The al-Rawda mosque in the town of Bir al-Abed

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-42110223

Possibly 235 dead.

Possibly 100 injured.

All for praying a different way.

Victims shot down fleeing.

Ambulances fired on.

The feeling called Anger doesn’t even come close to describing just what I am experiencing now.

In a while Compassion for the dead, dying, wounded, survivors and their families will replace the furnace-fire.

If you are not careful Evil can seep in at every opportunity.

Compassion. Weep and cleanse your soul.

 

Mogadishu, Syria, New York………..

Advertisements

A True History of The Isles Vol II Chapter 14 – Henry V A Good Play but a Questionable king?

Overview and Introduction 

Born 9th August 1386 son of Henry (to be a IV), grandson of John (Gaunt) and great-grandson of Edward (The III and ‘Who Can I Invade next?’). Although a sort of cousin of Richard II, because Richard didn’t trust anyone Henry was once removed but once Henry’s father (Henry of the broken bollens) was exiled and Henry (the son) was only a boy and not in line to the throne Richard (the II), treated him kindly. He was indulged by being allowed try his hand at intimidating the Irish, being but a lad it didn’t work. He gained more experience when his father was king and he spent time fighting the Welsh until 1408, when because of his father’s various interesting ailments he was obliged to take part in government and argue with his father.

Eventually he became king 9th April 1413 when it snowed a lot which may or may not have had any relevance

Controversy over his Youth and Also Some Rebellions   

Some folk said Henry (now The V) had led a riotous and dissolute youth in common company. This would have been difficult when he was fighting the Welsh, then being in government and arguing with his father. This was probably a rumour spread about by folk because of his friendship with Sir John known for his Odd Castle, probably having a counterfeit flag and being a Bollard, whose beliefs asserted that the hierarchy of the Catholic Church were useless. In those days this notion was heretical.

Sir John’s Rebellion of 1414

Despite this Henry (V), was very fond of John (Sir) and it was only when Sir John organised a rebellion in 1414 which was to take place on the 12th night of Christmas when people would be so full of food and drink they would be mumbling and so Henry and his brothers would be easy to capture. Sir John would then proclaim himself in charge while everyone found Edmund Mortimer.  Most of Sir John’s supporters had assembled at St. Giles’ field, since he wasn’t using it. Others foolishly gathered at an inn at Smithfield, thus rather scattered and somewhat merrie they were scattered even more since Henry had found out about the plot arrived with his own army. Most rebels were massacred, beheaded etc, but Sir John fled and when he tried to organise another rebellion in Southampton Henry felt the friendship might be lacking something.

Sir John and Some Others’ Rebellion of 1415

Rather than planning slaughter lots of Churchmen and hide Henry, this plot was to properly slaughter Henry and, since he had been found put Edmund Mortimer on the throne whether he wanted it or not. Because Richard II had said Edmund should be king. As a Lord Scrope was involved Henry’s suspicions were raised (see previous Chapter Scrope- a bishop). Everyone was arrested and executed before they got a chance to say anything noble. Sir John fled once more but was captured in Wales in 1417, hung, burnt and thus reckoned to no longer be a threat. Edmund Mortimer was quite relieved.

Domestic Policy 

Because of an excess of rebellions in the reign of his father and now his own, Henry (The V) was very severe and stern, but in a fayre way. He said everyone who did not rebel was welcome to help him as long as they realised that at the end of the day he was The King. Everyone still surviving got the message.

The Return of The Hundred Years War

Henry’s Claim to The French Crown

Although Henry (the V) carried on with his father (Henry IV)’s policy of speaking English officially, this did not stop him from saying he should be King of France. He based his claim on the following legal points:

The Kings of England had ancestors who were related to French Kings and now the French royal line were beginning to run out of sons, so much so one was Posthumous and for a while France had to be ruled by the whoever was the tallest noble in the realm. Although this crisis had passed the current King of France, Charles VI said he was made of glass and claimed his son was a dolphin. Henry V being serious thought it therefore his solemn duty to take over.

