Plantagenet Period. Explore this violent period, and it's medley of French and English monarchs.
The Plantagenet Period 1154 - 1399
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|1128||Marriage of Geoffrey Plantagenet||Geoffrey Plantagenet (Count of Anjou, father of Henry II) marries Empress Matilda at Le Mans.|
|1133-89||Henry II son of Geoffrey and Matilda|
|1136-44||Geoffrey conquered Normandy|
|1152||Henry II (son of Geoffrey) marMedieval Woman Eleanor of Aquitaine Part 1ried Eleanor of Aquitaine.|
|1153||Treaty of Winchester||Following the Anarchy and discord about the line of succession in England the Treaty of Winchester is negotiated with input by Henry de Blois, who was the Grandson of Norman the Conqueror, Henry II finally recognises Stephen de BLOIS , the brother of Henry de Blois as his heir. Treaty of Winchester
|1154 - 1189||King Henry II reign begins||Henry II|
|1156||Henry II’s brother Geoffrey resigns his claims to Anjou.||King Henry II’s brother Geoffrey (namesake of his father Geoffrey Plantagenent) resigns his claims to Anjou.
|1157||Henry II recovers Northumbria from the King of the Scots.|
|1157-1165||Invasion of Wales.||During this period King Henry II invaded Wales four times.|
|1159||The capture of Cahors.||King Henry II captures Cahors during his Toulouse expedition.|
|1166-1168||King Henry II invaded Brittany||King Henry II invaded Brittany and installed his son Geoffrey as Count of Brittany.|
|1171-1172||King Henry II invaded Ireland.|
|1173-1174||Rebellion against King Henry II.|| Eleanor and her sons rebel again Henry II
Eleanor of Aquitaine and her sons (Henry the Young King, Geoffrey and future Richard I of Coeur de Lion fame, ) rebel against Henry II their father.
|1177||John Lackland made Lord of Ireland.||Henry II creates John Lackland later King John as Lord of Ireland.|
|1183||King Henry II suffers further rebellion.||Henry II suffers further rebellion followed by death of Henry II’s son Henry the Young King.|
|1189||King Henry II defeated||King Henry II defeated by Richard I and Philip II Augustus and Henry dies soon afterwards|
|1189 - 1199||King Richard I reign begins||Richard I|
|1193-4||Invasion of Normandy and Anjou.||Philip II Augustus invades Normandy and Anjou.|
|1199||King Richard I killed.||Richard I killed at Chalus; John and Arthur of Brittany dispute succession. John has Arthur murdered and inherits the Crown.|
|1199 - 1216||Reign of King John||John|
|1199||Richard I killed at Chalus; John and Arthur of Brittany dispute succession. John has Arthur murdered and inherits the Crown.|
|1200||John recognized as heir.||Treaty of Le Goulet; Philip recognised John as heir to the Angevin Empire.|
|1201||Revolt of the Lusignans (the leading aristocratic family of Poitou in the 12th century|
Lusignans played an important part in the politics of the Angevin Empire. It is this revolt following John’s marriage to Hugh of Lusignan’s fiancée Iasbella that precipitated the collapse of accord and the cohesion of the Angevin Empire.
|Revolt of the Lusignans (the leading aristocratic family of Poitou in the 12th century
Lusignans played an important part in the politics of the Angevin Empire. It is this revolt following John’s marriage to Hugh of Lusignan’s fiancée Iasbella that precipitated the collapse of accord and the cohesion of the Angevin Empire.
|1202||Philip II declares the confiscation of all fiefs held of the crown of France.|
|1202-1205||Philip II conquers Normandy and Anjou from the Plantagenets.|
|1204||Eleanor of Aquitaine mother of King John died|
|1206||King John recovers Gascony and the Saintonge.|
|1209||Richard son of King John born.||Richard, second son of King John was born, he becomes known as Richard of Cornwall.|
|1214||John and his allies defeated at Rocheau-Moine and Bouvines|
|1215||Barons Rebellion||Barons Rebellions and Magna CartaMagna Carta
Magna Carta Translation 1225Translation of Magna Carta
|1216||Death of King John||When King John died England was in the throes of a civil war. The throne had been offered to Louis, eldest son of Philip II of France.|
|1216-1217||Louis of France invades England.||Louis of France invades England (later becomes Louis VIII.) He invades at the invitation of the Rebel barons an attacks Dover Castle, He occupied the south east and had control of London.|
|1216 - 1272||King Henry III minority reign begins.||Henry III son of king John becomes King
Henry III the leadership of William Marshall along with the support of papal legate Guala proved decisive.
