New database reveals ancestor veterans of the Hundred Years War

agincourtIf you’ve ever wondered whether your ancestors served as a medieval soldier in the Hundred Years War, a newly launched website from historians at the universities of Southampton and Reading may have the answer.

The names of over 3,500 French soldiers linked to the Battle of Agincourt (1415) have been added to The Soldier in Later Medieval England website. They join the quarter of a million names already available for English armies who fought in a number of campaigns, including Agincourt – forming what’s believed to be the largest database of medieval people in the world. This latest stage of the Soldier in Later Medieval England project has been supported by the charity Agincourt 600 and by both universities.

Professor Anne Curry, project Director and Dean of Humanities at the University of Southampton, says: “It is fitting that this new resource has been made available following the major 600th anniversary commemorations of Agincourt in 2015, in which our university played a key role. The Medieval Soldier website has already proved an invaluable resource for genealogists and people interested in social, political and military history. This new data will help us to reach out to new users and shed fresh light on the Hundred Years War.”

You can view the database here ->

A Year in the Life of Medieval England by Toni Mount

a-year-in-the-life-of-medieval-englandHave you ever wondered what life was like in the Middle Ages? Not just the ‘celebrity’ news of Kings, Knights and Nobles, but the life of the villager or local merchant. Wonder no more! Toni Mount offers a look at the everyday Medieval life in her new book A Year in the Life of Medieval England.

A Year in the Life of Medieval England begins on January 1st and progresses through the year without missing a day. Each day describes an event or two that occurred. In order to accomplish this Mount doesn’t restrict herself to a single year. Instead she uses the entire Middle Ages, from 1066 to 1500. Mount uses contemporary and secondary sources to provide a glimpse into the day to day life of Medieval England.

The book covers the major events in the Middle Ages; the death of Kings and important nobles, famous battles and the birth of Princes. But what makes this book stand out from others is the inclusion of everyday events of ‘normal’ people. There’s a Last Will and Testament from a minor Knight in Kent, holiday traditions, school grammar, horticulture, laws; the list goes on and on.

It’s easy to get engrossed in A Year in the Life of Medieval England, the daily entries are short enough to read in 5-10 minute sessions. But once I got started I read a month or two at time. Mount mixes the right amount of well known history with unknown history to make an enticing book.

A Year in the Life of Medieval England is an excellent look into the lives of both Nobles and commoners alike. The entries are filled with mixed emotions as well. One day you read about the neglected Road Tax and the next you are reading about the death of an unborn child. Another great feature of this book is you don’t have to read it from front to back. You can pick it up and start reading anywhere. Start in June, jump to March, then head over to November!

I recommend this book to anyone looking to get a better view of the Medieval Era. It offers a nice balance of history from across the social classes and spans the entire Middle Ages. A Year in the Life of Medieval England will make a great addition to any library!

You can find Toni Mount on Twitter @tonihistorian, or visit her facebook page. Visit her website at for more information on her books, talks and classes.

You can buy A Year in the Life of Medieval England on the Amberley website or check your favorite bookseller.

Medieval Archives gives A Year in the Life of Medieval England 4 out of 5 stars.

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Disclaimer: Medieval Archives received a complimentary copy of “A Year in the Life of Medieval England ” for review purposes

A Year in the Life of Medieval England


The medieval era is often associated with dynastic struggles, gruesome wars and the formidable influence of the Church. But what about the everyday experience of the royal subjects and common people? Here, alongside the coronations, diplomatic dealings and key battles, can be found the fabric of medieval life as it was really lived, in its folk songs, recipes and local gossip. With a diverse range of entries – one for each day of the year – historian Toni Mount provides an almanac for lovers of all things medieval. A detailed picture is gathered from original sources such as chronicles, manor court rolls, coroners’ rolls and the records of city councils. We learn not only of the royals and nobles of official history but also the quarrels of a miscellany of characters, including William and Christopher of York, Nalle Kittewritte who stole her neighbours’ washing, and Margery from Hereford who was murdered by an Oxford student. The world in which they laboured, loved and lived is vividly reimagined, one day at a time.

10 surprising facts about William the Conqueror and the Norman conquest


1) No one at the time called William ‘the Conqueror’

The earliest recorded use of that nickname occurs in the 1120s, and it didn’t really take off until the 13th century. At the time of his death in 1087, William was called ‘the Great’ by his admirers, and ‘the Bastard’ by his detractors; the latter a mocking reference to his illegitimate birth (he was the son of Robert I, Duke of Normandy, and his mistress Herleva).

3) The Norman conquest introduced castles to Britain

Castles were a French invention – the earliest examples were built around the turn of the first millennium along the Loire valley. There were plenty in Normandy before 1066, but only a tiny handful in England, built in the previous generation by French friends of the English king, Edward the Confessor. The Norman conquest changed all that. “They built castles far and wide, oppressing the unhappy people”, wept the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for 1066.