A subsidiary point was The French were supporting Owain Glyndwr in his rebellions and The Scots in their invasions. As the King of England was the most important king of the Isles (Or so claimed by kings of England) it was also his solemn duty to invade France to stop this.

Henry thus wrote a very long letter to the French explaining this. Someone in the French Court who was generally legible told him he couldn’t be king because his ancestors were women and only men were allowed to be ancestors of french kings. One of Henry’s lawyers (naturally a bishop) pointed out the French were using Gallic law, which didn’t really count as it had been invented in a part of France which had been German for a very long time now. And in addition it was pointed out (quite forcefully) to the French that it was a stupid law as everyone had to have male and female ancestor. Henry naturally wrote back and told the French this.

Probably because Henry was now using English in all his correspondence and this was a very complex matter, something went very wrong in translation and the French sent him a box of tennis balls as a reply. By now Henry was so extremely serious (and stern) he decided the only recourse was to invade France.

The Invasion. Harfleur and Agincourt

In August 1415 Henry and a large fleet arrived at the friendly French port of  Have a Flower, but sadly for the citizens Henry was still being stern (and serious) and after besieging it for a while he adopted the tactic of having his army pretend they were all tigers, thus frightening the inhabitants into surrendering. The English then bravely caught all sorts of diseases, so they would be outnumbered by any French army. In the meantime they slaughtered, ravaged and were generally unpleasant. Henry hung a few men but only when they invaded churches. Eventually a large French Army found the small English army at Agincourt on 25th October. Henry cleverly made his army stand still behind a very muddy field, then roused their spirits by telling them that because it was St Crispin’s Day everyone could say Henry was their brother. He then scorned English gentlemen at home saying they were doing naught but holding their manhoods in bed; this sort of comment much humoured the soldiers . Thus, rallied and inspired the English bravely slaughtered the heavily armoured French cavalry who were being very chivalrous by moving slowly through the muddy field.

As a result, the French surrendered and told Charles VI’s daughter Catherine she would have to marry Henry. Because her father had invented a hobby of running around his castles, her mother Isabeau (of Bavaria) was trying her hand at ruling France and the nobles arguing so much they would cram into separate houses to avoid each other, Catherine understandably agreed.

There was much celebration in England.

Political Ramifications

Everyone was so in awe of Henry that the Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund said he didn’t think the French having a french King was a good idea and Henry should be in charge. Also, religion was very chaotic as there were three popes; they were so scared by Henry that they agreed there should only be one of them and they resolved to stay in Rome. To celebrate this accomplishment the English gallantly sunk a Genoese fleet which was trying to seize Have a Flower, and then made life miserable for lots of French people who had no opinion on things one way or the other.    

Henry’s Continued Campaigns

After a brief honeymoon, Henry between 1417 & 1420 invaded the parts of France he previously missed and so was not sure if they had surrendered. There are no records of noble speeches;, at this stage he appears to have concentrated on killing people irrespective of station in life and seizing their towns. He must have returned to England at some stage because his son was born Henry (to be VI) was born on 6th December 1421. At this time he was in France retrieving lands lost by his brother Thomas. Thomas had been feeling somewhat low having found out that although he was a duke he was only allowed to rule men who were called Clarence; he’d died as a result of victorious Frenchmen at Bauge in 1421. In consequence Henry rode this way and that in a very stern (and of course serious) manner slaughtering folk and besieging places. Not paying proper attention he did not washing his hands properly and died on 31st August 1422.

Conclusion

Although famous for Agincourt and generally defeating French armies, Henry did not become King of France, was rotten to ordinary French folk and to be honest did not die in a very exceptional manner, thus if it were not for having a play by Shakespeare he might not have been considered a famous king.

And dying so early he left things in England in a questionable state.

