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THE BATTLE OF HASTINGS

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Frances
100.  Tue Oct 07, 2003 4:35 pm Reply with quote

Going right back to the start of this thread - another misnamed battle is Culloden, which was fought on Drumossie Moor, and was called Drumossie for some years afterwards. But Prince Charles stayed before the battle in Culloden House, so...
QI [IMHO]; two days before the battle, Prince William, the Duke of Cumberland, had taken over the Nairn town house of Provost Rose of Nairn [Nairn Provosts were all Roses for 273 years, apart from one who was married on a Rose woman], who left him a letter welcoming him, and moved out to his country house, Kilravock Castle. Then Prince Charles and about forty of his men invited themselves over to dinner at Kilravock. So whoever won the battle everybody knew was imminent, Rose had hosted him just before. That's how they stayed Provosts.

 
Flash
101.  Tue Oct 07, 2003 8:28 pm Reply with quote

There's a QI island off the coast of East Lothian called the Bass Rock. It's a volcanic plug (or "law"), and its claim to fame is that it was the very last holdout of the Jacobites on British soil. Because it was regarded as impregnable it was used as a prison, and a group of Jacobites were incarcerated there. They mutinied, managed to take over the island from their jailers, and held it as subjects of a non-existent Jacobite regime from 1690 to 1693. They were kept supplied with provisions by the French and sympathetic locals organised by the local preacher. When the authorities tried to make an example of said preacher by hanging him on the shore in sight of the Jacobites, they managed to fire a cannon across the sea and blow up the gibbet. I don't know what happened to the preacher after that; presumably he just got hanged somewhere else.

It's a bird sanctuary now; although it's made of black rock the cliffs appear entirely white, like chalk, because of all the excrement which has accumulated on them over the years.

Sources: my own eyes, and Andrew Crichton's 'Memoirs of the Rev John Blackadder (2nd edition, Edinburgh, 1826), Robert Chambers - Domestic Annals of Scotland, and Rev Thomas M'Crie, Hugh Miller & 3 others - 'The Bass Rock: its Civil and Ecclesiastical History, Geology, Martyrology, Zoology, and Botany' (Edinburgh, 1848).

 
hardie
1604.  Tue Nov 18, 2003 7:15 am Reply with quote

Seamus Heaney claims that he once went into a bar in Derry and asked the price of a bottle of whiskey; ‘£10.66’ says the barman. ‘Battle of Hastings’ says Heaney. ‘ Never heard of it,’ says your barman, ‘ but I could do you a battle of Jamesons’.

 
Jenny
1611.  Tue Nov 18, 2003 10:12 am Reply with quote

Grooooaan... (but I liked it)

Welcome hardie :-)

 
ElChumbo
2325.  Fri Nov 28, 2003 3:02 am Reply with quote

Technology won it. In this case it came in the form of William's armoured horse. The poor old Saxons hadn't seen the like, and were cut down. But slowly.

 
Jenny
2340.  Fri Nov 28, 2003 9:43 am Reply with quote

The tank of its day, perhaps?

 
exactly 13
2349.  Fri Nov 28, 2003 10:57 am Reply with quote

William was succeeded by his middle son William Rufus, who died when he was.. shot in the eye (a 'hunting accident').

Harold Godwineson, having routed the Viking army under Harald Hardrada and Harold's own brother Tostig, rushed south to fight William's army at Selnac field. William built Battle Abbey on the site of the battle, the holy altar on the spot where Harold fell. The ruins of Battle Abbey may be seen today, and are well worth the trip for the comedy Normans.

 
Frederick The Monk
2354.  Fri Nov 28, 2003 1:28 pm Reply with quote

I don't think Willima Rufus was shot in the eye. According to my sources (see below) he was shot in the chest and then 'snapped off the shaft hence hastening his own end'.

The big question is was it an accident?

William of Malmesbury suggests that it was - although he doesn't claim he was shot in the eye - following confusion between William and Walter Tirel (who shot him) whilst stalking a stag . But there are a number of odd things about the immediate aftermath.

