The Combat of the Thirty

In early 1351, with the war to control the Duchy of Brittany grinding to a stalemate, Jean de Beaumanoir, a leader of the French-supported Blois faction, challenged Robert Bemborough, a senior knight of the English-backed Montfortist faction, to combat.

Combat of the Thirty. Miniature from the Chronicles of the History of the Bretons (1480), de Pierre Le Baud. Wiki Commons.

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Black Death facts: your guide to “the worst catastrophe in recorded history”

The Black Death of October 1347 to c1352 was one of the worst catastrophes in recorded history – a deadly bubonic plague that ravaged communities across Europe, changing forever their social and economic fabric. But how much do you know about the Black Plague? How many died? Did the epidemic really eradicate a third of Europe’s population? And did it afflict every town and village?


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Edward IV: champion of the Wars of the Roses

Edward IV, the first Yorkist king of England, was given short shrift by Shakespeare. Yet, argues author AJ Pollard, Edward was a remarkable military leader who decisively won the bloody, dynastic conflict known as the Wars of the Roses.

Shakespeare did not have much time for Edward IV. None of his history plays are dedicated to England’s first Yorkist king. Instead, the writer split that monarch’s reign between two plays: Henry VI, Part 3 and Richard III – and Edward almost disappears between the two.

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Edward IV (2)

Beating the Black Death: did medieval medicine help people to survive?

What did people use for medicine in medieval times? When human understanding of disease was shaped by the movements of the planets in the night sky and everyday infections often proved fatal, how did anyone survive the era at all? Dr Elma Brenner, Wellcome Collection’s medieval specialist, explores the reality of medicine in the Middle Ages.

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Apothecaries were the 15th-century equivalent of pharmacists (Photo by Alamy)

Richard III’s family church at Fotheringhay ends £1.5m repairs

A historic church that has “worldwide interest” because of its links to Richard III has completed £1.5m worth of restoration work.

The Church of St Mary and All Saints, Fotheringhay, Northamptonshire had repairs to the roofs and stonework.

The Church of St Mary and All Saints is in Fotheringhay, the birthplace of Richard III – Getty Images

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