Catherine of Aragon
The daughter of Isabella I of Castile and Ferdinand II of Aragon, Catherine was three years old when she was betrothed to Arthur, Prince of Wales, heir apparent to the English throne. They married in 1501, but Arthur died five months on 2 April 1502, in 1507, she held the position of ambassador of the Aragonese Crown in England, the first female ambassador in European history. Catherine subsequently married Arthurs younger brother, the recently ascended Henry VIII, for six months in 1513, she served as regent of England while Henry VIII was in France. During that time the English won the Battle of Flodden, an event in which Catherine played an important part with a speech about English courage. He sought to have their marriage annulled, setting in motion a chain of events led to Englands schism with the Catholic Church. When Pope Clement VII refused to annul the marriage, Henry defied him by assuming supremacy over religious matters, in 1533 their marriage was consequently declared invalid and Henry married Anne on the judgement of clergy in England, without reference to the Pope.
Catherine refused to accept Henry as Supreme Head of the Church in England and considered herself the Kings rightful wife and queen, despite this, she was acknowledged only as Dowager Princess of Wales by Henry. After being banished from court, she lived out the remainder of her life at Kimbolton Castle, English people held Catherine in high esteem, and her death set off tremendous mourning. The controversial book The Education of a Christian Woman by Juan Luis Vives, such was Catherines impression on people that even her enemy, Thomas Cromwell, said of her, If not for her sex, she could have defied all the heroes of History. She successfully appealed for the lives of the involved in the Evil May Day. Catherine won widespread admiration by starting an extensive programme for the relief of the poor and she was a patron of Renaissance humanism, and a friend of the great scholars Erasmus of Rotterdam and Thomas More. Catherine was born at the Archbishops Palace in Alcalá de Henares near Madrid and she was the youngest surviving child of King Ferdinand II of Aragon and Queen Isabella I of Castile.
Catherine was quite short in stature with red hair, wide blue eyes, a round face. Consequently, she was cousin of her father-in-law, Henry VII of England. Catherine was educated by a tutor, Alessandro Geraldini, who was a clerk in Holy Orders and she studied arithmetic and civil law, classical literature and heraldry, philosophy and theology. She had a religious upbringing and developed her Roman Catholic faith that would play a major role in life. She learned to speak and write in Spanish and Latin and she was taught domestic skills, such as cooking, drawing, good manners, lace-making, needlepoint, sewing and weaving. The great scholar Erasmus said that Catherine loved good literature which she had studied with success since childhood
Henry VIII of England
Henry VIII was King of England from 21 April 1509 until his death. Henry was the second Tudor monarch, succeeding his father, Henry VII, Henry is best known for his six marriages and, in particular, his efforts to have his first marriage, to Catherine of Aragon, annulled. Despite his resulting excommunication, Henry remained a believer in core Catholic theological teachings, Henry is known for his radical changes to the English Constitution, ushering in the theory of the divine right of kings to England. Besides asserting the supremacy over the Church of England, he greatly expanded royal power during his reign. Charges of treason and heresy were commonly used to quash dissent, and he achieved many of his political aims through the work of his chief ministers, some of whom were banished or executed when they fell out of his favour. Thomas Wolsey, Thomas More, Thomas Cromwell, Richard Rich and his contemporaries considered Henry in his prime to be an attractive and accomplished king, and he has been described as one of the most charismatic rulers to sit on the English throne.
He was an author and composer, as he aged, Henry became severely obese and his health suffered, contributing to his death in 1547. He is frequently characterised in his life as a lustful, harsh. He was succeeded by his son Edward VI, born 28 June 1491 at the Palace of Placentia in Greenwich, Henry Tudor was the third child and second son of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Of the young Henrys six siblings, only three – Arthur, Prince of Wales and Mary – survived infancy and he was baptised by Richard Fox, the Bishop of Exeter, at a church of the Observant Franciscans close to the palace. In 1493, at the age of two, Henry was appointed Constable of Dover Castle and Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. He was subsequently appointed Earl Marshal of England and Lord Lieutenant of Ireland at age three, and was inducted into the Order of the Bath soon after. The day after the ceremony he was created Duke of York, in May 1495, he was appointed to the Order of the Garter. Henry was given an education from leading tutors, becoming fluent in Latin and French.
