied by a tribe known to the Romans as the Brigantes; the Brigantian tribal area became a Roman client state, but its leaders became more hostile and the Roman Ninth Legion was sent north of the Humber into Brigantian territory. The city was founded in 71 AD, when the Ninth Legion conquered the Brigantes and constructed a wooden military fortress on flat ground above the River Ouse close to its confluence with the River Foss; the fortress, whose walls were rebuilt in stone by the VI legion based there subsequent to the IX legion, covered an area of 50 acres and was inhabited by 6,000 legionary soldiers. The site of the principia of the fortress lies under the foundations of York Minster, excavations in the undercroft have revealed part of the Roman structure and columns.
The Emperors Hadrian, Septimius Severus and Constantius I all held court in York during their various campaigns. During his stay 207–211 AD, the Emperor Severus proclaimed York capital of the province of Britannia Inferior, it is that it was he who granted York the privileges of a'colonia' or city. Constantius I died in 306 AD during his stay in York, his son Constantine the Great was proclaimed Emperor by the troops based in the fortress. In 314 AD a bishop from York attended the Council at Arles to represent Christians from the province. While the Roman colonia and fortress were located on high ground, by 400 AD the town was victim to occasional flooding from the Rivers Ouse and Foss, the population reduced. York declined in the post-Roman era, was taken and settled by the Angles in the 5th century. Reclamation of parts of the town was initiated in the 7th century under King Edwin of Northumbria, York became his chief city; the first wooden minster church was built in York for the baptism of Edwin in 627, according to the Venerable Bede.
Edwin ordered the small wooden church be rebuilt in stone. In the following century, Alcuin of York came to the cathedral school of York, he had a long career as a teacher and scholar, first at the school at York now known as St Peter's School, founded in 627 AD, as Charlemagne's leading advisor on ecclesiastical and educational affairs. In 866, Northumbria was in the midst of internecine struggles when the Vikings raided and captured York. Under Viking rule the city became a major river port, part of the extensive Viking trading routes throughout northern Europe; the last ruler of an independent Jórvík, Eric Bloodaxe, was driven from the city in 954 AD by King Eadred in his successful attempt to complete the unification
House of Lords
The House of Lords known as the House of Peers, is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Membership is else by heredity or official function. Like the House of Commons, it meets in the Palace of Westminster; the full name of the house is the Right Honourable the Lords Spiritual and Temporal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland in Parliament assembled. Unlike the elected House of Commons, members of the House of Lords are appointed; the membership of the House of Lords is drawn from the peerage and is made up of Lords Spiritual and Lords Temporal. The Lords Spiritual are 26 bishops in the established Church of England. Of the Lords Temporal, the majority are life peers who are appointed by the monarch on the advice of the Prime Minister, or on the advice of the House of Lords Appointments Commission. However, they include some hereditary peers including four dukes. Membership was once an entitlement of all hereditary peers, other than those in the peerage of Ireland, but under the House of Lords Act 1999, the right to membership was restricted to 92 hereditary peers.
Since 2008, only one of them is female. While the House of Commons has a defined number of seats membership, the number of members in the House of Lords is not fixed; the House of Lords is the only upper house of any bicameral parliament in the world to be larger than its lower house. The House of Lords scrutinises bills, it reviews and amends Bills from the Commons. While it is unable to prevent Bills passing into law, except in certain limited circumstances, it can delay Bills and force the Commons to reconsider their decisions. In this capacity, the House of Lords acts as a check on the House of Commons, independent from the electoral process. Bills can be introduced into the House of Commons. While members of the Lords may take on roles as government ministers, high-ranking officials such as cabinet ministers are drawn from the Commons; the House of Lords has its own support services, separate from the Commons, including the House of Lords Library. The Queen's Speech is delivered in the House of Lords during the State Opening of Parliament.