|1224||Louis VIII captures La Rochelle.|
|1225||Third reissue of Magna Carta.||Third reissue of Magna Carta and a tax granted that helped the extremely tight financial situation.|
|1227||King Henry III starts to issue charters and grants in perpetuity.||King Henry III declared that with the agreement of the magnates he would from now on issue charters under his own seal.|
|1227||Henry III achieves full majority.|
|1228||Expedition to Wales.|
|1229||Planned expedition to France cancelled.|
|1230||Brittany campaign. Simon de Montfort comes to England.|
|1231||Richard of Cornwall married Isabelle Marshal, daughter of William Marshal.|
|1231||Expedition to Wales|
|1232||Fall of Hubert de Burgh|
|1233||Richard Marshal's rebellion|
|1234||Death of Richard Marshal in Ireland and the fall of Peter des Rivallis|
|1235||Robert Grosseteste becomes Bishop of Lincoln|
|1236||Henry III's marriage to Eleanor of Provence.|
|1238||Marriage of Simon de Montfort.||Marriage of Simon de Montfort to the king's sister Eleanor. Opposition from Richard of Cornwall and the Great Seal is taken from Ralph Neville.|
|1239||Birth of the future Edward I.|
|1240||Simon de Montforte goes on crusade.|
|1242||Taillebourg campaign: Louis IX defeats Henry III|
|1243||Henry III returns to England.|
|1244||The Paper constitution.||The Paper constitution. November 1244 Henry petitioned his barons and prelates for a new tax on movables. The barons were disinclined to acquiesce, arguing that previous financial grants had done little to benefit the kingdom. A grant was still possible, however, if the king were willing to consider certain reforms, the surviving draft of which has come to be known as the Paper Constitution.|
|1245||Campaign in Wales|
|1246||Treaty with Savoy|
|1247||Treaty of Woodstock.||. Subjection of Welsh princes to Henry III and Henry III invites his Poitevin half brothers to England.|
|1248||Simon de Montfort sent to restore English authority in Gascony.|
|1252||Simon de Montfort recalled from Gascony and put on trial.|
|1253||Henry III goes to Gascony and Bishop Robert Grosseteste died.|
|1254||Edward son of Henry III marries Eleanor of Castile. Two knights from each shire are summoned to parliament.|
|1256||Richard of Cornwall elected King of the Romans.|
|1257||Rebellion in Wales.|
|1258||Provisions of Oxford.|
|1259||Provisions of Westminster.||Provisions of Westminster.Treaty of Paris signed 1259
Henry III resigns all claims to Normandy, Anjou and Poitou. Between his father King John and Henry III all the gains of the Angevin Empire have been lost and wiped out.
|1260||Reconciliation between Henry III and his son Edward.|
|1264||Second Barons War||The Second Barons War civil war in England between the forces of a number of barons led by Simon de Montfort against the royalist forces of King Henry IIIBattle of of Lewes 1264Battle of Lewes
The war featured a series of massacres of Jews by Montfort's supporters.
|1265||Gilbert earl of Gloucester deserts Simon de Montfort and Edward escapes from captivity. Simon de Montfort defeated at Evesham in the Battle of Evesham|
|1266||Siege and Dictum of Kenilworth.|
|1267||Statute of Marlborough.||This was a set of laws passed by King Henry III of England in 1267. It is the oldest piece of statute law in the United Kingdom that has not yet been repealed. There were twenty-nine chapters, of which four are still in force.|
|1270||Edward goes on crusade.|
|1271||Death of Richard of Cornwall, brother of Henry III.|
|1272||Death of King Henry III.|
|1272||King Edward I succeeds his fatherEdward I|
|1274||Return of Edward to England|
|1275||Statute of Westminster I. Custom duty of 6s 8d on each sack of wool exported.|
|1276||Refusal of Llywelyn ap Gruffudd to perform homage to Edward I.|
|1277||Edward I's first Welsh war.|
|1278||Statute of Gloucester.||The statute, proclaimed at Gloucester in August 1278, was crucial to the development of English law. It is the first statute recorded in a Statute Roll.|
|1279||Statute of Mortmain.|| This statute aimed at preserving the kingdom's revenues by preventing land from passing into the possession of the Church. The coinage was reformed. This involved a new, more realistic bust the obverse, a solid cross on the reverse, the removal of moneyer’s names from the
coins and the introduction of fractional coins in the form of halfpennies and farthings
|1281||A church synod at Lambeth included a detailed scheme for the religious instruction of the faithful.|
|1282||Second Welsh war starts and Llwelyn ap Gruffudd died.|
|1283||End of second Welsh war. The Statute of Merchants, or Statute of Acton Burnell. which provided that in every staple the seal of the staple should be sufficient validity for a bond of record acknowledged and witnessed before the mayor of the staple.|
