Saturday, 17 June 2017

Negroid Knight: John Gromont

Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster, 4th Earl of Leicester and Lancaster, KG = Order of the Garter, (c. 1310 – 23 March 1361), also Earl of Derby, was a member of the English nobility in the 14th century, and a prominent English diplomat, politician, and soldier.
Portrait of Henry Grosmont, Duke of Lancaster (1310-1361), a Knight Founder of the Order 
of the Garter, wearing a blue Garter mantle over plate armour and surcoat with his
 arms. A framed tablet displays painted arms of successors in his Garter stall at St.
George's Chapel, Windsor
The son and heir of Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster, and Maud Chaworth, he became one of Edward III's most trusted captains in the early phases of the Hundred Years' War and distinguished himself with victory in the Battle of Auberoche.

He was a founding member and the second Knight of the Order of the Garter in 1348, and in 1351 was created duke. An intelligent and reflective man, Grosmont taught himself to write and was the author of the book Livre de seyntz medicines, a highly personal devotional treatise.

He is remembered as one of the founders and early patrons of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, which was established by two of the guilds of the town in 1352. Grosmont's uncle, Thomas of Lancaster, was the son and heir of Edward I's brother Edmund Crouchback. Through his inheritance and a fortunate marriage, Thomas became the wealthiest peer in England, but constant quarrels with King Edward II led to his execution in 1322. Having no heir, Thomas's possessions and titles went to his younger brother Henry – Grosmont's father.

Earl Henry of Lancaster assented to the deposition of Edward II in 1327, but did not long stay in favour with the regency of Queen Isabella and Roger Mortimer. When Edward III took personal control of the government in 1330, relations with the Crown improved, but by this time the older Henry was already struggling with poor health and blindness.
Blanche of Lancaster one of the daughter of Henry Grosmont, wife of John of Gaunt mother of,
Philippa, Queen of Portugal and the Algarve, Elizabeth, Duchess of Exeter,
Henry IV Bolingbroke, King of England.

Little is known of Grosmont's early years, but that he was born at Grosmont Castle in Grosmont, Monmouthshire, Wales, and that he was born c. 1310, not around the turn of the century as previously held.

According to his own memoirs, he was better at martial arts than at academic subjects, and did not learn to read until later in life. In 1330 he was knighted, and represented his father in parliament.

The next year he is recorded as participating in a royal tournament at Cheapside.

In 1333 he took part in Edward's Scottish campaign, though it is unclear whether he was present at the great English victory at the Battle of Halidon Hill. After further service in the north, he was appointed the King's lieutenant in Scotland in 1336. The next year he was one of the six men Edward III promoted to the higher levels of the peerage. One of his father's lesser titles, that of Earl of Derby, was bestowed upon Grosmont.

With the outbreak of the Hundred Years' War in 1337, Grosmont's attention was turned towards France. He took part in several diplomatic missions and minor campaigns and was present at the great English victory in the naval Battle of Sluys in 1340. Later the same year, he was required to commit himself as hostage in the Low Countries for the king's considerable debts.

He remained hostage until the next year and had to pay a large ransom for his own release. On his return he was made the king's lieutenant in the north and stayed at Roxburgh until 1342.
Bishop Henry Beaufort, the second of the
four children of John of Gaunt and his
 mistress (later wife) Katherine Swynford.
The next years he spent in diplomatic negotiations in the Low Countries, Castile and Avignon.

In 1345 Edward III was planning a major assault on France. A three-pronged attack would have the Earl of Northampton attacking from Brittany, the king himself from Flanders, while Grosmont was dispatched to Aquitaine to prepare a campaign in the south. Moving rapidly through the country, he confronted the Comte d’Isle at Auberoche on 21 October and there achieved a victory described as "the greatest single achievement of Lancaster's entire military career".

The ransom from the prisoners has been estimated at £50,000. The next year, while Edward was carrying out his Crécy campaign, Grosmont laid siege to, and captured, Poitiers, before returning home to England in 1347.