Not much is known about his early life – save for his appointments – because he was not expected to become king, as Duke of York, Henry used the arms of his father as king, differenced by a label of three points ermine. In 1502, Arthur died at the age of 15 of sweating sickness, Arthurs death thrust all his duties upon his younger brother, the 10-year-old Henry. After a little debate, Henry became the new Duke of Cornwall in October 1502, Henry VII gave the boy few tasks. Young Henry was strictly supervised and did not appear in public, as a result, the young Henry would ascend the throne untrained in the exacting art of kingship
House of Tudor
The House of Tudor was a royal house of Welsh and English origin, descended in the male line from the Tudors of Penmynydd. Tudor monarchs ruled the Kingdom of England and its realms, including their ancestral Wales, the Tudors succeeded the House of Plantaganet as rulers of the Kingdom of England, and were succeeded by the House of Stuart. The first monarch, Henry VII, descended through his mother from a branch of the English royal House of Lancaster. The Tudor family rose to power in the wake of the Wars of the Roses and his victory was reinforced by his marriage to Elizabeth of York, daughter of King Edward IV, symbolically uniting the former warring factions under a new dynasty. They maintained the nominal English claim to the Kingdom of France, although none of them made substance of it, after him, his daughter Mary I lost control of all territory in France permanently with the fall of Calais in 1558. In total, five Tudor monarchs ruled their domains for just over a century, Henry VIII was the only male-line male heir of Henry VII to live to the age of maturity.
Issues around the royal succession became major political themes during the Tudor era, the House of Stuart, descended from Henry VIIIs sister Margaret, came to power in 1603 when the direct Tudor line failed, as Elizabeth I died without a legitimate heir. The church retroactively declared the Beauforts legitimate by way of a bull the same year. A subsequent proclamation by John of Gaunts legitimate son, Henry IV, recognised the Beauforts legitimacy, the Beauforts remained closely allied with Gaunts legitimate descendants from his first marriage, the House of Lancaster. On 1 November 1455, John Beauforts granddaughter, Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby, married Henry VIs half-brother Edmund Tudor and it was his father, Owen Tudor, who abandoned the Welsh patronymic naming practice and adopted a fixed surname. When he did, he did not choose, as was generally the custom, his fathers name, Owen Tudor was one of the bodyguards for the queen dowager Catherine of Valois, whose husband, Henry V, had died in 1422.
Evidence suggests that the two were married in 1429. The two sons born of the marriage and Jasper, were among the most loyal supporters of the House of Lancaster in its struggle against the House of York, Edmund died on 3 November 1456. On 28 January 1457, his widow Margaret Beaufort, who had just attained her fourteenth birthday, gave birth to a son, Henry Tudor, at her brother-in-laws Pembroke Castle. Henry Tudor, the future Henry VII, spent his childhood at Raglan Castle, the home of William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke, a leading Yorkist. Following the murder of Henry VI and death of his son, Edward, in 1471, concerned for his young nephews life, Jasper Tudor took Henry to Brittany for safety. Lady Margaret remained in England and remarried, living quietly while advancing the Lancastrian cause, capitalizing on the growing unpopularity of Richard III, she was able to forge an alliance with discontented Yorkists in support of her son. Two years after Richard III was crowned and Jasper sailed from the mouth of the Seine to the Milford Haven Waterway, upon this victory, Henry Tudor proclaimed himself King Henry VII
House of York
The House of York was a cadet branch of the English royal House of Plantagenet. Three of its members became Kings of England in the late 15th century and it is based on these descents that they claimed the English crown. Compared with the House of Lancaster, it had a claim to the throne of England according to cognatic primogeniture. The reign of this dynasty ended with the death of Richard III of England in 1485 and it became extinct in the male line with the death of Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick in 1499. Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, 1st Earl of Cambridge, KG was a son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault. He was the founder of the House of York, but it was through the marriage of his younger son, Richard to Anne Mortimer that the Yorkist faction in the Wars of the Roses made its claim on the throne. The other party in the Wars of the Roses, the Lancasters, were descendants of Edmunds elder brother, Edmund had two sons and Richard of Conisburgh. Edward succeeded to the dukedom in 1402, but was killed at the battle of Agincourt in 1415, Richard married Anne Mortimer, a great-granddaughter of Lionel of Antwerp, the second son of Edward III.