In addition to its role as the upper house, until the establishment of the Supreme Court in 2009, the House of Lords, through the Law Lords, acted as the final court of appeal in the United Kingdom judicial system. The House has a Church of England role, in that Church Measures must be tabled within the House by the Lords Spiritual. Today's Parliament of the United Kingdom descends, in practice, from the Parliament of England, though the Treaty of Union of 1706 and the Acts of Union that ratified the Treaty in 1707 and created a new Parliament of Great Britain to replace the Parliament of England and the Parliament of Scotland; this new parliament was, in effect, the continuation of the Parliament of England with the addition of 45 MPs and 16 Peers to represent Scotland. The House of Lords developed from the "Great Council"; this royal council came to be composed of ecclesiastics and representatives of the counties of England and Wales. The first English Parliament is considered to be the "Model Parliament", which included archbishops, abbots, earls and representatives of the shires and boroughs of it.
The power of Parliament grew fluctuating as the strength of the monarchy grew or declined. For example, during much of the reign of Edward II, the nobility was supreme, the Crown weak, the shire and borough representatives powerless. In 1569, the authority of Parliament was for the first time recognised not by custom or royal charter, but by an authoritative statute, passed by Parliament itself. During the reign of Edward II's successor, Edward III, Parliament separated into two distinct chambers: the House of Commons and the House of Lords; the authority of Parliament continued to grow, during the early 15th century both Houses exercised powers to an extent not seen before. The Lords were far more powerful than the Commons because of the great influence of the great landowners and the prelates of the realm; the power of the nobility declined during the civil wars of the late 15th century, known as the Wars of the Roses. Much of the nobility was killed on the battlefield or executed for participation in the war, many aristocratic estates were lost to the Crown.
Moreover, feudalism was dying, the feudal armies controlled by the barons became obsolete. Henry VII established the supremacy of the monarch, symbolised by the "Crown Imperial"; the domination of the Sovereign continued to grow during the reigns of the Tudor monarchs in the 16th century. The Crown was at the height of its power during the reign of Henry VIII; the House of Lords remained more powerful than the House of Commons, but the Lower House continued to grow in influence, reaching a zenith in relation to the House of Lords during the middle 17th century. Conflicts between the King and the Parliament led to the English Civil War during the 1640s. In 1649, after the defeat and execution of King Charles I, the Commonwealth of England was declared, but the nation was under the overall control of Oliver Cromwell, Lord Protector of England, S
Dunster Castle is a former motte and bailey castle, now a country house, in the village of Dunster, England. The castle lies on the top of a steep hill called the Tor, has been fortified since the late Anglo-Saxon period. After the Norman conquest of England in the 11th century, William de Mohun constructed a timber castle on the site as part of the pacification of Somerset. A stone shell keep was built on the motte by the start of the 12th century, the castle survived a siege during the early years of the Anarchy. At the end of the 14th century the de Mohuns sold the castle to the Luttrell family, who continued to occupy the property until the late 20th century; the castle was expanded several times by the Luttrell family during the 18th centuries. The medieval castle walls were destroyed following the siege of Dunster Castle at the end of the English Civil War, when Parliament ordered the defences to be slighted to prevent their further use. In the 1860s and 1870s, the architect Anthony Salvin was employed to remodel the castle to fit Victorian tastes.
Following the death of Alexander Luttrell in 1944, the family was unable to afford the death duties on his estate. The castle and surrounding lands were sold off to a property firm, the family continuing to live in the castle as tenants; the Luttrells bought back the castle in 1954, but in 1976 Colonel Walter Luttrell gave Dunster Castle and most of its contents to the National Trust, which operates it as a tourist attraction. It is scheduled monument. Dunster Castle was positioned on a steep, 200-foot high hill, sometimes called the Tor, overlooking the village of Dunster in Somerset. During the early medieval period the sea reached the base of the hill, close to the mouth of the River Avill, offering a natural defence and making the village an inland port. Several Iron Age hillforts were built close to Dunster, including Bat's Castle, Black Ball Camp and Grabbist Hill, but the earliest evidence of a fortification at Dunster was an Anglo-Saxon burgh; this was built on the summit of the hill and was intended to protect the region against sea-borne raiders.
