Battle of Towton
The Battle of Towton was fought on 29 March 1461 during the English Wars of the Roses, near the village of Towton in Yorkshire. A culminating battle in the dynastic struggles between the houses of Lancaster and York for control of the English throne, the engagement ended in an overwhelming victory for the Yorkists, it brought about a change of monarchs in England, with the victor, the Yorkist Edward IV having displaced the Lancastrian Henry VI as king, thus driving the head of the Lancastrians and his key supporters out of the country. It is described as "probably the largest and bloodiest battle fought on English soil", according to historical sources the longest. According to chroniclers, more than 50,000 Yorkist and Lancastrian soldiers fought for hours amidst a snowstorm on that day, Palm Sunday. A newsletter circulated a week. Contemporary accounts described Henry VI as peaceful and pious, not suited for the violent dynastic civil wars, such as the Wars of the Roses, he had periods of insanity while his inherent benevolence required his wife, Margaret of Anjou, to assume control of his kingdom, which contributed to his own downfall.
His ineffectual rule had encouraged the nobles' schemes to establish control over him, the situation deteriorated into a civil war between the supporters of Margaret and those of Richard, Duke of York. After the Yorkists captured Henry in 1460, the English parliament passed an Act of Accord to let York and his line succeed Henry as king. Margaret refused to accept the dispossession of her son's right to the throne and, along with fellow Lancastrian malcontents, raised an army. Richard of York was killed at the Battle of Wakefield and his titles, including the claim to the throne, passed to his eldest son Edward. Nobles who were hesitant to support Richard's claim to the throne considered the Lancastrians to have reneged on the Act – a legal agreement – and Edward found enough backing to denounce Henry and declare himself king; the Battle of Towton was to affirm the victor's right to rule over England through force of arms. On reaching the battlefield, the Yorkists found themselves outnumbered.
Part of their force under the Duke of Norfolk had yet to arrive. The Yorkist leader Lord Fauconberg turned the tables by ordering his archers to take advantage of the strong wind to outrange their enemies; the one-sided missile exchange, with Lancastrian arrows falling short of the Yorkist ranks, provoked the Lancastrians into abandoning their defensive positions. The ensuing hand-to-hand combat lasted hours; the arrival of Norfolk's men reinvigorated the Yorkists and, encouraged by Edward, they routed their foes. Many Lancastrians were killed while fleeing. Several who were taken as prisoners were executed; the power of the House of Lancaster was reduced after this battle. Henry fled the country, many of his most powerful followers were dead or in exile after the engagement, letting Edward rule England uninterrupted for nine years, before a brief restoration of Henry to the throne. Generations remembered the battle as depicted in William Shakespeare's dramatic adaptation of Henry's life—Henry VI, Part 3, Act 2, Scene 5.
In 1929, the Towton Cross was erected on the battlefield to commemorate the event. Various archaeological remains and mass graves related to the battle were found in the area centuries after the engagement. In 1461, England was in the sixth year of the Wars of the Roses, a series of civil wars between the houses of York and Lancaster over the English throne; the Lancastrians backed the reigning King of England, Henry VI, an indecisive man who had bouts of madness. The leader of the Yorkists was Richard, Duke of York, who resented the dominance of a small number of aristocrats favoured by the king, principally his close relatives, the Beaufort family. Fuelled by rivalries between influential supporters of both factions, York's attempts to displace Henry's favourites from power led to war. After capturing Henry at the Battle of Northampton in 1460, the duke, of royal blood, issued his claim to the throne. York's closest supporters among the nobility were reluctant to usurp the dynasty; the Queen of England, Margaret of Anjou, refused to accept an arrangement that deprived her son—Edward of Westminster—of his birthright.
