1553 for a couple days. Any guesses why?
We get back to Duke of Northumberland. He was Lord President of the
Council, bunch of guys advising the young Eddie about how to rule.
Remember, Eddie was 5 when he took the throne and only 11 when he died.
Other folks were ruling here. Northumberland fixed things with the
ailing young king to disinherit both Mary and Lizzie (Anne’s kid) in
favor of this wonderful gal named Lady Jane Grey. Jane, strangely
enough, was Northumberland’s own daughter-in-law. Jane was about 16 at
the time, and a Protestant. She ruled for only 9 days as Queen.
Mary ducked Northumberland who was searching for her. I think he wanted
to console her or otherwise ease her pain on the loss of Eddie. Sure.
Mary got herself to London and was declared Queen. Northumberland
decided that discretion being the better part of staying alive, went
and kissed her hand. Smart move.
Although her advisors told her to whack both Northumberland and Jane,
she nixed it. She did give the Catholic bishops back their Sees. When
Mary did the crowning bit in Westminster, it was a September ceremony
to die for, she let it be known that the throne was kind of cold and
lonely. She got engaged to Phillip II of Spain. Her mom was Spanish,
the Spaniards were getting very rich off in the New World. What was the
A smallish revolution was whipped up by Sir Thomas Wyatt and company in
1554. They did not really like the restoration of Catholicism and
worse, having a Spaniard sitting on the English throne. Mary’s forces
easily crushed the rebellion and had everybody with it executed, that
also meant Lady Jane Grey. Can’t say she did not warn her.
Strangely enough, that did not shut up the folk. Doggone it, those
peasants and nobles just did not quit. Mary put into effect things
known as Heresy Laws. Essentially, you speak against Mary and the
Church, you die. You know, we take a lot of freedoms for granted. Those
of you who wish to live in the Middle Ages, think on that for a second:
Heresy Laws. How long would any of us live? (end of sermon) In four
years, 277 folks in England learned to be very quiet. They were burned
to death in the name of peace. Mary thought she was doing the right
Mary did not have skittles and beer at her home either. Although she
was in love with hubby Phil, when he found out that she could not give
him a boy child, he left her. He hated the English and Bennie Hill, I
think. Mary was sick a lot with dropsy (an accumulation of lymph in the
tissues). Phil never missed a chance to dis her in public about that or
anything else. The last of Mary's life was just depressing for her as
the first. She died at St. James's Palace in London in 1558, at the age
of 42. I think she was relieved.
Anything to learn here? Be careful of those wishing to console you?
Grasshopper is always wrong in argument with chicken? Be careful what
you wish on others because it may come to you? No matter how many folk
you burn, you still may not be happy? Not many foreigners appreciate
English cooking or comedy? How about a family that slays together...
no, never mind.
Thanks for those well wishes. You folks are just wonderful. Some of
you, at least. As always, if you want to forward this or any of the
musings, just keep my name and email intact.
And a big happy birthday to a certain, unnamed poet whom I dearly love
but will not embarrass.
I spell my name,
J. Ellsworth Weaver III
SCA – Sir Balthazar of Endor
AS – Polyphemus Theognis
TRV – Sebastian Yeats
(some people call me Maurice)
Subject: Musing on July 9 -- Janey Short and Sweet
Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2000 10:23:42 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ellsworth Weaver
Today on July 9, 1553 a sixteen year old girl learned her childhood
sweetheart had died three days before and that by his will she was
queen. She promptly fainted. She was reputed to be the most intelligent
woman in her country second only to her half-sister. She was Lady Jane
Grey: the nine day queen.
