Middle Age Memories

By: Joshua Salmon

William the Conqueror

"I will conqueror all!"

Biography

William was born in around 1028, in Falaise, Normandy the illegitimate son of Robert I, Duke of Normandy. He was known as William the Bastard; to his contemporaries. On his fathers death in 1035, William was recognised as heir, with his great uncle serving as regent. In 1042, he began to take more personal control. From 1046 until 1055, he dealt with a series of baronial rebellions. Williams political and military successes helped him in negotiations to marry Matilda, daughter of Count Baldwin of Flanders in 1053.

Memorable moments

William’s jester rode beside him during the invasion of England, lifting the troops’ spirits by singing about heroic deeds. When they reached enemy lines, he taunted the English by juggling his sword and was promptly killed, initiating the historic skirmish.

Importance

Every English monarch who followed William, including Queen Elizabeth II, is considered a descendant of the Norman-born king. According to some genealogists, more than 25 percent of the English population is also distantly related to him, as are countless Americans with British ancestry.

Joan of Arc

"Believe in God He will lead you to the light"

Biography

Joan of Arc was a peasant girl that lived in medieval France. At the age of 15 she led french soldiers to victory over the English even though she had no military training. Joan actually thought God talked through visions but people today actually believed that she might have mentally ill. Joan jumped off a 4 1/2 stories building and landed without any injuries.

Important

Around the age of 12 or 13, Joan of Arc apparently began hearing voices and experiencing visions, which she interpreted as signs from God. During her trial, she testified that angels and saints first told her merely to attend church and live piously; later, they began instructing her to deliver France from the invading English and establish Charles VII, the uncrowned heir to the French throne, as the country’s rightful king.

Memorable Moments

After falling into enemy hands in 1430, Joan of Arc was tried in the English stronghold of Rouen by an ecclesiastical court. The 70 charges against her ranged from sorcery to horse theft, but by May 1431 they had been whittled down to just 12, most related to her wearing of men’s clothing and claims that God had directly contacted her. Offered life imprisonment in exchange for an admission of guilt, Joan signed a document confessing her alleged sins and promising to change her ways.

King John

"Your lucky the Magna Carta controls me!"

Biography

John was born around Christmas in 1166 or 1167 in Oxford, the youngest and favourite son of Henry II. On his father's death in 1189 his brother, Richard, became king. John received titles, lands and money, but this was not enough.In 1199, Richard died and John became king. War with France was renewed, triggered by John's second marriage.

Important

Magna Carta (Latin for Great Charter) also called Magna Carta Libertatum or The Great Charter of the Liberties of England, is an Angevin charter originally issued in Latin in the year 1215. It was translated into vernacular French as early as 1219, and reissued later in the 13th century in modified versions.The 1215 charter required King John of England to proclaim certain liberties and accept that his will was not arbitrary—for example by explicitly accepting that no "freeman" (in the sense of non-serf) could be punished except through the law of the land, a right that still exists.

Memorable Moments

John was excommunicated due to his opposition to Stephen Langton who was chosen as Archbishop of Canterbury by Pope Innocent III. The excommunication was lifted when John agreed to the wishes of the Pope