|1284||The Statute of Rhuddlan.||The Statute of Rhuddlan provided the constitutional basis for the government of the Principality of North Wales|
|1285||Statute of Westminster II, the Statute of Winchester which reformed the system of Watch and Ward (watchmen) of the Assize of Arms of 1252, and revived the jurisdiction of the local courts. and the Statute of Merchants.|
|1286||Edward travels to Gascony.|
|1287||Rebellion in Wales|
|1289||Edward returns from Gascony and because of the financial mess he was in he summoned the barons..|
|1290||Expulsion of the Jews. Edward was in a mess financially and in 1289 he summoned the barons to impose a vicious new tax. To sweeten the pill and resolve the concerns about land losses Edward offered up the expulsion of the Jews.||King Edward I was in a mess financially and in 1289 he summoned the barons to impose a vicious new tax. To sweeten the pill and resolve the concerns about land losses Edward offered up the expulsion of the Jews.|
|1291||Death of Eleanor of Provence.|
|1292||John Balliol enthroned as King of the Scots.|
|1293||Assize circuits set up.|
|1294||War begins with France and there are further rebellions in Wales.||The war between France and England was an important one for the Scots. For Philip IV of France, Scotland was an obvious ally. John Balliol however was pro English. However power was taken from his hands and a council of 12 set up who negotiated a treaty with the French. King Edward I saw the way things were going and called for a muster at Newcastle.|
|1295||Model parliament held.||Model parliament held. This assembly included members of the clergy and the aristocracy, as well as representatives from the various counties and boroughs. Each county returned two knights, two burgesses were elected from each borough, and each city provided two citizens.|
|1296||First Scottish campaign, deposition of John Balliol.||The war began with the Scottish raid at Pressen. King Edward I first captured and beseiged Berwick. It was a brutal affair and successful for the English, culminating in the submission of John Balliol.|
|1297||King Edward I faces opposition from the earls of Hereford and Norfolk.||King Edward I faces opposition from the earls of Hereford and Norfolk. He leaves for a campaign in Flanders. William Wallace rising in Scotland with the Battle of Stirling Bridge where he routed the English, he followed up with a less successful but brutal raid on the north.|
|1298||Campaign in Scotland with English victory at Falkirk.||Campaign in Scotland with English victory at Falkirk. King Edward I used a strategy of using overwhelming force defeated Wallace's forces.|
|1299||King Edward I married French Princess Margaret||This marriage enabled an understanding between the French and the English which dispirited the Scots and further encouraged King Edward I to campaign against them.|
|1301||Campaign in Scotland.||King Edward I continued to pour money into the war with Scotland which simply couldn't be matched by the Scots.|
|1302||Marriage of Edward's daughter Elizabeth to the earl of Hereford.|
|1303||Campaign in Scotland||In this campaign the first of the Scottish castles to fall was Brechin and once the castles started to fall the thrust of the Scottish will also seemed to fail.|
|1304||Surrender of Stirling Castle.||The major prize for King Edward I was the fall of Stirling Castle, where the final Scottish resistance took place. It was captured after a lengthy siege.|
|1305||Settlement agreed for Scotland.||Several notable Scots realized the way the wind was blowing as King Edward I's positioned strengthened and many nobles realized that the best way of preserving their estates was to come to terms with Edward. Robert Bruce was one of these men. Peace in Scotland was difficult and the question of the Scottish crown was ignored. King Edward I did not claim the crown but rather 'lorded' it over the Scots. It was a policy doomed to fail. Wallace was captured and executed in 1305 but many were unhappy with the settlement struck.|
|1306||Robert Bruce installed as king of Scots.||Robert Bruce who, by throwing his lot in with King Edward in 1302 thought he was securing his land and wealth. The fractionated Scotland however left some very powerful clans who retained much of the power and this enraged Robert who had received nothing from Edward's settlement. This lack of reward was a mistake on King Edward's part and when Robert Bruce seized the crown of Scotland he reacted in a brutal manner subjecting his enemies to a campaign of terror which only stiffened the Scottish resolve.|
|1307||Death of Edward I accession of Edward II. Edward II|
Piers Gaveston made earl of Cornwall.