In 1066 the Normans invaded south-east England, defeating the English forces at the battle of Hastings: in the aftermath of the victory, William the Conqueror entrusted the conquest of the south-west of England to his half-brother Robert of Mortain. Expecting stiff resistance, Robert marched west into Somerset, supported by forces under Walter of Douai, who entered from the north. William by 1086 had established a castle at Dunster; this first castle was a bailey design, built upon the former Anglo-Saxon burgh. Somerset became more stable in the aftermath of the post-invasion period and the unsuccessful 1068 rebellion against Norman rule, it was common in the period for the Normans to build religious houses to accompany major castles, accordingly William de Mohun endowed a Benedictine priory at Dunster in 1090, along with its parent abbey at Bath. The River Avill was important for trade. Stone fortifications were built on the site during the early 12th century forming a shell keep around the top of the motte.
In the late 1130s England began to descend into a period of civil war known as the Anarchy, during which the supporters of King Stephen fought with those of the Empress Matilda for control of the kingdom. William de Mohun's eldest son called William, was a noted supporter of Matilda, Dunster was considered one of her faction's strongest castles in the south-west. In 1138 forces loyal to Stephen besieged the castle. William held the castle and was made the Earl of Somerset by the grateful Empress. Chroniclers complained of the way in which he subsequently raided and controlled the region by force during the war, causing much destruction. In the aftermath of the conflict, William's son, another William, inherited the castle after a short period of royal ownership under Henry II. William appears to have insisted that his tenants agree to help repair and maintain the castle walls as part of their feudal service. In the 13th century the Lower Ward was rebuilt in stone by Reynold Mohun. A survey of the castle in 1266 described the Upper Ward on the top of the motte as containing a hall with a buttery, a pantry, a kitchen, a bakehouse, the chapel of Saint Stephen and a knight's hall, guarded by three towers.
The Lower Ward included two towers and a gatehouse. The castle stables lay outside the defences, further down the slope. By the end of the 13th century some of the castle's roofing had been c
The Bolton massacre, sometimes recorded as the Storming of Bolton, was an event in the English Civil War which happened on 28 May 1644. The Parliamentarian town was stormed and captured by Royalist forces under Prince Rupert, it was alleged that up to 1,600 of Bolton's defenders and inhabitants were slaughtered during and after the fighting. The "massacre at Bolton" became a staple of Parliamentarian propaganda. In Lancashire, before the start of the civil war, there was social and economic tension between towns which supported Parliament, the landowning gentry and aristocracy who controlled the rural areas and supported the king as Royalists. There was a religious divide with some towns supporting dissenting nonconformist movements. Bolton was known as the "Geneva of the north", a reference to the city in Switzerland, a centre of Calvinism; the major Royalist figure in Lancashire was James Stanley, 7th Earl of Derby. He was slow to take measures to secure the county at the start of the civil war in 1642, after setbacks the following year, including two failed attempts to capture Bolton, he temporarily abandoned the contest in Lancashire to secure the other area in which he held major interests, the Isle of Man.
The only threat to Parliamentarian control of Lancashire came from Cheshire, where a Royalist army under John Byron, 1st Baron Byron was formed in late 1643. On 26 January 1644, Byron was defeated at the Battle of Nantwich by Parliamentarians under Sir William Brereton and Sir Thomas Fairfax, leaving Parliamentarians in control of the area. Fairfax's army and some Lancashire Parliamentarians under Colonel Alexander Rigby began the Siege of Lathom House, seat of the Earl of Derby, defended by his wife, the Countess of Derby. However, Fairfax crossed the Pennines in late March to rejoin his father, Lord Fairfax, in Yorkshire; the Royalists had intended to send the king's nephew and foremost field commander, Prince Rupert, to the northwest to retrieve the situation early in 1644. Rupert set up headquarters in Shrewsbury, from, it became more important to regain the northwest when the Fairfaxes and a Scottish Covenanter army began the Siege of York on 22 April. As Rupert lacked the strength to proceed to relieve York, it was agreed at a council of war in Oxford, the King's wartime capital, that he would first move into Lancashire to restore Royalist fortunes, use the Earl of Derby's influence to gather fresh recruits, secure the port of Liverpool to allow communications with Royalist forces in Ireland.