Furthermore, Annes son Richard became heir general to the earldom of March, after her brother, Edmund, 5th Earl. Richard of Conisburgh was executed following his involvement in the Southampton Plot to depose Henry V of England in favour of the Earl of March, the dukedom of York therefore passed to his son, Richard Plantagenet. Through his mother, Richard Plantagenet inherited the lands of the earldom of March, although he served as Protector of the Realm during Henry VIs period of incapacity in 1453-54, his reforms were reversed by Somersets party once the king had recovered. The Wars of the Roses began the year, with the First Battle of St Albans. Initially, Richard aimed only to purge his Lancastrian political opponents from positions of influence over the king and it was not until October 1460 that he claimed the throne for the House of York. In that year the Yorkists had captured the king at the battle of Northampton and his second son Edmund were killed at the battle of Wakefield on 30 December.
Richards claim to the throne was inherited by his son Edward, with the support of Richard Neville, 16th Earl of Warwick, already showing great promise as a leader of men, defeated the Lancastrians in a succession of battles. While Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou were campaigning in the north, Edward strengthened his claim with a decisive victory at the Battle of Towton in the same year, in the course of which the Lancastrian army was virtually wiped out. The early reign of Edward IV was marred by Lancastrian plotting, Warwick himself changed sides, and supported Margaret of Anjou and the kings jealous brother George, Duke of Clarence, in briefly restoring Henry in 1470-71. However, Edward regained his throne, and the House of Lancaster was wiped out with the death of Henry VI himself, in the Tower of London in 1471
Richard III of England
Richard III was King of England from 1483 until his death in 1485, at the age of 32, in the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty and his defeat at Bosworth Field, the last decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, marked the end of the Middle Ages in England. He is the subject of the historical play Richard III by William Shakespeare, when his brother King Edward IV died in April 1483, Richard was named Lord Protector of the realm for Edwards son and successor, the 12-year-old Edward V. As the young king travelled to London from Ludlow, Richard met and escorted him to lodgings in the Tower of London, on 25 June, an assembly of Lords and commoners endorsed the claims. The following day, Richard III began his reign, and he was crowned on 6 July 1483. The young princes were not seen in public after August, and accusations circulated that the boys had been murdered on Richards orders, there were two major rebellions against Richard.
The first, in October 1483, was led by allies of Edward IV and Richards former ally, Henry Stafford, 2nd Duke of Buckingham. In August 1485, Henry Tudor and his uncle, Jasper Tudor, Henry Tudor landed in southern Wales with a small contingent of French troops and marched through his birthplace, recruiting soldiers. Henrys force engaged Richards army and defeated it at the Battle of Bosworth Field in Leicestershire, Richard was struck down in the conflict, making him the last English king to die in battle on home soil and the first since Harold Godwinson. Henry ascended the throne as Henry VII, after the battle Richards corpse was taken to Leicester and buried without pomp. His original tomb monument is believed to have been removed during the Reformation, in 2012, an archaeological excavation was commissioned by the Richard III Society on a city council car park on the site once occupied by Greyfriars Priory Church. Richards remains were reburied in Leicester Cathedral on 26 March 2015 and they returned to England following the defeat of the Lancastrians at the Battle of Towton and participated in the coronation of Richards eldest brother as King Edward IV in June 1461.