Lady Jane was born in October, bet she was a Libra, 1537. Her mom,
Frances, was the daughter of Hank VIII’s younger sister, Mary (no, not
Bloody Mary nor Mary Queen of Scots. Mary was a grand old name.) Jane
had two sisters, Katherine and Mary (see, another Mary) who was BTW a
dwarf. Janey was quite a catch, too. I mean she was petite (made Vanna
White look like Arnold) with long dark auburn hair, very innocent,
strongly Protestant, and pretty darned rich after a bit. Most of the
contemporary portraits I have seen of her may have been of Catherine
Parr. They all show a heart-shaped face with a strong chin and large
Janey was not very loved by her parents and spent most of her early
life studying, and playing with her sisters. That all changed when she
was ten. In 1547 she moved to the household of Catherine Parr (the last
wife and widow to Henry VIII). Hank was ailing big time. He was
grotesquely overweight, crazy, consumptive, and mean. Kate Parr was
Hank’s only widow. None of his other wives survived him. Pretty
indicative of that old Tudor charm. Things had been looking up for
Janey. She was at court and really liked young king Eddie VI. They even
had the exact same birthday. Maybe there was romance. Eddie was
betrothed to Mary Queen of Scots but Scotland was acting up so that
marriage was not going to be. Did Eddie think Janey was a bundle? You
bet! But Fate had other things in store. Eddie had consumption,
tuberculosis, the same disease that took off his dear daddy.
Eddie was only nine when he took the throne and so was ruled by others
more than he ruled. The most obnoxious of the "advisors" was a guy
named John Dudley the Earl of Warwick. This Dudley-Do-Wrong weaseled
his way into getting himself named Duke of Northumberland. He ran the
country even though he had no official title to do so and was acquiring
real estate like Ted Turner. Lots of the land he was taking was from
the Catholic Church. Remember that they were no longer the Church of
State. When Eddie was diagnosed with that inevitably fatal disease (in
those days) Northumberland got Eddie to see things his way. He
convinced Eddie that his Sis Mary, a Catholic from a dissolved
marriage, and Sis Elizabeth (Lizzie I), from an adulterous witch, were
Dudley had his candidate in the wings, Janey. Janey’s mom, Frances, had
just become rich since she inherited becoming the Duchess of Suffolk as
the "sweating sickness" (probably influenza) had taken off all the
other heirs. Dudley and Janey’s parents "persuaded" (read: beaten)
Janey to marry Guilford Dudley – the name says it all, doesn’t it? --
on May 21st of 1553. June 21st Eddie named her his next in line. What
an unexpected wedding gift for a childhood sweetheart. Janey did not
know anything about this. I think she would have been horrified. We do
know that less than a month later, July 9th she was astounded to the
extent of fainting.
Janey was supposed to be queen. Guess that Dudley thought then his son
would be king. Funny how that works out. When Janey was persuaded to
put on the Crown, she made it clear that Guilford was not king. So
there! Well, nine days laterJaney yielded up the Crown to Mary. Mary
felt she had to put Janey in the Tower. It did seem like Mary intended
to set Jane free. Mary realized that Jane was a pawn, however her
execution was necessary because as long as she was alive she would be
threat to Mary. She could be used as a pawn by those wishing to see
Protestantism regain power. Janey had admitted she was wrong in
accepting the Crown, but denied that she was innocent of any
wrongdoing. John Dudley, Northumberland, was found guilty of treason on
August 20, and executed on August 22. Lady Jane and her husband were
tried and convicted of high treason on November 14, "to be burnt alive
or beheaded, as the queen shall please" and beheaded on February 12,
1554; Janey’s abusive dad was beheaded on February 23.
Mom Frances was very good friends with Mary I and avoided the headsman.
She quickly married a man half her age and settled down out of the
political arena. Elizabeth, after she succeeded Bloody Mary, kept
Sister Katherine Grey at court just for security purposes. Kate Grey
was married to Edward Seymour, Earl of Hertford, in a secret ceremony
and soon had a child. They were ordered separated in the Tower, yet she
became pregnant once more and had two sons in total. She died when she
was 27. Her husband lived to be 83.
Janey, you were wonderful and I mourn your death.