Firstly the attendants and servants ran from the scene, leaving the king’s body lying unattended and alone on the forest floor which might seem suspicious in itself. Then there's Henry's (William's little brother) sudden appearance in Winchester - only hours after the death - where he demanded the keys of the royal treasury (then kept there). This caused some consternation amongst the supporters of William's older brother Robert of Normandy (such as William of Breteuil) who many thought would now inherit the throne and whom Henry appears to have threatened supposedly 'drawing his sword and swearing no man would come between himself and the throne of England'. With keys in hand he immediately set out for London in the company of Robert of Meulan and just two days later was crowned King by Maurice, Bishop of London.

Bearing in mind that Robert of Normandy was believed to be massing forces in France (and that William Rufus was a touch unpopular at home) this looks like a pre-emptive strike on the throne by young Henry, and as such a political assassination.

Walter Tirel, by the way, escaped in a fishing boat to France, but spent the rest of his days strenuously denying that he had killed the king, or that he had even seen him that day. He died in Jerusalem and is said to have sworn his innocence on his deathbed.


s:
William Rufus F.Barlow 1983, Methuen
Sons of the Conqueror George Slocombe 1960, Hutchinson
Historia Novella William of Malmesbury (trans.in EDH vol.2)
Orderic Vitalis Angligenae Coenobi Uticensis Monarchi Historiae Ecclesiasticae Orderic Vitalis (ed.A Le Prévost) 1838-55, Société de l’Histoire de France
Anglo-Saxon Chronicle ‘E’ manuscript (trans. in EHD vol.2)
The Death of William Rufus John Sibley 1949, Fortune Press
The Opening of the Tomb of William Rufus F.W.Richards 1870, Winchester and Hampshire Literary and Scientific Society (19th May 1870)
The Arrow and the Sword Hugh Ross Williamson 1949, Faber
The Killing of William Rufus Duncan Grinnel-Milne 1968, David and Charles

 
Frances
2374.  Fri Nov 28, 2003 6:14 pm Reply with quote

The reason people stopped warring in winter wasn't just that they didn't like getting their armour rusty; that's as likely to happen in summer as any other season, in Britain. Nor that armour acts like a fridge in cold weather, and you get haemorroids. The real reason was lack of fuel for the tanks, i.e. grass for the heavy horses, which stopped growing in winter, so neither knights nor wagons could move without carrying vast amounts of grain or hay, which was uneconomical.

 
Flash
2383.  Fri Nov 28, 2003 8:44 pm Reply with quote

One QI thing which happened after the Conquest was that some of the remnants of the English house-carls made their way to Byzantium and joined the Varangian Guard, one of whose recent commanders was Harald Hardrada, as noted somewhere else on this board.

 
Liebig
2814.  Fri Dec 05, 2003 4:38 am Reply with quote

Moving swiftly on, who deciides when a battle is over. The First Battle of Ypres ( 1914 ) was formally over for the British on November 22, the French declared it over on November 13, and the Germans ( I was going to say filthy Boche, but it was a long time ago ) reckon it didn't end until November 30. Who's right, and was it propaganda which caused all relevant parties to say what they did?

 
Flash
2817.  Fri Dec 05, 2003 5:10 am Reply with quote

Like the present unpleasantness in Mesopotamia, which was done and dusted months ago, according to the Americans.

 
Liebig
2829.  Fri Dec 05, 2003 7:56 am Reply with quote

Yes, and I suppose they're going to have to explain it to the Spanish, and the.....Wasn't all this once the functions of heralds? A sort of time gentlemen please. Or am I still in G A Henty land?

 
Jenny
2835.  Fri Dec 05, 2003 8:49 am Reply with quote

You beat me to that one Flash. More Americans have been killed in Iraq since the end of 'major combat' in May than in the first two years of Vietnam.

 
ElChumbo
41348.  Thu Dec 22, 2005 7:37 am Reply with quote

I'm beginning to get the impression that England was nuked in 2003.

 

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