At this time Richard was named Duke of Gloucester and made a Knight of the Garter and Knight of the Bath, by the age of seventeen, he had an independent command. With some interruptions, Richard stayed at Middleham either from late 1461 until early 1465, while at Warwicks estate, he probably met Francis Lovell, a strong supporter in his life, and Warwicks younger daughter, his future wife Anne Neville. As the relationship between the king and Warwick became strained, Edward IV opposed the match, during Warwicks lifetime, George was the only royal brother to marry one of his daughters, the eldest, Isabel, on 12 July 1469, without the kings permission. George joined his father-in-laws revolt against the king, while Richard remained loyal to Edward, in 1468, Richards sister Margaret had married Charles the Bold, the Duke of Burgundy, and the brothers could expect a welcome there. Although only eighteen years old, Richard played crucial roles in the battles of Barnet, during his adolescence, Richard developed idiopathic scoliosis.
Following a decisive Yorkist victory over the Lancastrians at the Battle of Tewkesbury, Richard married Anne Neville, by the end of 1470 Anne had previously been wedded to Edward of Westminster, only son of Henry VI, to seal her fathers allegiance to the Lancastrian party
A heraldic badge, an emblem, an impresa, or device, or personal device worn as a badge indicates allegiance to, or the property of, an individual or family. Medieval forms are called a livery badge, and a cognizance. They are para-heraldic, not necessarily using elements from the coat of arms of the person or family they represent, though many do and their use was more flexible than that of arms proper. Badges worn on clothing were common in the late Middle Ages, livery collars were given to important persons, often with the badge as a pendant. The badge would be embroidered or appliqued on standards, horse trappings, livery uniforms, many medieval badges survive in English pub names. Badges are occasionally taken from a charge in the coat of arms. More often, badges commemorated some remarkable exploit, illustrated a family or feudal alliance, some badges are rebuses, making a pun or play-on-words of the owners name. It was not uncommon for the same personage or family to use more than one badge, in the Wilton Diptych, Richards own badge has pearls on the antler tips, which the angels badges lack.
The British Museum has a badge in flat lead. The mob attacked him, pulling him off his horse and the badge off him, over twenty years later, after Gaunts son Henry IV had deposed Richard, one of Richards servants was imprisoned by Henry for continuing to wear Richards livery badge. Many of the number of badges of various liveries recovered from the Thames in London were perhaps discarded hurriedly by retainers who found themselves impoliticly dressed at various times. 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, and the matter was put off. In 1390 it was ordered that no one below the rank of banneret should issue badges, livery badges issues by guilds and corporations, and mayors, were exempt, and these continued in use until the 19th century in some cases. In fact modern historical analysis of the records shows few prosecutions. The Collar of Esses became in effect a badge of office, indeed, by the 16th century, emblems were adopted by intellectuals and merchants who had no heraldry of their own.
Later emblem books contained large numbers of emblems, partly to allow people to one they thought suited them. The device, to all intents and purposes identical to the Italian impresa, the device normally consists of two parts while most emblems have three or more. These include the porcupine of Louis XII with its motto Eminus et cominus or De pres et de loin and these and many more were collected by Claude Paradin and published in his Devises héroïques of 1551 and 1557, which gives the motto of Louis XII as Ultos avos Troiae
Battle of Bosworth Field
Fought on 22 August 1485, the battle was won by the Lancastrians. Their leader Henry Tudor, Earl of Richmond, by his victory became the first English monarch of the Tudor dynasty and his opponent, Richard III, the last king of the House of York, was killed in the battle. Historians consider Bosworth Field to mark the end of the Plantagenet dynasty, at the request of his brother Edward IV, Richard was acting as Lord Protector for his son Edward V. Richard had Parliament declare Edward V illegitimate and ineligible for the throne, across the English Channel in Brittany, Henry Tudor, a descendant of the greatly diminished House of Lancaster, seized on Richards difficulties so that he could challenge his claim to the throne. Henrys first attempt to invade England was frustrated by a storm in 1483, marching inland, Henry gathered support as he made for London. Richard mustered his troops and intercepted Henrys army south of Market Bosworth in Leicestershire, Lord Stanley, and Sir William Stanley brought a force to the battlefield, but held back while they decided which side it would be more advantageous to support.