What have we learned from this unfortunate story? Kids should not be
allowed to rule? Real estate agents are wont to hang out with kings
(sorry, Ms. Bening)? Some people just lose their heads trying to get
ahead? I think I like kings may say but biology rules the day. I just
made that up. *G*
Well, go out and make someone a king yourself. Careful what you create
out there. Remember Dr. Frankenstein.
Forward these to whomever but keep my name and email address intact.
Love and laughter,
Subject: Musing on July 10 -- Silent like an Orange
Date: Sun, 9 Jul 2000 14:07:29 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ellsworth Weaver
On July 10, 1584, William of Orange who was known as "The Silent" was
killed by a fanatic. Why was this Orange sliced? Why was he known as
Billy was a German count who had come by a French principality, Orange,
and some land in the Netherlands as an inheritance. He was pretty good
friends with Emperor Chuck V. Chuck’s son was the infamous Spanish guy
Phil II. Remember he had married Bloody Mary I, jilted her, and then
later put together a fleet of ships -- called them his Armada -- to
take England away from Lizzie I? True, same guy. Phil later married one
of the daughter of Kate de Medici and Hank II of France. Isn’t it
interesting how this all links together?
Anyway, the Netherlands belonged to Spain at the time. The Spaniards
believed that anyway. The Netherlands was a hotbed of Protestantism
(although some of the Protestant beds were cold) and Phil II had
instituted what he thought were needed reforms. Most of them revolved
around whacking Protestants. The Dutch did some armed revolving
themselves. Billy Orange was sent to France to arrange a treaty of
truce. The king of France thought Billy was pro-Catholic and in the
pocket of Chuck and his son so he kind of spilled the beans about how
he knew Phil was going to essentially wipe out all those Protestants.
Billy was like a tar baby: he didn’t say nothing he just sat there and
listened; thus, his nickname "The Silent." Billy supported freedom of
religion and notified the rest of the boys what was up. Forewarned and
all of that.
Phil II sent in the Duke of Alba and things got really low in the Low
Countries. Billy’s eldest son, Philip William, got abducted and hauled
away to Spain. Alba played dragoon and killed most everyone who even
looked non-Catholic. He beheaded the Counts of Egmont and Homes. This
eventually po’d the Dutch such that they fought back. We now call it
the Eighty Years War. Billy (who would be played by Mel Gibson if this
were a movie) and his brothers sold their plates and jewels to raise
money to kick out the Spanish. It was tough guerrilla fighting. Billy
lost most of his early battles and two of his brothers got themselves
Billy parked his wife, Anna, safely in Germany with his folks during
the fighting. Anna got bored at her in-laws’ place and became a
general nuisance. Billy’s folks got tired of her and her public
nastiness. She moved to Cologne, the big city, and lead a wild life.
When she got drunk, she beat and berated her staff. She threw
outrageous parties. Ripped right through any money they had left.
Anna had a rather public affair with Johannes Rubens. Eventually she
moved in with him. In 1571 Rubens was arrested. Anna said they had done
nothing wrong even though she was very obviously pregnant. Note: Billy
had not been home with her in a long time. This was 400 years before
soap operas, remember. Anna broke down, told Billy to just go ahead and
kill her and her Johnny. Hey, it was within the law of the time. Billy
said no and told Rubens to scram. Anna gave birth to Peter Paul Rubens,
the rather famous painter. She also gave birth to Ruben’s daughter
Christina. Billy had enough and had the marriage annulled. You know it
was just as well. Anna had really gone around the bend. The staff kept
knives away from her, she was delusional, and raged horribly.
In 1573 Billy became an official Protestant. He remarried twice. And of
course, the Catholics never forgave him. In fact, one stabbed him to
death on this day 1584. Anna had left Billy and her country something
precious, Billy’s son Maurits of Orand-Nassua. Maurits lead the troops
which finally got rid of the Spanish from the Low Country in 1600.
Their sovereignty was finally recognized 48 years later in the Treaty
Christina was taken care of by Billy’s family. They even found her a
nice German count to marry.