She had fled to Scotland after the Yorkist victory at Northampton. Her Lancastrian supporters mustered in the north of England, preparing for her arrival. York marched with his army to meet this threat but he was lured into a trap at the Battle of Wakefield and killed; the duke and his second son Edmund, Earl of Rutland were decapitated by the Lancastrians and their heads were impaled on spikes atop the Micklegate Bar, a gatehouse of the city of York. The leadership of the House of York passed onto Edward; the victors of Wakefield were joined by Margaret's army and they marched south, plundering settlements in their wake. They liberated Henry after defeating the Yorkist army of Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, in the Second Battle of St Albans and continued pillaging on their way to London; the city of London refused to open its gates to Margaret for fear of being looted. The Lancastrian army had no adequate means to replenish them; when Margaret learned that Richard of Yo
Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York
Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York named Richard Plantagenet, was a leading English magnate, a great-grandson of King Edward III through his father, a great-great-great-grandson of the same king through his mother. He inherited vast estates and served in various offices of state in Ireland and England, a country he governed as Lord Protector during the madness of King Henry VI, his conflicts with Henry's wife, Margaret of Anjou, other members of Henry's court, as well as his competing claim on the throne, were a leading factor in the political upheaval of mid-fifteenth-century England, a major cause of the Wars of the Roses. Richard attempted to take the throne, but was dissuaded, although it was agreed that he would become king on Henry's death, but within a few weeks of securing this agreement, he died in battle. Two of his sons, Edward IV and Richard III ascended the throne. Richard of York was born on 21 September 1411, the son of Richard, 3rd Earl of Cambridge, by his wife Anne de Mortimer, the daughter of Roger Mortimer, 4th Earl of March.
Anne Mortimer was the great-granddaughter of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, the second surviving son of King Edward III. After the death in 1425 of Anne's childless brother Edmund, the 5th Earl of March, this ancestry supplied her son Richard, of the House of York, with a claim to the English throne that was, under English law, arguably superior to that of the reigning House of Lancaster, descended from John of Gaunt, the third son of King Edward III. On his father's side, Richard had a claim to the throne in a direct male line of descent from his grandfather Edmund, 1st Duke of York, fourth surviving son of King Edward III and founder of the House of York; this made Richard a prince of blood and member of the ruling dynasty of England, which might have improved his position as contender or possible successor to the throne though his mother's descent gave him a better claim anyway. His adoption of the surname "Plantagenet" in 1448 would serve to emphasize this point, namely his status as an agnate of the English royal family.
Richard's mother, Anne Mortimer, is said to have died giving birth to him, his father, the Earl of Cambridge, was beheaded in 1415 for his part in the Southampton Plot against the Lancastrian King Henry V. Although the Earl's title was forfeited, he was not attainted, the four-year-old orphan Richard became his father's heir. Richard had an only sister, Isabel of Cambridge, who became Countess of Essex upon her second marriage in 1426. Within a few months of his father's death, Richard's childless uncle, Edward of Norwich, 2nd Duke of York, was slain at the Battle of Agincourt on 25 October 1415. After some hesitation, King Henry V allowed Richard to inherit his uncle's title and the lands of the Duchy of York; the lesser title but greater estates of the Earldom of March descended to him on the death of his maternal uncle Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March, on 18 January 1425. The reason for Henry V's hesitation was that Edmund Mortimer had been proclaimed several times, by factions rebelling against him, to have a stronger claim to the throne than Henry's father, King Henry IV.
Edmund had been a disputed heir of Richard II until his deposition by Henry IV in 1399. However, during his lifetime, Mortimer remained a faithful supporter of the House of Lancaster. Richard would claim to the throne upon his death. Richard of York held the Mortimer and Cambridge claims to the English throne; the Valor Ecclesiasticus shows that York's net income from Mortimer lands alone was £3,430 in the year 1443–44. As he was an orphan, Richard's income became the property of, was managed by, the crown. Though many of the lands of his uncle of York had been granted for life only, or to him and his male heirs, the remaining lands, concentrated in Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire, Yorkshire and Gloucestershire were considerable; the wardship of such an orphan was therefore a valuable gift of the crown, in October 1417 this was granted to Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland, with the young Richard under the guardianship of Robert Waterton. Ralph Neville had many daughters needing husbands.