|Death of King Edward I at Burgh-by-Sands on 7th July and the accession of Edward II. Edward II
Edward was the 4th son of King Edward I. He immediately recalled his favourite, Piers Gaveston from exile, King Edward I had banished him to France for his bad influence on his son. Gaveston was given the earldom of Cornwall, previously a title conferred on royalty.
|1308||Coronation of King Edward II.||When Edward II was crowned King of England he promised to maintain the laws and custome of his predeccessors, particularly the Confessor and to maintain peace and do justice. An interesting new clause was added in which he agreed to maintain and preserve the laws and rightful customs which the community of your realm shall have chosen.|
|1308||King Edward II sends Gaveston into exile.||Piers Gaveston's exclusive access to the King provoked several members of the nobility and the King sent him into exile.|
|1309||Gaveston returns to England.||Piers Gaveston returns to England but upsets the barons even more.|
|1310||King Edward II appoints ordainers.||King Edward II agrees to the appointment of ordainers a group of administrators commissioned in 1310 to reform the realm, numbered twenty-one prelates, earls, and barons. They were elected following the concession by Edward II on 16 March 1310 that such a body should be created to 'ordain and establish the estate of the king's household and realm'|
|1311||Issue of the ordinances. Renewed Scottish raids into the north of England.||The war with Bruce continued but it was proving tricky to engage him in battle however the Scots kept taking the fight to the English. Lacking money they attacked English farms and land, slashing and burning as they went, demanding money that helped keep them going.|
|1312||Death of Piers Gaveston.||Death of Piers Gaveston who was murdered returning from exile he was hunted down and executed by a group of magnates led by Thomas of Lancaster and Guy de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick. In 1313 King Edawrd II reached a settlement with the murderers of Piers Gaveston.|
|1313||The King reached a settlement with the murderers of Piers Gaveston.|
|1314||King Edward II defeated at Bannockburn.||King Edward was tempted to battle with the possibility of the prize of Stirling Castle but the Scots had prepared their ground well and the English were bogged down on marshy ground. There plan of attack was a muddled affair and there was a calamitous defeat for the English. The Scots continued to raid the north of England.|
|1315||A poor harvest led to famine throughout England. Scots under Bruce invade Ireland.|
|1316||Another poor harvest led to famine and a great increase in the number of deaths.|
|1318||Treaty of Leake. The reconciliation of two royal enemies, Edward II and his cousin, Thomas of Lancaster.|
Edward Bruce (Robert Bruce's brother) defeated and killed at Fochart in Ireland.
|1320||Royal seizure of Gower in south Wales.|
|1321||War against the Despensers in the Welsh march.|
|1322||Defeat of Thomas of Lancaster's rebellion at Boroughbridge.|
|1323||13 year truce with Scotland agreed.||By 1322 it had become increasingly clear that England could not beat the Scottish militarily and there was a mood of despair in the north. Andrew Harclay who was made earl of Carlisle after Boroughbridge was tasked with making a truce but he saw the futility of it all and took things further and negotiated peace with Robert Bruce. Bruce was recognized as King of Scotland and Scotland was recognized as a separate country. There would be a commission of 12, 6 English and 6 Scottish who would take decisions for the common good. King Edward II was furious and had Harclay captured, tried and executed. A new truce was drawn up which did not acknowledge Bruce's kingship|
|1326||Isabella and Mortimer invade.||The invasion of England by the country's queen, Isabella of France, and her lover, Roger Mortimer, 1st Earl of March, led to the capture of Hugh Despenser the Younger and the abdication of Isabella's husband, King Edward II. It brought an end to the insurrection and civil war to England.|
|1327||King Edward II deposed.||King Edward II failed in an attempt to rally London and fled but was captured and forced to abdicate in favour of his fourteen year old son, Edward. King Edward II was imprisoned firstly at Kenilworth Catle and later removed to Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire in January 1327. In the summer of that year, following a failed attempt to release him, in the interests of the safety of the new regime, it was considered more convenient if he were dead.