In 1345, while Grosmont was in France, his father died. The younger Henry was now Earl of Lancaster – the wealthiest and most powerful peer of the realm. After participating in the Siege of Calais in 1347, the king honoured Lancaster by including him as a founding knight of the Order of the Garter in 1348. A few years later, in 1351, Edward bestowed an even greater honour on Lancaster when he created him Duke of Lancaster. The title of duke was of relatively new origin in England; only one other ducal title existed previously. In addition to this, Lancaster was given palatinate status for the county of Lancashire, which entailed a separate administration independent of the crown.

This grant was quite exceptional in English history; only two other counties palatine existed: Durham, which was an ancient ecclesiastical palatinate, and Chester, which was crown property.
Coin of John of Gaunt
It is a sign of Edward's high regard for Lancaster that he would bestow such extensive privileges on him. The two men were second cousins through their great-grandfather Henry III and practically coeval (Edward was born in 1312), so it is natural to assume that a strong sense of camaraderie existed between them. Another factor that might have influenced the king's decision was the fact that Henry had no male heir, so the grant was made for the Earl's lifetime only, and not intended to be hereditary.

Lancaster spent the 1350s intermittently campaigning and negotiating peace treaties with the French. In 1350 he was present at the naval victory at Winchelsea, where he allegedly saved the lives of the Black Prince and John of Gaunt. The years 1351-2 he spent on crusade in Prussia. It was here that a quarrel with Otto, Duke of Brunswick, almost led to a duel between the two men, narrowly averted by the intervention of the French king, John II. In the later half of the decade campaigning in France resumed.
Coin of Jean or John II of France
After a chevauchée in Normandy in 1356 and the siege of Rennes in 1358, Lancaster participated in the last great offensive of the first phase of the Hundred Years' War: the Rheims campaign of 1359–60. Then he was appointed principal negotiator for the Treaty of Brétigny, where the English achieved very favourable terms.

After returning to England in November 1360, he fell ill early the next year, and died at Leicester Castle on 23 March. It is possible that the cause of death was the plague, which that year was making a second visitation of England.

Edward III
He was buried in the Church of the Annunciation of Our Lady of the Newarke, Leicester, the church which he had built within the religious and charitable institution founded by his father next to Leicester Castle, and where he had re-buried his father some years previously.

Lancaster was married to Isabella, daughter of Henry, Lord Beaumont, in 1330. The two had no sons, but two daughters: Maud and Blanche.

While Maud was married to William I, Duke of Bavaria, Blanche married Edward III's son John of Gaunt.

Gaunt ended up inheriting Lancaster's possessions and ducal title, but it was not until 1377, when the dying King Edward III was largely incapacitated, that he was able to restore the palatinate rights for the county of Lancaster.

When Gaunt's son Henry of Bolingbroke usurped the crown in 1399 and became Henry IV, the vast Lancaster inheritance, including the Lordship of Bowland, was merged with the crown as the Duchy of Lancaster.

We know more about Lancaster's character than of most of his contemporaries through his memoirs, the Livre de seyntz medicines (Book of the Holy Doctors).
Coin of Henry III

This book is a highly personal treatise on matters of religion and piety, but it also contains details of historical interest.

It, among other things, revealed that Lancaster, at the age of 44 when he wrote the book in 1354, suffered from gout.

The book is primarily a devotional work though; it is organised around seven wounds which Henry claims to have, representing the seven sins.

Lancaster confesses to his sins, explains various real and mythical medical remedies in terms of their theological symbolism, and exhorts the reader to greater morality.

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Negroid Knight: William Bruges

William Bruges (c. 1375 – 9 March 1450) was an English officer of arms. He is best remembered as the first person appointed to the post of Garter King of Arms, which is currently the highest heraldic office in England.
An illuminated manuscript from around 1430 AD,
showing William Bruges kneeling before St George
William Bruges was the son of Richard Bruges, Lancaster King of Arms, and his wife Katherine.

The younger Bruges was appointed Chester Herald on 7 June 1398. He was later attached to the household of Henry of Monmouth, then Prince of Wales, Earl of Chester, and Duke of Aquitaine.

It is believed that Bruges was promoted to Guyenne King of Arms on the accession of Henry V and was sent to France in that capacity in early 1414. In February 1416, as Aquitaine King of Arms, Bruges was sent to emperor-elect, Sigismund, on royal business.

