Showing posts with label 14th Century History. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 14th Century History. Show all posts

13 August, 2007

Into the deep, dark wood with Dante Alighieri (1265-1321)

I have just discovered the Danteworlds website, which brings to life Dante's Divine Comedy and is run by the University of Texas at Austin. In their words, "an integrated multimedia journey--combining artistic images, textual commentary, and audio recordings".....Awesome, as they might say in Austin.

The painting at right, by Domenico di Michelino (C15th) shows Dante between the mountain of Purgatory and the city of Florence.

11 July, 2006

The Good Parliament (28th April to 10th July, 1376)

Back to English medieval history for today's post.

The Good Parliament was the name given to the reforming English Parliament that sat between 28th April and 10th July 1376, in the reign of Edward III.

In those days the monarchy, regarded with general suspicion by the people, tended to avoid calling a Parliament unless money needed to be raised, as was the case in 1376 due to the expense of the war with France.

Sure enough the Parliament flexed its muscles against Edward (and his 4th son and key fixer John of Gaunt), and made a number of moves.

Firstly it appointed the first Speaker, Thomas Hungerford; secondly it introduced impeachment for officials thought to be abusing their power (ie siphoning off Treasury funds). Thirdly it upheld the principle that no taxation should be raised without Parliamentary consent (please note Gordon). Oh, and it also placed the King's aquisitive mistress Alice Perrers "in seclusion".

Although John of Gaunt saw to it that the following parliament undid much of the good work (implementing the dreaded Poll Tax - see previous post on the Peasant's Revolt) , the principles upheld in the "Good Parliament" ultimately won through.

30 May, 2006

30th May, 1381. Start of the Essex Peasants' Revolt

Jack Straw was one of the leaders of the Peasant's Revolt, a medieval protest against the poll tax (a government device often used to provoke popular discontent and the occasional uprising). On the 30th May 1381 Straw led an ill-fated crowd from the churchyard in the village of Great Baddow in Essex to one of the risings in London.
The picture shows Wat Tyler, leader of the Kentish men in th erevolt, being killed by the mayor of London . King Richard III (aged 14) looks on.
However, before their demise the rebels did capture the Tower of London, worth maximum points...