As was his right, in 1424 he betrothed the 13-year-old Richard to his daughter Cecily Neville aged 9. In October 1425, when Ralph Neville died, he bequeathed the wardship of York to his widow, Joan Beaufort. By now the wardship was more valuable, as Richard had inherited the Mortimer estates on the death of the Earl of March; these manors were concentrated in Wales, in the Welsh Borders around Ludlow. They included the Earldom of Ulster, located in Ireland. In a document dated 8 August 1435, he is described as duke of York, earl of March and Ulster, lord of Wigmore, Clare and Connaught. Little is recorded of Richard's early life. On 19 May 1426 he was knighted at Leicester by John, Duke of Bedford, the younger brother of King Henry V. In October 1429 his marriage to Cecily Neville took place. On 20 January 1430, he acted as Constable of England for a duel. On 6 November he was present at th
Wars of the Roses
The Wars of the Roses were a series of English civil wars for control of the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster, associated with a red rose, the House of York, whose symbol was a white rose. The wars eliminated the male lines of both families; the conflict lasted through many sporadic episodes between 1455 and 1487, but there was related fighting before and after this period between the parties. The power struggle ignited around social and financial troubles following the Hundred Years' War, unfolding the structural problems of feudalism, combined with the mental infirmity and weak rule of King Henry VI which revived interest in Richard of York's claim to the throne. Historians disagree on. With the Duke of York's death in 1460, the claim transferred to Edward. After a series of Yorkist victories from January–February 1461, Edward claimed the throne on March 4, 1461, the last serious Lancastrian resistance ended at decisive Battle of Towton.
Edward was thus unopposed as the first Yorkist king of England, as Edward IV. Resistance smoldered in the North until 1464, but the early part of his reign remained peaceful. A new phase of the wars broke out in 1469 after The Earl of Warwick, the most powerful noble in the country, withdrew his support for Edward and threw it behind the Lancastrian cause. Fortunes changed many times as the Yorkist and Lancastrian forces exchanged victories throughout 1469–1470; when Edward fled to Flanders in 1470, Henry VI was re-installed as king on 3 October 1470, but his resumption of rule was short lived, he was deposed again following the defeat of his forces at the Battle of Tewkesbury, on 21 May 1471, Edward entered London unopposed, resumed the throne, had Henry killed that same day. With all significant Lancastrian leaders now banished or killed, Edward ruled unopposed until his sudden death in 1483, his son reigned for 78 days as Edward V, but was deposed by his uncle, who became Richard III. The ascension of Richard III occurred under a cloud of controversy, shortly after assuming the throne, the wars sparked anew with Buckingham's rebellion, as many die-hard Yorkists abandoned Richard to join Lancastrians.
While the rebellions lacked much central coordination, in the chaos the exiled Henry Tudor, son of Henry VI's half-brother Edmund Earl of Richmond, the leader of the Lancastrian cause, returned to the country from exile in Brittany at the head of an army of combined Breton and English forces. Richard avoided direct conflict with Henry until the Battle of Bosworth Field on 22 August 1485. After Richard III was killed and his forces defeated at Bosworth Field, Henry assumed the throne as Henry VII and married Elizabeth of York, the eldest daughter and heir of Edward IV, thereby uniting the two claims; the House of Tudor ruled the Kingdom of England until 1603, with the death of Elizabeth I, granddaughter of Henry VII and Elizabeth of York. Shortly after Henry took the throne, the Earl of Lincoln, a Yorkist sympathizer, put forward Lambert Simnel as an imposter Richard of York, younger brother of Edward V. Lincoln's forces were defeated, he was killed at the Battle of Stoke Field on 16 June 1487, bringing a close to the Wars of the Roses.