At this time, the titles of Aquitaine and Guyenne were interchangeable. The position of King of Arms of the Order of the Garter, usually known as Garter King of Arms, was created sometime around 1415, and Bruges appointed to it.

His father's will, dated July 1415, refers to William Bruges as both Guyenne and Garter King of Arms. After this, the next mention of Bruges in the position is 13 September 1417. It was the first time a king of arms had been specifically appointed for the service of an order of chivalry. By virtue of this office, he held permanent authority over the provincial kings of arms. Bruges's appointment as the first Garter King of Arms coincided with a series of moves to regulate heraldic matters.

In June 1417 the king clamped down on the unauthorized wearing of coat armour. In September the duke of Clarence ruled on matters of precedence between the heralds and the serjeants-at-arms.
In January 1421 the English heralds held their first chapter and directed that a common seal for that office be made.  Resolutions were to govern the office of arms and its members, with chapters summoned by Garter. In the same year, as part of Henry's revival of the Order of the Garter, some statutes of the order were revised and at about the same time many heraldic stall plates of former companions were set up in St. George's Chapel, Windsor.

Bruges was also responsible for producing his Bruges Garter Book around 1430, which is the earliest known armorial of the order. In 1421 Bruges took part in the coronation of Queen Catherine, and in the following year he officiated at Henry V's funeral.
St George
Under Henry VI there was scarcely a year in which he was not sent on at least one mission, sometimes staying abroad for many months.

He was usually concerned with France, but he also visited Normandy and Brittany, Flanders, Hainault and Holland, Scotland, Spain, Portugal, and Italy. Bruges died on 9 March 1450 on his sizeable estate in Kentish Town. He was buried in St George's Church, Stamford.

He had married, before 1415, Agnes Haddon, and they had three daughters, one of whom, Katherine, married John Smert, Bruges' successor as Garter.

Saint George (Greek: Γεώργιος, Geṓrgios; Latin: Georgius; AD 275–281 to 23 April 303), according to legend, was a Roman soldier of Greek origin and officer in the Guard of Roman emperor Diocletian, who was sentenced to death for failing to recant his Christian faith.

As a Christian martyr, he later became one of the most venerated saints in Christianity and in particular the Crusades. In hagiography, as one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers and one of the most prominent military saints, he is immortalised in the myth of Saint George and the Dragon. His memorial, Saint George's Day, is traditionally celebrated on April 23. (See under "Feast days" below for the use of the Julian calendar by the Eastern Orthodox Church.)

Numerous countries, cities, professions and organisations claim Saint George as their patron. George's parents were Christians of Greek background, his father Gerontius (Greek: Γερόντιος, Gerontios meaning "old man" in Greek) was a Roman army official from Cappadocia, and his mother Polychronia (Greek name, meaning she who lives many years) was a Christian and a Greek native from Lydda in the Roman province of Syria Palaestina.

Accounts differ regarding whether George was born in Cappadocia or Syria Palaestina, but agree that he was raised at least partly in Lydda.
St George
There is little information on the early life of Saint George. Two stories tell of his possible origins. One says that he was born in the region of Cappadocia, which is now located in central Turkey.

George's parents were both Christian, and they brought him up to be a Christian. His father died when he was fourteen, and his mother took George back to her homeland of Syria Palaestina.

At seventeen, he joined the Roman army. A second story says that George's father came from Cappadocia.

His mother was from Lydda, in Syria Palaestina, and George was born in Lydda.

Both of his parents were from noble Greek families and gave him the Greek name of Georgios (meaning farmer, earth-worker). George's father had been an officer in the Roman army, so George joined the Roman army as soon as he could. At the age of 14, George lost his father; a few years later, George's mother died. George then decided to go to Nicomedia and present himself to Diocletian to apply for a career as a soldier. Diocletian welcomed him with open arms, as he had known his father, Gerontius—one of his finest soldiers. By his late twenties, George was promoted to the rank of military tribune and stationed as an imperial guard of the Emperor at Nicomedia.