What have we to learn from this? Softly, softly, catchee monkey? Don’t
try to force your religion on anyone? Better to remain silent and be
thought a fool, than open your mouth and be proven one? How about, no
matter how good you are in battle, you got to take care of business at
home? Like Elvis’ ring used to say: TCB.
Remember, you cannot measure beliefs, only actions, folks. As always if
you forward this or any of my humble missives, make sure you keep my
name and sig. intact.
SCA -- Sir Balthazar of Endor
AS -- Polyphemus Theognis
TRV -- Sebastian Yeats
Subject: Musing on July 11 -- I got spurs that jingle-jangle-jingle!
Date: Mon, 10 Jul 2000 20:10:43 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ellsworth Weaver
On July 11, 1302, an elite cavalry force approached an untrained
militia mostly made up of guildsmen, weavers. The results of that day
spelled eventual victory for the weavers but death for Scots and
Templars and loss for the Jews. This is the date of The Battle of the
The French king. Philip "the Fair" (meaning "good looking" not about
his willingness to share) had long coveted the wealth of Flanders. The
place was mostly owned and run by guilds, independent of any throne or
crown. The most influential of these were the weavers’ guilds. They
made the fine linen cloth and lace.
Philip had been fighting with the English, led by Eddie I
("Longshanks"). Phil had even kidnapped, assassinated and bought a
Catholic pope or two. All of this warring and work on Church
beautification had sapped the treasury of the French. No money, no war.
Simple as that. So, where could a good-looking, studly kind of king get
some spending cash? Look to the merchants! You ask them first and if
they refuse to pay the insurance – "shame if some clumsy knight were to
wander into your shop and set fire to your loom, Monsieur Devreese" –
then you have to go send out some collectors. These knightly guys were
led by the French commander, the Duc d’Artois. Along with them came
Pierre Flotte and Raoul de Nesles. More about these three in a sec.
On June 11th, the elite of the French chivalry, mounted of course, came
riding toward the city Kortrijk (Courtrai in French) in Flanders. The
weavers and friends were standing their ground (the only dry spot
around) on Groeninge field. The surrounding area was muddy and mucky.
The French cavalry charged but got bogged down. The weavers with their
bill hooks and bowmen calmly opened them up like crawfish at a
Draconian (that's in Louisiana, ya'll) feast. Same results. Raoul saw
that the battle was lost but plunged into it as a sort of suicide rush.
He had decided better a dead hero than having to live with defeat. Duc
d’Artois was stabbed by a lay brother from the Ter Doest abbey in
western Flanders Guillaume Vansaeftingen. Great name, right? Several
folks afterwards wanted his name tattooed on their chests; none
survived the ordeal. Pierre Flotte, French lawyer and teacher, also
died in the fray.
Pierre Flotte is not as remembered as his star pupil, Guillaume de
Nogaret, who upon his mentor’s death became king Phil the Good
Looking’s chief advisor and favorite badman. Any RL Templars out there?
Okay, I know my Masonic friends are. Reason I asked was that Nogaret
was the one who led the arrest of the Templars that Friday Oct 13,
Why is it called the Battle of the Golden Spurs? Those danged weavers
cut off the spurs of the French knights and tacked the rowels up in in
Onze-Lieve-Vrouw church in Kortrijk. Kind of pretty decoration.
Unfortunately, French troops came back in 1382 during the Battle of
Westrozebeke and took the spurs away. How rude! The spurs which are in
the church today are fake ones but don’t tell anyone and everyone will
still dig it.
With no army, Phil had to knock off feuding with Eddie I. That suddenly
meant that Eddie could devote all his efforts to whomping on the Scots.
In fact William Wallace (remember "Braveheart"?) was forced out of
Phil’s court and back to Scotland. Wallace was betrayed to Longshanks
within three years.
With no money, Phil had to figure another place or places to squeeze.