The name "Wars of the Roses" refers to the heraldic badges associated with two rival branches of the same royal house, the White Rose of York and the Red Rose of Lancaster. Wars of the Roses came into common use in the 19th century after the publication in 1829 of Anne of Geierstein by Sir Walter Scott. Scott based the name on a scene in William Shakespeare's play Henry VI, Part 1, set in the gardens of the Temple Church, where a number of noblemen and a lawyer pick red or white roses to show their loyalty to the Lancastrian or Yorkist faction respectively, it is suggested by literary critics that Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has strong allegorical references to the conflict with York represented by the White Queen and Lancaster represented by the Red Queen. The Yorkist faction used the symbol of the white rose from early in the conflict, but the Lancastrian red rose was introduced only after the victory of Henry Tudor at the Battle of Bosworth in 1485, when it was combined with the Yorkist white rose to form the Tudor rose, which symbolised the union of the two houses.
Owing to nobles holding multiple titles, more than one badge was used: Edward IV, for example, used both his sun in splendour as Earl of March, but his father's falcon and fetterlock as Duke of York. Badges were not always distinct. Most, but not all, of the participants in the wars wore livery badges associated with their immediate lords or patrons under the prevailing system of bastard feudalism. Another example: Henry Tudor's forces at Bosworth fought under the banner of a red dragon while the Yorkist army used Richard III's personal device of a white boar. Although the names of the rival houses derive from the cities of York and Lancaster, the corresponding duchy and dukedom had little to do with these cities; the lands and offices attached to the Duchy of Lancaster were in Gloucestershire, North Wales, in Yorkshire, while the estates and castles of the Duke of York were spread throughout England and Wales, many in the We
Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland
Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of Westmorland Earl Marshal, was an English nobleman of the House of Neville. Ralph Neville was born about 1364, the son of John Neville, 3rd Baron Neville de Raby, Maud Percy, daughter of Henry de Percy, 2nd Baron Percy of Alnwick, Northumberland, by Idoine de Clifford, daughter of Robert de Clifford, 1st Baron de Clifford. Neville had a younger brother, five sisters: Thomas Neville, 5th Baron Furnivall, who married Joan Furnival. Father of Maud Neville, 6th Baroness Furnivall, wife of John Talbot, 7th Baron Talbot. Lady Alice Neville, who married William Deincourt, 3rd Lord Deincourt Lady Maud Neville, who married Sir William le Scrope Lady Idoine Neville Lady Eleanor Neville, who married Ralph Lumley, 1st Baron Lumley. Lady Elizabeth Neville, who became a nun. Neville's father married secondly, before 9 October 1381, Elizabeth Latimer, daughter of William Latimer, 4th Baron Latimer. By his father's second marriage Neville had a brother and sister of the half blood: John Neville, 6th Baron Latimer, who married firstly, Maud Clifford, daughter of Thomas Clifford, 6th Baron Clifford, whom he divorced before 1413-17, by whom he had no issue.
She married secondly, Richard of Conisburgh, 3rd Earl of Cambridge, beheaded 5 August 1415 for his part in the Southampton Plot. Lady Elizabeth Neville, who married Sir Thomas Willoughby. Neville's first military service was in Brittany under King Richard II's uncle, Thomas of Woodstock, who knighted him at Saint-Omer in July 1380. On 14 November 1381 he and his cousin, Henry'Hotspur' Percy, were commissioned to preside over a duel between an Englishman and a Scot, on 1 December 1383 he and his father were commissioned to receive from the Scots 24,000 marks for the ransom of King David. On 26 October 1385 he was appointed joint Governor of Carlisle with Sir Thomas Clifford, on 27 March 1386 was appointed, together with Clifford, joint Warden of the West March. Neville inherited the title at the age of 24 after his father's death on 17 October 1388, was summoned to Parliament from 6 December 1389 to 30 November 1396 by writs directed to Radulpho de Nevyll de Raby. On 25 October 1388 he was appointed, with others, to survey the fortifications on the Scottish border, on 24 May 1389 was made keeper for life of the royal forests north of the Trent.