On 24 February 303, Diocletian, influenced by Galerius, issued an edict that every Christian soldier in the army should be arrested and every other soldier should offer a sacrifice to the Roman gods of the time. However, George objected, and with the courage of his faith, approached the Emperor and ruler. Diocletian was upset, not wanting to lose his best tribune and the son of his best official, Gerontius. But George loudly renounced the Emperor's edict, and in front of his fellow soldiers and tribunes he claimed himself to be a Christian.
St George
Diocletian attempted to convert George, even offering gifts of land, money, and slaves if he made a sacrifice to the Roman gods; he made many offers, but still George refused. Recognising the futility of his efforts and insisting on upholding his edict, Diocletian ordered that George be executed for his refusal. Before the execution, George gave his wealth to the poor and prepared himself.

After various torture sessions, including laceration on a wheel of swords during which he was resuscitated three times, George was executed by decapitation before Nicomedia's city wall, on 23 April 303. A witness of his suffering convinced Empress Alexandra of Rome and Athanasius, a pagan priest, to become Christians, as well, so they joined George in martyrdom. His body was returned to Lydda for burial, where Christians soon came to honour him as a martyr.

Friday, 9 June 2017

Moorish Britain, Multicultural Infidelity

Dr Samuel Johnson (1755 A.D.) has, "(Moor, and in Latin Maurus): A Negro Black Moor." European animosities were chiefly those of sex, class, religion and nationality.
Francis Barber
Under Edward III an English man who so "lowered" himself as to have intercourse with an Irish woman, was guilty of high treason. The penalty of which is to be half-hanged, disembowelled and quartered.

The irony of this is that both the Irish and English were of the same faith of Catholicism. Dr Samuel Jackson said his Negro servant and heir, Frank Barber, was a great favourite with the women. "Frank," he said "has carried the empire of cupid further than most men." He had a white wife that bore him children.

Francis Barber (c. 1742/3 – 13 January 1801), born Quashey, was the Jamaican manservant of Samuel Johnson in London from 1752 until Johnson's death. 

Johnson made him his residual heir, with £70 a year to be given him by Trustees, expressing the wish that he moves from London to Lichfield, in Staffordshire, Johnson's native city. After Johnson's death, Barber did this, opening a draper's shop and marrying a local woman. Barber was also bequeathed Johnson's books and papers, and a gold watch. In later years, he had acted as Johnson's assistant in revising his famous Dictionary of the English Language and other works. Barber was also an important source for Boswell concerning Johnson's life in the years before Boswell himself knew Johnson.

Barber was born a slave in Jamaica on a sugarcane plantation belonging to the Bathurst family. His original name was Quashey, which was a common name for a male slave.
Dr Samuel Jackson
 At the age of about 15, he was brought to England by his owner, Colonel Richard Bathhurst, whose son, also called Richard, was a close friend of Johnson. Barber was sent to school in Yorkshire. 

Johnson's wife Elizabeth died in 1752, plunging Johnson into a depression that Barber later vividly described to James Boswell.

The Bathursts sent Barber to Johnson as a valet, arriving two weeks after her death. Although the legal validity of slavery in England was ambiguous at this time (with Somersett's Case of 1772 clarifying that it did not exist in England), when the elder Bathurst died two years later he gave Barber his freedom in his will, with a small legacy of £12 (equivalent to £2,000 in 2015).

Johnson himself was an outspoken opponent of slavery, not just in England but in the American colonies as well.

The Earl of Craven caught his Negro servant, with his mistress, Harriette Wilson. He was reported as saying, "her dismissal from my cottage was because I caught her on the knee of my black footman, Mingo, and I bundled black and white into the coach together to seek their fortune."

Harriette, was the most talked-of female writer of her time. She later became the mistress of the Duke of Wellington of Waterloo fame. Harriette though, does mention Mingo.

WILLIAM CRAVEN 1st Earl of Craven (1770–1825)
Craven was the eldest son of William Craven, 6th Baron Craven, and succeeded his father as seventh Baron Craven in 1791. He served in the Army and achieved the rank of major-general.
William Craven
 In 1801 he was created Viscount Uffington, in the County of Berkshire, and Earl of Craven, in the County of York. The earldom was a revival of the title held by his 17th-century kinsman and namesake William Craven, 1st Earl of Craven.