Richard divided his army, which outnumbered Henrys, into three groups, one was assigned to the Duke of Norfolk and another to the Earl of Northumberland. Henry kept most of his force together and placed it under the command of the experienced Earl of Oxford, Richards vanguard, commanded by Norfolk, attacked but struggled against Oxfords men, and some of Norfolks troops fled the field. Northumberland took no action when signalled to assist his king, so Richard gambled everything on a charge across the battlefield to kill Henry, seeing the kings knights separated from his army, the Stanleys intervened, Sir William led his men to Henrys aid and killing Richard. After the battle Henry was crowned king below an oak tree in nearby Stoke Golding, Henry hired chroniclers to portray his reign favourably, the Battle of Bosworth was popularised to represent the Tudor dynasty as the start of a new age. From the 15th to the 18th centuries the battle was glamorised as a victory of good over evil, the climax of William Shakespeares play Richard III provides a focal point for critics in film adaptations.
The exact site of the battle is disputed because of the lack of conclusive data, in 1974 the Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre was built on a site that has since been challenged by several scholars and historians. In October 2009 a team of researchers, who had performed geological surveys and archaeological digs in the area from 2003, during the 15th century civil war raged across England as the Houses of York and Lancaster fought each other for the English throne. In 1471 the Yorkists defeated their rivals in the battles of Barnet, the Lancastrian King Henry VI and his only son, Edward of Lancaster, died in the aftermath of the Battle of Tewkesbury. Their deaths left the House of Lancaster with no direct claimants to the throne, the Yorkist king, Edward IV, was in complete control of England. He attainted those who refused to submit to his rule, such as Jasper Tudor and his nephew Henry, naming them traitors and confiscating their lands. The Tudors tried to flee to France but strong winds forced them to land in Brittany, a semi-independent duchy, Henrys mother, Lady Margaret Beaufort, was a great-granddaughter of John of Gaunt, uncle of King Richard II and father of King Henry IV.
The Beauforts were originally bastards, but Henry IV legitimised them on the condition that their descendants were not eligible to inherit the throne
The British Army is the principal land warfare force of the United Kingdom. As of 2017 the British Army comprises just over 80,000 trained Regular, or full-time and just over 26,500 trained Reserve, or part-time personnel. Therefore, the UK Parliament approves the continued existence of the Army by passing an Armed Forces Act at least once every five years, day to day the Army comes under administration of the Ministry of Defence and is commanded by the Chief of the General Staff. Repeatedly emerging victorious from these decisive wars allowed Britain to influence world events with its policies and establish itself as one of the leading military. In 1660 the English and Irish monarchies were restored under Charles II, Charles favoured the foundation of a new army under royal control and began work towards its establishment by August 1660. The Royal Scots Army and the Irish Army were financed by the Parliament of Scotland, the order of seniority of the most senior line regiments in the British Army is based on the order of seniority in the English army.
At that time there was only one English regiment of dragoons, after William and Marys accession to the throne, England involved itself in the War of the Grand Alliance, primarily to prevent a French invasion restoring Marys father, James II. Spain, in the two centuries, had been the dominant global power, and the chief threat to Englands early transatlantic ambitions. The territorial ambitions of the French, led to the War of the Spanish Succession and the Napoleonic Wars. From the time of the end of the Seven Years War in 1763, Great Britain was the naval power. As had its predecessor, the English Army, the British Army fought the Kingdoms of Spain and the Netherlands for supremacy in North America and the West Indies. With native and provincial assistance, the Army conquered New France in the North American theatre of the Seven Years War, the British Army suffered defeat in the American War of Independence, losing the Thirteen Colonies but holding on to Canada. The British Army was heavily involved in the Napoleonic Wars and served in campaigns across Europe.