Rupert, accompanied by the Earl of Derby, marched north from Shrewsbury on 16 May. He added Byron's army from Cheshire and North Wales to his own small force, giving him a total of 2,000 cavalry and 6,000 infantry. To cross the Mersey he had to secure a crossing at either Stockport, he chose the latter, stormed it on 25 May. The town was not fortified, after a brief contest outside the town in the late evening the defenders fled to Manchester. On hearing of the loss of Stockport, Colonel Rigby's forces abandoned the Siege of Lathom House and retired to Bolton, where the garrison was commanded by Colonel Shuttleworth. Late on 28 May, as Prince Rupert approached Bolton, he sent Colonel Henry Tillier, his quartermaster-general, with a regiment of cavalry and another of infantry to secure the town, they found the Parliamentarians retiring from Lathom House arriving in confusion. On hearing this, Prince Rupert hastened his march and attacked in pouring rain; the Parliamentarians manned a defensive line around the town with 4,000 men.
Rupert's first assault, by the Regiments of Foot commanded by Colonels Ellis, Warren and an unknown officer, his own Regiment of Foot commanded by Lieutenant Colonel John Russell, was repulsed with 300 casualties. Russell was wounded and his Major was taken prisoner. Prince Rupert ordered the regiment of Colonel Broughton to renew the attack. Led by the Earl of Derby, they were successful, fighting continued in the streets until the Parliamentarian forces were overcome or had fled; the Royalists claimed that there were 1,000 Parliamentarian casualties and that in addition to 50 officers and 600 other prisoners, the Royalists captured 20 standards, 20 barrels of powder and many weapons. The Parliamentarian commander, Colonel Alexander Rigby, escaped in the confusion, having learned the Royalist password, he made his way to the Parliamentarian and Covenanter "Army of Both Kingdoms" besieging York, where he claimed that 1,500 of his total force were poorly armed clubmen. He claimed that he lost only 200 men, the rest of his forces having fled, but the commanders of the armies around York noted that "vulgar reports" were that they had been slaughtered.
The storming was a brutal episode in the Civil War and several factors may have contributed to the nature of the action. Unlike a formal siege preceded by parleys and ended at some point by a negotiated surrender, Rupert attacked to catch the Parliamentarians in temporary disarray. Without any possibility of negotiation, there was little protection from the "laws" or contemporary conventions of warfare for any of the garrison who did not surrender or flee immediately; as fighting took place in the streets of the town, the citizens would have been caught up in the fighting and because the battle took place at night and in heavy rain, it would have been difficult to distinguish between citizens and armed combatants. The Royalist soldiers were allowed to plunder the town after the fighting as reward, citizens may have died during the ensuing rapine. At least two of the attacking Royalist regiments had been raised in England in 1640 to serve in the Bishops' Wars bu
Order of the Garter
The Order of the Garter is an order of chivalry founded by Edward III in 1348 and regarded as the most prestigious British order of chivalry in England and the United Kingdom. It is dedicated to the image and arms of England's patron saint. Appointments are made at the Sovereign's sole discretion. Membership of the Order is limited to the Sovereign, the Prince of Wales, no more than 24 living members, or Companions; the order includes supernumerary knights and ladies. New appointments to the Order of the Garter are announced on St George's Day, as Saint George is the order's patron saint; the order's emblem is a garter with the motto Honi soit qui mal y pense in gold lettering. Members of the order wear it on ceremonial occasions. King Edward III founded the Order of the Garter around the time of his claim to the French throne; the traditional year of foundation is given as 1348. However, the Complete Peerage, under "The Founders of the Order of the Garter", states the order was first instituted on 23 April 1344, listing each founding member as knighted in 1344.