Craven later served as Lord Lieutenant of Berkshire from 1819 to 1826. He mostly resided at Coombe Abbey, near Coventry in Warwickshire and occasionally at Hamstead Marshall in Berkshire. He is not entirely forgotten — Harriette Wilson begins her famous memoir, "I shall not say why and how I became, at the age of fifteen, the mistress of the Earl of Craven." Craven married Louisa Brunton in 1807. He died in July 1825, aged 54, and was succeeded in his titles by his son William.

Harriette Wilson (22 February 1786 – 10 March 1845) was a celebrated British Regency courtesan, whose clients included the Prince of Wales, the Lord Chancellor and four future Prime Ministers.

Harriette Dubouchet was one of the fifteen children of Swiss John James Dubouchet (or De Bouchet), who kept a small shop in Mayfair, England, and his wife Amelia, née Cook.

Her father is said to have assumed the surname of Wilson about 1801. She began her career at the age of fifteen, becoming the mistress of William Craven, 1st Earl of Craven, 7th Baron Craven.
 Among her other lovers with whom she had business arrangements was Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, who commented "publish, and be damned" when informed of her plans to write her memoirs.

Her decision to publish was partly based on the broken promises of her lovers to provide her with an income in her older age. The Memoirs of Harriette Wilson, Written By Herself, first published in 1825, are still in print. They are celebrated for their opening line:
Harriette Wilson
"I shall not say how and why I became, at the age of fifteen, the mistress of the Earl of Craven."

Her sisters Amy, Fanny and Sophia also became courtesans. Sophia married respectably into the aristocracy, when she wed Lord Berwick at age 17.

ARTHUR WELLESLEY 1st Duke of Wellington
Field Marshal Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, KG, GCB, GCH, PC, FRS (1 May 1769 – 14 September 1852), was an Anglo-Irish soldier and statesman who was one of the leading military and political figures of 19th-century Britain. His defeat of Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 put him in the top rank of Britain's military heroes. Wellesley was born in Dublin, belonging to the Protestant Ascendancy in Ireland. He was commissioned as an ensign in the British Army in 1787, serving in Ireland as aide-de-camp to two successive Lords Lieutenant of Ireland. He was also elected as a Member of Parliament in the Irish House of Commons.

He was a colonel by 1796, and saw action in the Netherlands and in India, where he fought in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War at the Battle of Seringapatam. He was appointed governor of Seringapatam and Mysore in 1799 and, as a newly appointed major-general, won a decisive victory over the Maratha Confederacy at the Battle of Assaye in 1803.

Wellesley rose to prominence as a general during the Peninsular campaign of the Napoleonic Wars, and was promoted to the rank of field marshal after leading the allied forces to victory against the French Empire at the Battle of Vitoria in 1813.
Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington
Following Napoleon's exile in 1814, he served as the ambassador to France and was granted a dukedom. During the Hundred Days in 1815, he commanded the allied army which defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, together with a Prussian army under Blücher.

Wellesley's battle record is exemplary; he ultimately participated in some 60 battles during the course of his military career.

Wellington is famous for his adaptive defensive style of warfare, resulting in several victories against numerically superior forces while minimising his own losses. He is regarded as one of the greatest defensive commanders of all time, and many of his tactics and battle plans are still studied in military academies around the world.

After ending his active military career, Wellington returned to politics. He was twice British prime minister as part of the Tory party: from 1828 to 1830, and for a little less than a month in 1834. He oversaw the passage of the Catholic Relief Act 1829, but opposed the Reform Act 1832. He continued as one of the leading figures in the House of Lords until his retirement and remained Commander-in-Chief of the British Army until his death.

Monday, 5 June 2017

Moorish Britain A love Poem

A Latin poem entitled, "Aethiopissa ambit cestum Diversi Coloris Virum," Ethiopian umfasst die offensichtliche Farbe Mann, German, or Éthiopien englobe l'homme de couleur évidente, French.
Purely for Visualisation not the
Real Black Moor Woman
Meaning "Ethiopian encompasses the obvious colour man" of the English poet George Herbert 1593 to 1633 AD, translated to English by his contemporary Henry Rainolds.

In these poems was a love letter from a Black Moor woman to Henry King, Bishop of Chichester, 1592 – 1669 AD. 