6) The Normans introduced chivalry to Britain

Savage in their warfare, William and the Normans were more civilised in their politics. Before 1066, the English political elite had routinely resorted to murdering their political rivals, as they would do again in the later Middle Ages. But for more than two centuries after the Conquest, chivalry prevailed, and political killing became taboo. “No man dared slay another, no matter what wrong he had done him”, said the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle in its summary of the plus points of William’s reign. Waltheof of Northumbria, beheaded in 1076, was the only earl to be executed after the Norman takeover. The next execution of an earl in England occurred in 1306, some 230 years later.

7) William banned the English slave trade

In pre-Conquest England, at least 10 per cent of the population – and perhaps as much as 30 per cent – were slaves. Slaves were treated as human chattels, and could be sold, beaten and branded as their masters saw fit. It was a sin to kill a slave, but not a crime. The Norman Conquest hastened the demise of this system.

Major £13m project will transform Norwich Castle’s keep


It is one of the great historic centrepieces of the city, and over the next few years an ambitious project is aiming to transform Norwich Castle keep and give visitors the chance to step back in time to the world of the Norman kings. Called Norwich Castle: Gateway to Medieval England, the £13m four-year project…

Canterbury Cathedral’s medieval window frame restored


The gleam of new stone in sunlight reveals that work is complete on the conservation challenge that Canterbury Cathedral would never have wanted to tackle – the reconstruction of a towering medieval window, built to hold some of the most precious stained glass in the world. “This is the stone’s time to shine, when you…

Ulfberht Viking Sword – MAN AT ARMS:REFORGED

Viking Sword

Man at Arms: Reforged is a web series following thew bladesmiths of Baltimore Knife and Sword. A lot of their creations are for movies, but recently they tackled the king of Viking swords…the Ulfberht. Watch how they forge the blade in the video below and decide if they get it right.

Longbow versus breastplate


The age old debate of Longbow vs. Armor… pick your side and watch the video below

MAP#71: The Children’s Crusade 1212

The Children's Crusade

The Children’s Crusade 1212 In the summer of 1212 a French boy and a German boy had separate visions of freeing the Holy Land from the Muslims. Their quests included over 20,000 medieval children and is known as the Children’s Crusade. Stephan of Cloyes, a French shepard boy, claimed Jesus told him to gather a…

World’s 1st Plague Pandemic Bacteria Gets New Genetic Analysis

Justinian Plague

With a single tooth from an ancient human skeleton found in Germany, scientists have now created the most complete genetic picture yet of the bacteria that caused the world’s first plague pandemic. The Justinianic Plague killed 50 million people from the sixth to eighth centuries, and was caused by the same species of bacteria, Yersinia…

Lost Medieval castle discovered at House of Dun

Dun Castle

Archaeological excavations at the House of Dun have uncovered the remains of what is thought to be a 14th century castle. The excavations were carried out as part of the National Trust for Scotland’s Trailblazer residential working holidays, which offer the opportunity for young people aged 16 to 17 to experience archaeological excavations and conservation…

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

Guy Richie got his start with British gangster flicks like Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch. He moved onto to a re-envisioned Sherlock Holmes and now he is putting his spin on the legend of King Arthur. King Arthur: Legend of the Sword stars Charlie Hunnam, Annabelle Wallis, Djimon Hounsou and Eric Bana…

King Arthur’s Home? Archaeologists Investigate Legendary Birthplace

King Arthur Castle dig

Archaeologists are investigating a mysterious coastal settlement that they think may have been home to post-Roman British royalty, at Tintagel in Cornwall, England, the reputed birthplace of the legendary King Arthur. Hundreds of pieces of “high-status” pottery and glass were found at the site, located on England’s southwest coast. The researchers said the headland was…

Vikings Season 4 Returns This Fall!


Vikings Season 4 will return this fall and it looks to be an exciting conclusion! Stay tuned, The Vikings Podcast will return shortly!

Prince Arthur: The Tudor King Who Never Was by Sean Cunningham

Virtual book tours are taking over the internet. Earlier this year we took part in the blog tour for Kristie Dean’s book On The Trail of the Yorks. Today we are part of the tour for Sean Cunningham’s new book Prince Arthur: The Tudor King Who Never Was, a look at the life of Prince…

Medieval Hay Castle restoration receives £4.46 million boost

Hay Castle

The trust aiming to restore Hay Castle has secured £4.46 million pounds worth of funding to get the most out of the medieval site. The regeneration project took a giant step forward thanks to the Heritage Lottery Fund grant to help restore the Grade 1 listed property. Hay Castle Trust will use the money to…