In 1393 and 1394 he was employed in peace negotiations with Scotland. In 1397 Neville supported King Richard's proceedings against Thomas of Woodstock and the Lords Appellant, by way of reward was created Earl of Westmorland on 29 September of that year; however his loyalty to the King was tested shortly thereafter. His first wife, Margaret Stafford, had died on 9 June 1396, Neville's second marriage to Joan Beaufort before 29 November 1396 made him the son-in-law of King Richard's uncle, John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster. Thus, when King Richard banished John of Gaunt's eldest son and heir, Henry Bolingbroke, on 16 September 1398, confiscated Bolingbroke's estates after John of Gaunt's death on 3 February 1399, Westmorland was moved to support his brother-in-law. Bolingbroke landed with a small force at Ravenspur in July 1399. Westmorland and the Earl of Northumberland were in the deputation at the Tower which received King Richard's abdication, Westmorland bore the small sceptre called the'virge' at Bolingbroke's coronation as King Henry IV on 13 October 1399.
For his support of the new King, Westmorland was rewarded with a lifetime appointment as Earl Marshal on 30 September 1399, a lifetime grant of the honour of Richmond on 20 October, several wardships. Before 4 December he was appointed to the King's council. In March 1401, Westmorland was one of the commissioners who conducted negotiations for a marriage between the King's eldest daughter, Blanche of England, Louis, son of Rupert, King of the Romans, in 1403 was made a Knight of the Garter, taking the place left vacant by the death of Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York. According to Tuck, Westmorland had little influence on the Scottish borders in the first years of Henry IV's reign, where the wardenships of the marches were monopolised by the Percys, leading to a growing rivalry between the two families. However, in 1403 the Percys, spurred on by various grievances, took up arms against the King, suffered defeat at the Battle of Shrewsbury on 21 July 1403. Northumberland's son, Henry'Hotspur' Percy, was slain at Shrewsbury, Northumberland's brother, the Earl of Worcester, was beheaded two days later.
After Shrewsbury, King Henry ordered Westmorland to raise troops and prevent Northumberland's army, still in the north, from advancing south. On 6 August 1403,as a reward for his service in driving Northumberland back to Warkworth Castle, Westmorland was granted the wardenship of the West March which Northumberland had held since 1399, the wardenship of the East March held by Henry'Hotspur' Percy, being granted to the King's 14-year-old son, John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford. Two years Northumberland, joined by Lord Bardolf, again took up arms against the King, it had been Northumberland's plan to capture the earl by surprise at the outset, in early May 1405, with 400 men, Northumberland made a surprise attack at the castle of Witton-le-Wear, where he had been staying. The attempt failed, as Westmorland had fled; the earl speedily gathered an army, defeated a force of Percy allies at Topcliffe, marched towards York with Henry IV's son, John of Lancaster, to confront a force of some 8000 men gathered on Shipton Moor under the leadership of Archbishop Richard Scrope
Brest is a city in the Finistère département in Brittany. Located in a sheltered bay not far from the western tip of the peninsula, the western extremity of metropolitan France, Brest is an important harbour and the second French military port after Toulon; the city is located on the western edge of continental Europe. With 142,722 inhabitants in a 2007 census, Brest is at the centre of Western Brittany's largest metropolitan area, ranking third behind only Nantes and Rennes in the whole of historic Brittany, the 19th most populous city in France. Although Brest is by far the largest city in Finistère, the préfecture of the department is the much smaller Quimper. During the Middle Ages, the history of Brest was the history of its castle. Richelieu made it a military harbour. Brest grew around its arsenal until the second part of the 20th century. Damaged by the Allies' bombing raids during World War II, the city centre was rebuilt after the war. At the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century, the deindustrialization of the city was followed by the development of the service sector.