He had two ready sources at home: the Jews and the Templars. Phil
"nationalized" (stole) all Jewish property and kicked them out of the
country. Eddie over across the channel had done a similar thing. Phil
was in hock up to his good looking eyebrows to the Templars. Hmmm.
Maybe he could arrest them and steal all the Templar treasure. You tell
me if you think he found it all. Some of the Templars made it over to
Scotland to fight against Eddie. Seemed only right. St. Clair
(Sinclair) is a name you might want to look up yourselves in that
What have we learned? A strong army with get you through times with no
money better than money will get you through times without an army? I
don’t think so. Cavalry is just not the answer in every situation?
Don’t go to other people’s back yard and act tough? Didn’t we have that
somewhere before? It is dangerous to loan money to a king? I think the
best thought is "Don’t mess with the Weavers!" *G*
Wobbling but not falling down,
J. Ellsworth Weaver (tee-hee)
SCA – Sir Balthazar of Endor
AS – Polyphemus Theognis
TRV – Sebastian Yeats
As always if you forward these, leave my name and sig attached. You saw
what happened to Duc d’Artois and his Frenchy boys. Grrrrr!
Subject: Musing on July 12: Wonderin' Where the Lions are
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2000 21:54:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: Ellsworth Weaver
On this day July 12, 1174 a cowardly lion was captured, a lion-hearted
father was spanked, and a flying lion was lost.
William the Lion became king of Scotland when his brother Malcolm IV,
known as "Malcolm the Maiden," died at the tender age of 24. Okay the
name was for real, Malcolm was a pious and effeminate youth, grandson
of the mighty King David I of Scotland. Malcolm was the cousin of
England's ruler, Henry II, father of Richard the Lionheart. Small
matter that Hank II had promised – during his knighting ceremony at
the hands of King David, for heavens sake – to never, ever mess with
Scotland. Hank with his shark-like appetite wanted all that land above
his kingdom. So Hank talked, bullied, cajoled, whatever, poor Malcolm
the Maiden out of all Scottish possessions in England and even the
Scottish principalities of Cumbria and Northumberland. Needless to say,
Malcolm was not well-liked at home after that.
William was known as William "the Lion," not because he was some brave
hearted fellow (no Mel Gibson he), but because he had the distinction
of putting a lion rampant on the national standard of Scotland as a
substitute for the dragon which had formerly been there. William sort
of wanted to do the right thing: he resolved to get back the lands that
Hank II had swindled brother Malcolm out of. He decided to invade
England across the border and just do a little sacking, burning,
raping, pillaging, and slaughtering. Test the waters, so to speak.
Willie’s army was just outside of Alnwick. There are two stories as to
where Hank was at the time. The best histories show that he was off
fighting in France; the most poetic one says he was doing penance,
including being lashed by some monks at Canterbury, for having Thomas a
Becket whacked. You decide. The English barons heard about the border
raids and met together in York (NE Britain). The barons knew they had
to do something right smartly before the Scots got to liking raiding
and killing Englishmen. That sort of thing gets out of hand quickly.
There were only 400 knights and barons at York but they decided it
might be enough. They rode all night long to Alnwick. They got there
just at daybreak. It was a misty, moisty morning that 12th of July and
the English were afraid they might ride right into the middle of the
Scottish camp by mistake. That would be embarrassing. They halted.
The mist suddenly cleared. There on a meadow before them the English
army saw a small party of horsemen tilting – just kind of horsing
around. The English wasted no time in riding down and taking a
prisoner. He looked a little cleaner than the others and he sure did
try to resist. After the barons got this struggling knight back onto
English soil, imagine their surprise when they found out they had
snagged Willie the Lion, King of Scotland. Oh, there must have been
medieval high-fiving and shouting and all sorts of cavorting when they
opened that dude’s lid and looked in. "Got ourselves a king there,
Hank was overjoyed. He had some slick lawyers draw up papers
essentially saying that to get the king back, Scotland had to be deeded
over to Hank. Almost to Hank’s surprise, Willie signed the papers. To