He was placed in a dungeon, into which was thrown filth and rotting animals, in the hope that he would contract some form of disease and die, thus removing from his captors the responsibility for his murder. Quite how he died is not known but it is widely accepted that he was murdered.
|1327 - 1377||Reign of King Edward III||King Edward III A king who with his mother deposed his own father who had failed in his kingship and then suffered the outrage of his mother's lover seeking to rule by proxy. Edward III would over come these early difficulties but struggled as most monarchs have to achieve cohesion and stability in his own line of succession.|
|1330||Arrest of Roger Mortimer.||Edward and a few of his trusted companions staged a coup d’état against his mother and her lover. Using a secret tower to enter Nottingham Castle, Edward had Isabella and Roger captured. Roger was subsequently put on trial, and executed. Isabella, however, was spared, and died many years later in 1358.|
|1334||What will become the standard tax assessment is made.|
|1337||War begins against France.||King Edward III embarked upon this war knowing that the demand on the Treasury would be high. He entered into financial obligations that could not be met. Heavy taxes, seizures of wool and food as well as corruption caused widespread discontent.|
|1338||Bad Winter weather||Heavy Autumn rains and a freezing Winter meant a poor harvest in 1339. Wheat yields fell back to famine levels. This placed further pressure on King Edward III for whom there was growing displeasure.|
|1340||Battle of Sluys. Truce of Esplechin but there is a political crisis when Edward returns to England.|
|1341||Settlement of political crisis.|
|1342||Edward III's expedition to Brittany. Battle of Morlaix.|
|1344||Peace negotiations at Avignon.|
|1345||Lancaster's expedition to Gascony.|
|1346||Battle of Crecy. Battle of Neville's Cross against the Scots.|
|1347||Capture of Calais.|
|1348||Black death begins. Establishment of the Order of the Garter.|
|1349||Black death continues.|
|1351||Statute of Provisors||A turning point in the relationship between England and the Papacy. The Pope claimed the right to temporarily suspend the right of the patron, and nominated on his own authority, a successor to the vacant benefice. The Statute of 1351 enacts that elections of bishops shall be free, that owners of advowsons shall have free collation and presentment, and that attempted reservation, collation, or provision by the Court of Rome shall cause the right of collation to revert to the king.|
|1352||Statute of Treason which codified and curtailed the common law offence of treason. No new offences were created by the statute.|
|1353||English staple ports set up.|
|1355||Black Prince's raid to Narbonne. St Scolastica's day riots at Oxford.|
|1356||Battle of Poitiers.||Th battle of Poitiers was a hard fought battle which ended in total triumph for the English. The English fought from a defensive position. The French fought for the most part on foot but were no match for the English longbows. The triumph went to the Black Prince. A large number of prisoners were taken at Poitiers, chief among them was the French King John, he became an immense bargaining counter for King Edward III.|
|1358||First Treaty of London.||The first treaty of London was to negotiate the release of King John of France after the Battle of Poitiers. The English were able to extract good terms by relinquishing King Edward III's claim to the French throne, instead the French were to hand over a ransom of 4 miilion ecus and Gascony, Agenais, Limousin, Angouleme, Quercy, Poitou and Calais to be held in full sovereignty by the English.|
|1359||Second Treaty of London.||The French found it difficult to enact the First Treaty so a Second Treaty was negotiated whereby King Edward III was promised all of Normandy, Brittany, Maine, Anjou and Touraine . The French were to be let off 1 million ecu. This treaty proved unacceptable and the Dauphin rejected it.|
|1377||The Bad Parliament begins sitting in England. Influenced by John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, it undoes the work done by the Good Parliament, the previous year, to reduce corruption in the Royal Council. It also introduces a poll tax. The bad parliament is dissolved 2 months later.|
King Richard II Last of the Plantagenet Kings or was he? son of the Black Prince and Joan of Kent he would inherit the throne as a vulnerable boy but failed to make the grade as an adult and endured his open usurpation at the mercy of his cousin Henry Bolingbroke either murdered on his orders or starved to death. There was little need for embellishment to create drama in Shakespeare's History play of the same name. Richard failed to heed the lessons of the Kings that preceded him and would be largely the master of his own downfall. Richard II
Plantagenet King son of the Black Prince and Joan of Kent, Grandson of Edward III and his Queen Philippa of Hainault.
|1378||John Wycliffe tries to promote his ideas for Catholic reform by laying his theses before Parliament, and making them public in a tract.|
|1380||Henry Bolingbroke marries Mary de Bohun at Arundel Castle.|
|1381|| Peasants' Revolt. Rebels from Kent and Essex, led by Wat Tyler and Jack Straw, meet at Blackheath,encouraged by a sermon, by renegade priest John Ball. The rebels destroy John of Gaunt's Savoy Palace and storm the Tower of London, killing the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Lord Chancellor. Richard II meets the leaders of the revolt and agrees to reforms such as fair rents and the abolition of serfdom.|
During further negotiations, Wat Tyler is murdered by the King's entourage. Noble forces subsequently overpower the rebel army. The rebel leaders are eventually captured and executed and Richard II revokes his concessions.
