Blood brothers: Richard III’s battle with his siblings

The three siblings Edward IV, George, Duke of Clarence and the future Richard III were meant to be on the same side in the Wars of the Roses. Yet the relationship between these heavyweights of the House of York was defined by jealousy, backstabbing and murder. Thomas Penn describes the great family rivalry that dogged the English throne in the later 15th century…

blood brothers

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10 Facts About Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York

Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York, was one of the most significant figures of the 15th century. A man with close royal links, he was a giant of English politics who helped plunge his country into the bloody Wars of the Roses.


He was an able administrator and a charismatic commander with several powerful friends; yet his power, lineage, ambition and fame also ensured he gained some mighty enemies, holding deep-felt enmity that, ultimately, proved resolvable only by the sword.

Here are ten facts about Richard, Duke of York.

Santa Claus’ finger bone in Battle Abbey’s medieval inventory

© Leon Neal/Getty Images The ruins of Battle Abbey, the widely accepted location of the Battle of Hastings in 1066.

Santa Claus’ finger bone and a piece of the manger that served as Christ’s crib were among the relics gifted to an English monastery, a new analysis of a medieval manuscript has revealed.

Michael Carter, a historian at English Heritage, an organization that manages more than 400 historic buildings, found the objects listed on a 580-year-old inventory for Battle Abbey in Sussex, southeast England.

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Eat Sh*t and (Don’t) Die

Medical procedures in a 12th century manuscript. British Library MS Harley 1585  fol. 9 

Sometimes, when we get sick, it can feel like we’d do anything to get better. But what if the remedy we needed required us to swallow animal dung?

The use of animal dung in medicine is not new to us, nor would it have been to people in the medieval world. It also wasn’t exclusive to Europe, and (believe it or not) using dung to solve our problems still hasn’t completely gone out of fashion.

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Thousands of medieval manuscripts now online in full color through digitization project

From tattoos to video games to Game of Thrones, medieval iconography has long inspired fascination, imitation and veneration. Now, thousands of original medieval manuscript and early modern images are available for free online, for scholars and aficionados to search, download and study.

Medieval manuscript at Lehigh University. Credit:Christa Neu/Lehigh University

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Divided Loyalties in the Medieval World

To whom should one pledge fealty? Lord, king, brother or nation?

Jo Johnson, the younger brother of the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, recently blamed divided loyalties for his resignation as Cabinet minister and MP. Citing ‘unresolvable tension’ between family loyalty and the national interest, he found the time had come to quit his governmental roles. David Gauke, one of those to have recently lost the Conservative Party whip, admitted that many MPs have had to ‘wrestle with conflicting loyalties’ in the past few months, as Brexit rips a hole through traditional ties of party and family.
Miniature showing a battle, from ‘The Book of Feats of Arms and of Chivalry’, by Christine de Pisan, French, 1434.© Bridgeman Images