The war between the British and the First French Empire of Napoleon Bonaparte stretched around the world and at its peak, in 1813, the regular army contained over 250,000 men. A Coalition of Anglo-Dutch and Prussian Armies under the Duke of Wellington, the English had been involved, both politically and militarily, in Ireland since being given the Lordship of Ireland by the Pope in 1171. The campaign of the English republican Protector, Oliver Cromwell, involved uncompromising treatment of the Irish towns that had supported the Royalists during the English Civil War, the English Army stayed in Ireland primarily to suppress numerous Irish revolts and campaigns for independence. Having learnt from their experience in America, the British government sought a political solution, the British Army found itself fighting Irish rebels, both Protestant and Catholic, primarily in Ulster and Leinster in the 1798 rebellion. The Haldane Reforms of 1907 formally created the Territorial Force as the Armys volunteer reserve component by merging and reorganising the Volunteer Force, Great Britains dominance of the world had been challenged by numerous other powers, in the 20th century, most notably Germany
House of Lancaster
The House of Lancaster was the name of two cadet branches of the royal House of Plantagenet. The first house was created when Henry III of England created the Earldom of Lancaster—from which the house was named—for his second son Edmund Crouchback in 1267 and this brought him—and Henry, his younger brother—into conflict with their cousin Edward II of England, leading to Thomass execution. Henry inherited Thomass titles and he and his son, who was called Henry, the second house of Lancaster was descended from John of Gaunt, who married the heiress of the first house. Edward III married all his sons to wealthy English heiresses rather than following his predecessors practice of finding continental political marriages for royal princes. Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster, had no male heir so Edward married his son John to Henrys heiress daughter and this gave John the vast wealth of the House of Lancaster. Their son Henry usurped the throne in 1399, creating one of the factions in the Wars of the Roses, there was an intermittent dynastic struggle between the descendants of Edward III.
In these wars, the term Lancastrian became a reference to members of the family, the family provided England with three kings, Henry IV, who ruled from 1399 to 1413, Henry V, and Henry VI. Later grants included the first Earldom of Lancaster on 30 June 1267, Edmund was Count of Champagne and Brie from 1276 by right of his wife. Edmunds second marriage to Blanche of Artois, the widow of the King of Navarre, Blanches daughter Joan I of Navarre was queen regnant of Navarre and through her marriage to Philip IV of France was queen consort of France. Edmunds son Thomas became the most powerful nobleman in England, gaining the Earldoms of Lincoln and Salisbury through marriage to the heiress of Henry de Lacy and his income was £11,000 per annum—double that of the next wealthiest earl. After initially supporting Edward, Thomas became one of the Lords Ordainers, who demanded the banishment of Piers Gaveston, after Gaveston was captured, Thomas took the lead in his trial and execution at Warwick in 1312.
Edwards authority was weakened by poor governance and defeat by the Scots at the Battle of Bannockburn and this allowed Thomas to restrain Edwards power by republishing the Ordinances of 1311. Following this achievement Thomas took little part in the governance of the realm and this allowed Edward to regroup and re-arm, leading to a fragile peace in August 1318 with the Treaty of Leake. In 1321 Edwards rule again collapsed into civil war, Thomas raised a northern army but was defeated and captured at the Battle of Boroughbridge. He was sentenced to be hanged and quartered but because he was Edwards cousin he was given a death by beheading. Henry joined the revolt of Edwards wife Isabella of France and her lover Mortimer in 1326 and his restored prestige led to him knighting the young King Edward III of England before his coronation. Mortimer lost support over the Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton that formalised Scotlands independence, when Mortimer called a parliament to make his new powers and estates permanent with the title of Earl of March in 1328, Henry led the opposition and held a counter-meeting.
