Category Archives: Medieval Warfare

New database reveals ancestor veterans of the Hundred Years War

agincourt

If 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…

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…

Viking apocalypse: End of the world predicted to happen on Saturday

Viking Ragnarok

The end of the world is almost upon us if Norse mythology is to be believed, which predicts the Earth will split open and release the inhabitants of the underworld on 22 February. On Saturday, according to Norse legend at least, the series of events leading up to Ragnarok will culminate in an epic battle,…

Quest for ‘lost’ medieval battlefield launched

Battle of Brunanburg

It has been described as one of the most significant turning points in British history, marking not only the moment an English identity was born, but also helping create a Scottish one. But the Battle of Brunanburh, fought between armies from the two nations in 937, remains all but unknown to many, not least because…

Samurai bling: Crazy armor and helmets from medieval Japan

When people think of Japan, they often think about anime or giant robots or giant robot anime. They are also likely to think of Japan’s medieval version of giant robot anime: the samurai. For many of us, the first introduction we got to Japan was through the amazing films of Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune,…

Battle of Stamford Bridge

Battle of Stamford Bridge

Today marks the 947th anniversary of the Battle of Stamford Bridge. The battle pitted the forces of English King Harold Godwinson against the invading force of Norwegian King Harold Hardrada and the King’s own brother Tostig Godwinson. The battle was a decisive victory for England. But King Godwinson’s victory would be short lived. In three…

Claude, Duke of Guise in the Battle of Marignano

Claude of Guise

Susan Abernathy joins the Medieval Archives with another great post. Susan is the Freelance History Writer, covering topics from Ancient history to the 20th Century. Visit her blog at thefreelancehistorywriter.com. You can also like Susan on Facebook or follow Susan on Twitter. ~The Archivist In reading about the mother of Mary, Queen of Scots, Mary…

The Battle of Winchelsea by Susan Abernethy

Naval battle of l'Ecluse

Today we have a guest post by Susan Abernethy. Susan is the Freelance History Writer, covering topics from Ancient history to the 20th Century. Visit her blog at thefreelancehistorywriter.com. You can also like Susan on Facebook or follow Susan on Twitter. ~The Archivist By the time of reign of King Edward III of England, some…

Medieval warfare had well-organised ‘ransom market’

Medieval prisoners of war were much more widely traded for ransoms than has been previously recognised, according to University of Southampton research. A study of the Hundred Years War reveals a well-organised trading market in English and French soldiers. One soldier claimed to have been taken prisoner 17 times, says historian Dr Remy Ambuhl. The…

One in the eye for history: experts still fighting over the site of the Battle of Hastings

Bayeux Tapestry Death of King Harold II

It is the most famous battle in British history, fought, as every schoolboy knows, in 1066 at a site now marked by Battle Abbey, near the town of Hastings. But while the date of the Battle of Hastings might still be universally accepted, the location has been called into question, with two experts proposing not…

Free online search for medieval military ancestors newly available

Crécy Jean Froissard, Hundred Years War

A new online database containing 205,000 service records of soldiers who fought in the Hundred Years War between 1369 and 1453 is now available to search free on the Forces War Records website. Many families have ancestors who fought bloody battles with swords and bows and arrows, serving in the British military under Henry V…

Eco-museum sites to mark the Battle of Flodden

Flodden Battlefield, Braxton

The first 12 sites have been designated in a landscape-scale eco-museum to mark next year’s 500th anniversary of the Battle of Flodden The concept of an eco-museum is to highlight and join up locations with links to a particular theme. The initial dozen sites all have connections with the 1513 battle in Northumberland in which…

The Battle of Towton: Nasty, brutish and not that short

The soldier now known as Towton 25 had survived battle before. A healed skull fracture points to previous engagements. He was old enough—somewhere between 36 and 45 when he died—to have gained plenty of experience of fighting. But on March 29th 1461, his luck ran out. Towton 25 suffered eight wounds to his head that…

Skulls go on display for anniversary of battle

Human skulls scarred by sword and axe marks have gone on display in Wakefield to mark the 550th anniversary of the Battle of Wakefield. The display at Wakefield Museum features the remains of some of the men who fought in a battle at Towton, North Yorkshire, shortly after the conflict in Wakefield. The exhibition, which…

Bannockburn Battlefield to get new £5m visitor centre for 700-year annivesary in 2014

One of Scotland’s most significant heritage sites is to get a new flagship, £5million visitor centre in an ambitious partnership project between Historic Scotland and the National Trust. The state-of-the-art centre at the site of the Battle of Bannockburn near Stirling will be built in time for the 700th anniversary of the Battle and the…