Nowadays, Brest is an important university town with 23,000 students. Besides a multidisciplinary university, the University of Western Brittany and its surrounding area possess several prestigious French elite schools such as École Navale, Télécom Bretagne and the Superior National School of Advanced Techniques of Brittany. Brest is an important research centre focused on the sea, with among others the largest Ifremer centre, le Cedre and the French Polar Institute. Brest's history has always been linked to the sea: the Académie de Marine was founded in 1752 in this city; the aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle was built there. Every four years, Brest hosts the international festival of the sea and sailors: it is a meeting of old riggings from around the world; the name of the town is first recorded as Bresta. In 1342, John IV, Duke of Brittany, surrendered Brest to the English, in whose possession it was to remain until 1397; the importance of Brest in medieval times was great enough to give rise to the saying, "He is not the Duke of Brittany, not the Lord of Brest."
With the marriage of Francis I of France to Claude, the daughter of Anne of Brittany, the definitive overlordship of Brest – together with the rest of the duchy – passed to the French crown. The advantages of Brest's situation as a seaport town were first recognized by Cardinal Richelieu, who in 1631 constructed a harbour with wooden wharves; this soon became a base for the French Navy. Jean-Baptiste Colbert, finance minister under Louis XIV, rebuilt the wharves in masonry and otherwise improved the harbour. Fortifications by Vauban followed in 1680–1688; these fortifications, with them the naval importance of the town, were to continue to develop throughout the 18th century. In 1694, an English squadron under Lord Berkeley was soundly defeated in its attack on Brest. In 1917, during the First World War, Brest was used as the disembarking port for many of the troops coming from the United States. Thousands of such men came through the port on their way to the front lines; the United States Navy established a naval air station on 13 February 1918 to operate seaplanes.
The base closed shortly after the Armistice of 11 November 1918. In the Second World War, the Germans maintained a large U-boat submarine base at Brest. Despite being within range of RAF bombers, it was a base for some of the German surface fleet, giving repair facilities and direct access to the Atlantic Ocean. For much of 1941, Scharnhorst and Prinz Eugen were under repair in the dockyards; the repair yard facilities for both submarines and surface vessels were staffed by both German and French workers, with the latter forming the major part of the workforce. In 1944, after the Allied invasion of Normandy, the city was totally destroyed during the Battle for Brest, with only a tiny number of buildings left standing. After the war, the West German government paid several billion Deutschmarks in reparations to the homeless and destitute civilians of Brest in compensation for the destruction of their city. Large parts of today's rebuilt city consist of utilitarian concrete buildings; the French naval base now houses the Brest Naval Training Centre.
A wartime German navy memorandum suggested that the town should serve as a German enclave after the war. In 1972, the French Navy opened its nuclear weapon-submarine base at Île Longue in the Rade de Brest; this continues to be an important base for the French nuclear-armed ballistic missile submarines. The meaning of the coat of arms of Brest is half France, half Brittany; these arms were used for the first time in a register of deliberations of the city council dated the 15 July 1683. Brest is best known for the military arsenal and the rue de Siam; the castle and the Tanguy tower are the oldest monuments of Brest
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
Henry de Percy, 1st Baron Percy
Henry de Percy, 1st Baron Percy of Alnwick was a medieval English magnate. He fought under King Edward I of England in Wales and Scotland and was granted extensive estates in Scotland, which were retaken by the Scots under King Robert I of Scotland, he added Alnwick to the family estates in England. He rebelled against King Edward II over the issue of Piers Gaveston and was imprisoned for a few months. After his release, he declined to fight under Edward II at the Battle of Bannockburn, remaining at Alnwick, where he died a few months aged 41. Henry was born at Petworth in Sussex in 1273, seven months after his father's death, saving the family line from extinction, as two older brothers had died in infancy, all six uncles had died without leaving any legitimate heirs, he was fortunate in having the powerful John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey as his maternal grandfather. Henry was the son of Henry de Percy, 7th feudal baron of Topcliffe, Yorkshire, by his wife, Eleanor de Warenne, daughter of John de Warenne, 6th Earl of Surrey by Alice de Lusignan, Countess of Surrey, half sister of King Henry III.