The list includes Sir Sanchet D'Abrichecourt, who died on 20 October 1345. Other dates from 1344 to 1351 have been proposed; the King's wardrobe account shows Garter habits first issued in the autumn of 1348. Its original statutes required that each member of the Order be a knight and some of the initial members listed were only knighted that year; the foundation is to have been inspired by the Spanish Order of the Band, established in about 1330. The earliest written mention of the Order is found in Tirant lo Blanch, a chivalric romance written in Catalan by Valencian Joanot Martorell, it was first published in 1490. This book devotes a chapter to the description of the origin of the Order of the Garter. At the time of its foundation, the Order consisted of King Edward III, together with 25 Founder Knights, listed in ascending order of stall number in St George's Chapel: King Edward III Edward, the Black Prince, Prince of Wales Henry of Grosmont, Earl of Lancaster Thomas de Beauchamp, 11th Earl of Warwick Jean III de Grailly, Captal de Buch Ralph de Stafford, 1st Earl of Stafford William de Montacute, 2nd Earl of Salisbury Roger Mortimer, 2nd Earl of March John de Lisle, 2nd Baron Lisle Bartholomew de Burghersh, 2nd Baron Burghersh John de Beauchamp, 1st Baron Beauchamp John de Mohun, 2nd Baron Mohun Sir Hugh de Courtenay Thomas Holland, 1st Earl of Kent John de Grey, 1st Baron Grey de Rotherfield Sir Richard Fitz-Simon Sir Miles Stapleton Sir Thomas Wale Sir Hugh Wrottesley Sir Nele Loring Sir John Chandos Sir James Audley Sir Otho Holand Sir Henry Eam Sir Sanchet D'Abrichecourt Sir Walter Paveley They are all depicted in individual portraits in the Bruges Garter Book made c.
1431, now in the British Library. Various legends account for the origin of the Order; the most popular involves the "Countess of Salisbury", whose garter is said to have slipped from her leg while she was dancing at a court ball at Calais. When the surrounding courtiers sniggered, the king picked it up and returned it to her, exclaiming, "Honi soit qui mal y pense!", the phrase that has become the motto of the Order. However, the earliest written version of this story dates from the 1460s, it seems to have been conceived as a retrospective explanation for the adoption of what was seen as an item of female underclothing as the symbol of a band of knights. In fact, at the time of the Order's establishment in the mid-14th century, the garter was predominantly an item of male attire. According to another legend, King Richard I was inspired in the 12th century by St George the Martyr while fighting in the Crusades to tie garters around the legs of his knights, who subsequently won the battle. King Edward recalled the event in the 14th century when he founded the Order.
This story is recounted in a letter to the Annual Register in 1774: In Rastel's Chronicle, I. vi. under the life of Edward III is the following curious passage: "About the 19 yere of this kinge, he made a solempne feest at Wyndesore, a greate justes and turnament, where he devysed, perfyted substanegally, the order of the knyghtes of the garter. And afterwarde they were called the knyghtes of the blew thonge." I am obliged for this passage to Esq.. Hence some affirm, that the origin of the garter is to be dated from Richard I* and that it owes its pomp and splendor to Edward III. *Winstanley, in his Life of Edward III says that the original book of the institution deduces the invention from King Richard the First. The motto in fact refers to Edward's claim to the French throne, the Order of the Garter was created to help pursue this claim; the use of the garter as an emblem may have derived from straps used t
Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford
Edward de Vere, 17th Earl of Oxford was an English peer and courtier of the Elizabethan era. Oxford was heir to the second oldest earldom in the kingdom, a court favourite for a time, a sought-after patron of the arts, noted by his contemporaries as a lyric poet and court playwright, but his reckless and volatile temperament precluded him from attaining any courtly or governmental responsibility and contributed to the dissipation of his estate. Since the 1920s he has been among the most popular alternative candidates proposed for the authorship of Shakespeare's works. De Vere was the only son of John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford, Margery Golding. After the death of his father in 1562, he became a ward of Queen Elizabeth and was sent to live in the household of her principal advisor, Sir William Cecil, he married Cecil's daughter, with whom he had five children. De Vere was estranged from her for five years after he refused to acknowledge her first child as his. De Vere was a champion jouster and travelled throughout Italy and France.