Stay lovely boy, while fliest thou me That languish in this flame for thee I’m black ‘tis true, why so is night And love cloth in dark shade delight The whole world do but close thine eyes

Will seem to thee as black as I am Or open it and see what a black shade Is by thine own fair body made That follows thee where ere thou go (Oh, who allowed would not do so?) Let me for ever dwell so nigh

And thou shall need no other shade than I. Henry King, Bishop of Chichester, replied: Black maid complain not that I fly When fate commands antipathy Prodigious might that union prove Where night and day together move

And the conjunction of our lips Not kisses make but an eclipse In which the mixed black and white Portends more terror than delight Yet if my shadow then will be Enjoy thy dearest wish: But se Thou take my shadow’s property

Thou hastes away when I come nigh Else stay till death has blinded me And then I will bequeath myself to thee.
Henry King, Bishop of Chichester

Sir William Smith says the Moor were Known in the Alexandrian dialect as "Black," and that “the Moors must not be considered a different race from the Numidians." Atgier said "to the Greeks, Romans and Gauls, the Moor were Known as Black people."

He added "the word Mauretania, inhabited by Black populations and was later called Nigrita, or Negroland." 

"Moor" for Negro continued to be use in England until at least the 18th century A.D. Nathaniel Bailey, compiler of the first English dictionary, (1736 A.D) has "(Moor): more (French); more (Italian and Spanish), or Black Moor native of Mauretania." 

Nathan Bailey (died 27 June 1742), was an English philologist and lexicographer. He was the author of several dictionaries, including his Universal Etymological Dictionary, which appeared in some 30 editions between 1721 and 1802. Bailey's Dictionarium Britannicum (1730 and 1736) was the primary resource mined by Samuel Johnson for his Dictionary of the English Language (1755).

Bailey, with John Kersey the younger, was a pioneer of English lexicography, and changed the scope of dictionaries of the language. Greater comprehensiveness became the common ambition. Up to the early eighteenth century, English dictionaries had generally focused on "hard words" and their explanation, for example those of Thomas Blount and Edward Phillips in the generation before. With a change of attention, to include more commonplace words and those not of direct interest to scholars, the number of headwords in English dictionaries increased spectacularly. 

Innovations were in the areas of common words, dialect, technical terms, and vulgarities.
Nathanael Bailey
Thomas Chatterton, the literary forger, also obtained many sham-antique words from reading Bailey and Kersey.

Bailey's An Universal Etymological English Dictionary, from its publication in 1721, became the most popular English dictionary of the 18th century, and went through nearly thirty editions. It was a successor to Kersey's A New English Dictionary (1702), and drew on it. 

A supplementary volume of his dictionary appeared in 1727, and in 1730 a folio edition, the Dictionarium Britannicum containing many technical terms. Bailey had collaborators, for example John Martyn who worked on botanical terms in 1725.

Samuel Johnson made an interleaved copy the foundation of his own Johnson's Dictionary. The 1755 edition of Bailey's dictionary bore the name of Joseph Nicol Scott also; it was published years after Bailey's death, but months only after Johnson's dictionary appeared. 

Now often known as the "Scott-Bailey" or "Bailey-Scott" dictionary, it contained relatively slight revisions by Scott, but massive plagiarism from Johnson's work. A twentieth-century lexicographer, Philip Babcock Gove, attacked it retrospectively on those grounds. 

In all, thirty editions of the dictionary appeared, the last at Glasgow in 1802, in reprints and versions by different booksellers.
George Herbert 

Bailey's dictionary was also the basis of English-German dictionaries. These included those edited by Theodor Arnold (3rd edition, 1761), Anton Ernst Klausing (8th edition, 1792), and Johann Anton Fahrenkrüger (11th edition, 1810). 

Bailey also published a spelling-book in 1726; 'All the Familiar Colloquies of Erasmus Translated,' 1733, of which a new edition appeared in 1878; 

'The Antiquities of London and Westminster,' 1726; 'Dictionarium Domesticum,' 1736 (which was also a cookbook on recipes, including fried chicken); Selections from Ovid and Phædrus; and 'English and Latin Exercises.' In 1883 appeared 'English Dialect Words of the Eighteenth Century as shown in the . . . Dictionary of N. Bailey', with an introduction by W. E. A. Axon (English Dialect Society), giving biographical and bibliographical details.