His great-great-grandfather was Jocelin de Louvain who had married Agnes de Percy, one of the two daughters and co-heiresses of William II de Percy, 3rd feudal baron of Topcliffe, whose descendants had adopted the surname "de Percy". In 1293, Henry came into his inheritance of estates in Sussex and Yorkshire, including Topcliffe Castle, the ancient family seat. In 1294 he married daughter of the Earl of Arundel, he proceeded to change the family coat of arms from Azure, five fusils in fess or to Or, a lion rampant azure. Blue and gold were the Earl Warenne's colours and a gold lion rampant had been the Arundel's arms. Alternatively the arms are said to be the arms of Brabant; this marked his ambition. This was the year he went to war for the first time, summoned to fight in France, but diverted to Wales to join Edward I in suppressing a Welsh rebellion. There he learned the grim business of medieval warfare, command and supply of armies in the field. Henry de Percy married Eleanor FitzAlan, daughter of Richard FitzAlan, 8th Earl of Arundel, had two sons: Henry de Percy, 2nd Baron Percy, who succeeded his father William de Percy By the summer of 1295, Henry was in the north with his grandfather Earl Warenne.
Edward I's deliberately humiliating treatment of King John I of Scotland and his nobles was making war inevitable. Warenne was King John's father in law, used as an intermediary by Edward. In 1294 Philip IV of France had taken back Aquitaine from the English crown and now negotiated a treaty with the Scots to wage war on Edward on two fronts. During March 1296 Edward I's army surrounded Berwick on Tweed the largest town in Scotland and an important seaport, it was here on 30 March. On the same day the town was taken and the ruthless king provoked by the inhabitants baring their buttocks at him, ordered the city put to the sword "whatever the age or sex" and according to the Scotichronicon 7,500 were executed. Percy, under Warenne's command, was sent north to Dunbar where the castle was held by the Earls of Mar and Ross, together with many lesser nobles. After they had beaten a Scottish force outside the castle the king joined them, the castle soon surrendered; the rest of Scotland was occupied in English administrators installed.
King John Balliol was forced to Warenne appointed to govern Scotland as a province. Having proved his ability Henry Percy was given the task of governing Ayr and Cumberland, based at Carlisle Castle. With King Edward now turning his attention to affairs in France there was only a year or so of peace before the situation in Scotland began to unravel. In the summer of 1297 William Wallace murdered the English sheriff of Lanark and was joined by Robert Bruce, Bishop Lockhart, James Stewart and Sir William Douglas in the Scottish lowlands while Andrew Murray started a Highland uprising. Working with Robert Clifford from Westmorland, Percy confronted the other rebels at Irvine while Wallace was in central Scotland, negotiated their submission, subduing southern Scotland for a while. Warenne began an expedition to hunt down Wallace and Murray, finding them waiting north of the River Forth near Stirling Castle; the ensuing Battle of Stirling Bridge was a disaster for the English army. Percy and his fellow commanders could only watch helplessly from the castle as their infantry, caught on the far side of the one narrow bridge were slaughtered.
Murray was however killed in the battle. The English were temporarily expelled from Scotland and on the defensive, with the Scots raiding northern England. In the following spring of 1298 King Edward returned from France and assembled a large army, including many Welsh longbow archers, to begin a new and determined assault on Scotland, they caught up with Wallace at Falkirk on 22 July where Henry Percy was part of the fourth reserve division of experienced and mobile cavalry. Early in 1299 the King granted the estates of Ingram Balliol, involved in the Scottish rebellions, to Henry Percy, including land in England and south west Scotland; this not only gave him greater income and status, but a vested interest in the continuing conquest of Scotland. The king summoned Percy to attend parliament as a peer of the realm, making him a baron by writ, his family had had the courtesy title of baron because of their land holdings. Percy had proved himself an able soldier and administ