|1382||John Wycliffe's teachings are condemned by the Synod of London.|
|1388||Lords Appellant.||Lords Appellant take over management of the Kingdom. They were five peers who convened the "Merciless Parliament" in February, 1388, and impeached the king's favourites for high treason. Among those "appealed" or accused of treason, and consequently condemned to be hanged, were Robert de Vere, Duke of Ireland, and Michael de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, they had both escaped to the continent. Execution of Sir John Beauchamp|
|1389||Richard turned the tables on the Lords Appellant by announcing his maturity (he had turned 21), and dismissing the council.|
|1394||Richard’s wife, Anne, died from the plague.|
|1396||Richard negotiated a twenty-eight year truce with Charles VI of France at Ardres. The Treaty was to be sealed by the marriage of Richard to Charles’s daughter Isabella.|
|1397||Isabella of France was crowned Queen of England at Westminster Abbey.|
|1398||Richard’s cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, had quarrelled with the Duke of Norfolk and they had decided to solve the matter using trial by battle. However, King Richard II intervened, forbade the fight and banished both men.|
|1399||The year of Richard's downfall. Richard’s blatant disregard for the rights of inheritance and his perversion of justice in obtaining convictions against those who opposed him, made him increasingly unpopular among the Lords, the Commons and the Clergy. While Richard was in Ireland, his cousin, Henry of Bolingbroke landed at Ravenspur in Yorkshire. With the support of Henry Percy Earl of Northumberland and Thomas Arundel, exiled former Archbishop of Canterbury he took the throne. On his return from Ireland Richard was arrested and imprisoned in Pontefract Castle. He was forced to abdicate the throne in favour of his cousin, Henry of Bolingbroke.|
|1399||Henry was crowned King Henry IV in Westminster Abbey when he also founded the Order of the Bath.|
In the 12th century, 'Plantagenet' was no more than a nickname given to Henry II's father Geoffrey le Bel, Count of Anjou, arbitrarily believed to have been derived from 'Planista genista' a sprig of which Geoffrey is said to have frequently worn in his cap. It has been adopted to mark one of the most powerful dynasties in the Medieval world.
To capture the essence of the history over a 250 year period is a tricky thing none more so than when looking at the Plantagenet period. So let us first take a brief look at the place that Britain was in the first few hundred years of the new millenium. How would the common people have fared?
The English Environment in the Plantagenet period
We are known to be a people preoccupied by the weather but with good reason. Life was tough for people in this period. The majority of people lived in very poor dwellings, exposed to whatever the weather threw at them. The weather determined how they lived, the cold and wet, the hot and dry affected the harvests which were never going to be brilliant anyway. They lived wet and cold in the winters facing terrible diseases and scant food. It was enough to simply survive. Weather mattered to the people of the British Isles. The variable nature of the seasons weather dictated what and when they could do things, when weather determines possible survival no wonder it became an obsession to the people of Britain.
The land, when it chose to, could be bountiful and this period saw the development of new towns and markets where, if there was an abundance of produce, it could be sold.
Climate change in the C13th /C14th
The obsession with the weather meant that it was often recorded by the chroniclers or courts and such accounts tell us that the early C14th century saw a marked decline in the weather. The previous decades seem to have been blessed with more moderate weather but following the great storm of 1298 which brought flooding to many parts and destroyed the harvest, the climate set itself to a colder and wetter setting bringing misery to the people of these isles.
The weather had an impact on economics, politics and war.
No less than for the people, the weather had a very obvious impact on the economy. Poor harvests meant higher grain prices and therefore bread prices. Bread was the staple of the British diet and so not unexpectedly we see popular resentment directed at the government as happened in 1258. Where poor harvests collided with huge expenditure on war then political crisis followed. It was a period of intense turmoil for the common people and King Johns reign from 1199 - 1216 was to prove calamitous, at its end civil war raged and although many sought to blame John for all the problems there is no doubt the country was suffering on many fronts but that is to get into too much detail. Let us first take a whizz around the Plantagenet monarchs as a guide to help us unravel this complex period
The Plantagenet Monarchs.
The Plantagenet Kings and their family tree is a tangled web, raising many questions the over centuries and has quite recently raised its head in the courts of England in the citations for the finding of a Monarch Richard of III of York, hundreds of years after his death to prove his lineage via DNA. So just who were they and why was this dynasty to prove to be quite so enduring in our modern minds?