In response, Mortimer ravaged the lands of Lancaster and checked the revolt, Edward III was able to assume control in 1330 but Henrys further influence was restricted by poor health and blindness for the last fifteen years of his life
Tower of London
The Tower of London, officially Her Majestys Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle located on the north bank of the River Thames in central London. It lies within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets, separated from the edge of the square mile of the City of London by the open space known as Tower Hill. It was founded towards the end of 1066 as part of the Norman Conquest of England. The White Tower, which gives the castle its name, was built by William the Conqueror in 1078 and was a resented symbol of oppression. The castle was used as a prison from 1100 until 1952, a grand palace early in its history, it served as a royal residence. As a whole, the Tower is a complex of buildings set within two concentric rings of defensive walls and a moat. There were several phases of expansion, mainly under Kings Richard the Lionheart, Henry III, the general layout established by the late 13th century remains despite activity on the site. The Tower of London has played a prominent role in English history and it was besieged several times, and controlling it has been important to controlling the country.
The Tower has served variously as an armoury, a treasury, a menagerie, the home of the Royal Mint, a record office. From the early 14th century until the reign of Charles II, in the absence of the monarch, the Constable of the Tower is in charge of the castle. This was a powerful and trusted position in the medieval period, in the late 15th century, the castle was the prison of the Princes in the Tower. Under the Tudors, the Tower became used less as a royal residence and this use has led to the phrase sent to the Tower. Executions were more commonly held on the notorious Tower Hill to the north of the castle, in the latter half of the 19th century, institutions such as the Royal Mint moved out of the castle to other locations, leaving many buildings empty. Anthony Salvin and John Taylor took the opportunity to restore the Tower to what was felt to be its medieval appearance, in the First and Second World Wars, the Tower was again used as a prison and witnessed the executions of 12 men for espionage.
After the Second World War, damage caused during the Blitz was repaired, the Tower of London is one of the countrys most popular tourist attractions. Under the ceremonial charge of the Constable of the Tower, it is cared for by the charity Historic Royal Palaces and is protected as a World Heritage Site. The Tower was orientated with its strongest and most impressive defences overlooking Saxon London and it would have visually dominated the surrounding area and stood out to traffic on the River Thames. The castle is made up of three wards, or enclosures, the innermost ward contains the White Tower and is the earliest phase of the castle
The Round Table is King Arthurs famed table in the Arthurian legend, around which he and his Knights congregate. As its name suggests, it has no head, implying that everyone who sits there has equal status, the table was first described in 1155 by Wace, who relied on previous depictions of Arthurs fabulous retinue. The symbolism of the Round Table developed over time, by the close of the 12th century it had come to represent the order associated with Arthurs court. The Round Table first appears in Waces Roman de Brut, a Norman language adaptation of Geoffrey of Monmouths Historia Regum Britanniae finished in 1155, Wace says Arthur created the Round Table to prevent quarrels among his barons, none of whom would accept a lower place than the others. Layamon added to the story when he adapted Waces work into the Middle English Brut in the early 13th century, in response a Cornish carpenter built an enormous but easily transportable Round Table to prevent further dispute. Wace claims he was not the source of the Round Table, some scholars have doubted this claim, while others believe it may be true.
Though the Round Table itself is not mentioned until Wace, the concept of Arthur having a court made up of many prominent warriors is much older. Geoffrey of Monmouth says that after establishing peace throughout Britain, Arthur increased his personal entourage by inviting very distinguished men from far-distant kingdoms to join it, though no Round Table appears in the early Welsh texts, Arthur is associated with various items of household furniture. A henge at Eamont Bridge near Penrith, Cumbria is known as King Arthurs Round Table, the still-visible Roman amphitheatre at Caerleon has been associated with the Round Table. and has been suggested as a possible source for the legend. The Round Table takes on new dimensions in the romances of the late 12th and early 13th century, where it becomes a symbol of the famed order of chivalry which flourishes under Arthur. In Robert de Borons Merlin, written around the 1190s, the wizard Merlin creates the Round Table in imitation of the table of the Last Supper and of Joseph of Arimatheas Holy Grail table.