He was among the first to compose love poetry at the Elizabethan court, he was praised as a playwright, though none of the plays known as his survive. A stream of dedications praised de Vere for his generous patronage of literary, religious and medical works, he patronised both adult and boy acting companies, as well as musicians, tumblers and performing animals, he fell out of favour with the Queen in the early 1580s and was exiled from court after impregnating one of her maids of honour, Anne Vavasour, which instigated violent street brawls between de Vere's retainers and her uncles. De Vere was reconciled to the Queen in 1583. In 1586, the Queen granted de Vere a £1,000 annuity to relieve his financial distress caused by his extravagance and selling off his income-producing lands for ready money. After his wife's death, he married Elizabeth Trentham, one of the Queen's maids of honour, with whom he had an heir, Henry de Vere, he died in 1604. De Vere was born heir to the second oldest earldom in England at the de Vere ancestral home, Hedingham Castle, in Essex, north-east of London.
He was the only son of John de Vere, 16th Earl of Oxford, his second wife, Margery Golding. He was named to honour Edward VI, from whom he received a gilded christening cup, he had an older half-sister, the child of his father's first marriage to Dorothy Neville, a younger sister, Mary de Vere. Both his parents had established court connections: the 16th Earl accompanying Princess Elizabeth from house arrest at Hatfield to the throne, the countess being appointed a maid of honour in 1559. De Vere was raised in the Protestant reformed faith. Like many children of the nobility, he was raised by surrogate parents, in his case in the household of Sir Thomas Smith. At eight he entered Queens' College, Cambridge, as an impubes, or immature fellow-commoner transferring to St John's. Thomas Fowle, a former fellow of St John's College, was paid £10 annually as de Vere's tutor, his father died on 3 August 1562, shortly after making his will. Because he held lands from the Crown by knight service, his son became a royal ward of the Queen and was placed in the household of Sir William Cecil, her secretary of state and chief advisor.
At 12, de Vere had become the 17th Earl of Oxford, Lord Great Chamberlain of England, heir to an estate whose annual income, though assessed at £2,500, may have run as high as £3,500. While living at the Cecil House, de Vere's daily studies consisted of dancing instruction, Latin, writing exercises and common prayers. During his first year at Cecil House, Oxford was tutored by Laurence Nowell, the antiquarian and Anglo-Saxon scholar. In a letter to Cecil, Nowell explains: "I see that my work for the Earl of Oxford cannot be much longer required", his departure after eight months has been interpreted as either a sign of the thirteen-year-old de Vere's intractability as a pupil, or an indication that his precocity surpassed Nowell's ability to instruct him. In May 1564 Arthur Golding, in his dedication to his Th' Abridgement of the Histories of Trogus Pompeius, attributed to his young nephew an interest in ancient history and contemporary events. In 1563 de Vere's older half-sister, Katherine Baroness Windsor, challenged the legitimacy of the marriage of de Vere's parents in the Ecclesiastical court.
His uncle Golding argued that the Archbishop of Canterbury should halt the proceedings since a proceeding against a ward of the Queen could not be brought without prior licence from the Court of Wards and Liveries. Some time before October 1563 de Vere's mother married a Gentleman Pensioner. In May 1565 she wrote to Cecil, urging that the money from family properties set aside for de Vere's use during his minority by his father's will should be entrusted to herself and other family friends to protect it and ensure that he would be able to meet the expenses of furnishing his household and suing his livery when he reached his majority. There is no evidence that Cecil replied to her request, she died three years and was buried beside her first husband at Earls Colne. De Vere's stepfather, Charles Tyrrell, died in March 1570. In August 1564 de Vere was among 17 nobles and esquires in the Queen's entourage who were awarded the honorary degree of Master of Arts by the University of Cambridge, was awarded another by the University of Oxford on a Royal progr