This table, here made for Arthurs father Uther Pendragon rather than Arthur himself, has twelve seats and this seat must remain empty until the coming of the knight who will achieve the Grail. The Didot Perceval, a continuation of Roberts work, takes up the story. The prose cycles of the 13th century, the Lancelot-Grail cycle, here it is the perfect knight Galahad, rather than Percival, who assumes the empty seat, now called the Siege Perilous. Galahads arrival marks the start of the Grail quest as well as the end of the Arthurian era, in these works the Round Table is kept by King Leodegrance of Cameliard after Uthers death, Arthur inherits it when he marries Leodegrances daughter Guinevere. Other versions treat the Round Table differently, for instance Italian Arthurian works often distinguish between the Old Table of Uthers time and Arthurs New Table, during the Middle Ages, festivals called Round Tables were celebrated throughout Europe in imitation of Arthurs court. These events featured jousting and feasting, and in some cases attending knights assumed the identities of Arthurs entourage, the earliest of these was held in Cyprus in 1223 to celebrate a knighting.
Round Tables were popular in various European countries through the rest of the Middle Ages and were at times very elaborate, René of Anjou even erected an Arthurian castle for his 1446 Round Table
An antelope is a member of a number of even-toed ungulate species indigenous to various regions in Africa and Eurasia. Antelopes comprise a wastebasket taxon within the family Bovidae, encompassing those Old World species that are not cattle, buffalo, bison, a group of antelope is called a herd. It perhaps derives from Greek anthos and ops, perhaps meaning beautiful eye or alluding to the animals long eyelashes and this, may be a folk etymology. The word talopus and calopus, from Latin, came to be used in heraldry, in 1607, it was first used for living, cervine animals. The 91 species, most of which are native to Africa, the classification of tribes or subfamilies within Bovidae is still a matter of debate, with several alternative systems proposed. Antelope are not a cladistic or taxonomically defined group, the term is used to describe all members of the family Bovidae that do not fall under the category of sheep, cattle, or goats. Usually, all species of the Alcelaphinae, Hippotraginae, Cephalophinae, many Bovinae, the grey rhebok, and the impala are called antelopes.
No antelope species is native to Australasia or Antarctica, nor do any extant species occur in the Americas, North America is currently home to the native pronghorn, which taxonomists do not consider a member of the antelope group, but which is locally referred to as such. More species of antelope are native to Africa than to any other continent, almost exclusively in savannahs, other species occur in Asia, the Arabian Peninsula is home to the Arabian oryx and Dorcas gazelle. India is home to the nilgai, blackbuck, Tibetan antelope, and four-horned antelope, while Russia and Central Asia have the Tibetan antelope, many species of antelopes have been imported to other parts of the world, especially the United States, for exotic game hunting. With some species possessing spectacular leaping and evasive skills, individuals may escape, Texas in particular has many game ranches, as well as habitats and climates, that are very hospitable to African and Asian plains antelope species. Accordingly, wild populations of antelope and nilgai may be found in Texas.
Antelope live in a range of habitats. Numerically, most live in the African savannahs, species living in forests, woodland, or bush tend to be sedentary, but many of the plains species undertake long migrations. These enable grass-eating species to follow the rains and thereby their food supply, the gnus and gazelles of East Africa perform some of the most impressive mass migratory circuits of all mammals. For example, a male common eland can measure 178 cm at the shoulder and weigh almost 950 kg, whereas an adult royal antelope may stand only 24 cm at the shoulder and weigh a mere 1.5 kg. Not surprisingly for animals with long, slender yet powerful legs, many antelopes have long strides, some are adapted to inhabiting rock koppies and crags. Both dibatags and gerenuks habitually stand on their two legs to reach acacia and other tree foliage