A True History of The Isles Vol. II Chapter 13. Henry IV a king of II parts.

A True History of The Isles Vol. II Chapter 13. Henry IV a king of II parts.

Introduction and overview.

Although Henry IV is famous for deposing Richard II, not much else happened apart from folk who said Henry IV should not be king.

One of the good things about Henry (The IV) was because his reign was so busy and turbulent he thoughtfully divided himself into Parts I (1399 to defeat of rebels at Shrewsbury 1403) & II (the rest to 14the March 1413) thus making the task easier for historians.

As it will be recalled from Chap 8 Richard (the II) Henry (to be the IV) became king because;

Richard had killed off some of Henry’s relatives

Richard had had Henry’s bollins broke

Richard had exiled Henry.

Richard was doing similar things to lots of other nobles.

Because Henry was sturdy, handsome, good at jousting, not had the chance to do mean things to nobles they thought he would be a better king than Richard, who Henry eventually captured and imprisoned. At this stage it is not sure whether Henry had Richard starve or Richard being just plain awkward didn’t eat anything, anyway he died horribly, but because Henry was sturdy, handsome etc most folk let him get away with it.

During this turbulent time, he let himself be convinced he would be a Good King.

To make sure everyone did not confuse Henry with any previous Henry, he said he was from a house in Lancaster which had belonged to his mother Blanche and also he was the first King of England to not properly understand French and so would be a Good English King.

This might have been a promising start but several folk, who had either done well for themselves in Richard’s reign or didn’t like Henry as a IV were wont to plot and scheme.

Henry a Part I- A Successful  Succession and A Coronation (and Some Plots)  

Henry and his new friends said his claim to the throne was right because his father was John Gaunt. Although John (Gaunt) was but the 4th son of Edward III, all the others had died off, and only Edward (oldest and of black armour, who died of campaigns and not washing hands) had had a son Richard II (fancy clothes, washed his hands, died of Henry IV), but Richard didn’t have a son, only a behest which was not the same thing.

Henry now quite the IV went to be coronated, but because he had lice the crown kept falling off, since Henry had an army the clergy decided to overlook The Lice. This only served to cause discontent and rebellions, as listed below

The Epiphany Rebellion (1399) Some of those lords who’d done quite well out of Richard II and might not have had lice, planned to slaughter Henry at a joust, and free Richard (who was still alive and thus II). Henry didn’t turn up. They fled west, were not much supported and were beheaded both officially and unofficially. Richard II died.

Owain Glyndwr-A Welsh Rebellion- This started out in the usual way with an argument over land. Owain defeated his English neighbour and one thing led to another. He decided the welsh declines of the previous century should be stopped and learning that lots of English didn’t like Henry for being a IV turned this into a proper rebellion. The revolt was so successful and Owain so inspirational a leader even folk from South Wales joined him, thus forcing Henry IV Part II to take part. In 1405 the French thought he was a safe bet, but didn’t do anything much. Unfortunately, the English started being unfair by not fighting but blockading, as there were more English than Welsh this resulted in large well-fed (and fattish) armies defeating small and hungry gallant armies. Although Wales was finally defeated Owain slipped away, vanished and thus became a legend. As some of his supporters who were from the Tudor family History had not however seen the last of The Welsh….

Scots Wars (1400 – 14something or other)

Although Richard II had tried to be sort of reasonable with Scotland, Henry IV was not inclined upon this and adopted  New king, New rules policy thus both started raiding each other. English won at Homildon Hill in 1402, but both sides kept on invading each other some for some. The English captured a scots king James I but Henry IV wouldn’t give him back. Whether James caught lice has not be recorded.

The Rebellious Percys

The Percy family owned a lot of the north, the rest being owned by The Nevilles, when they weren’t fighting each other, they fought those Scots who weren’t fighting each other. One Percy also called Henry felt Henry IV owed him gold or land for helping defeat some Scots, Henry IV felt Henry Percy should have fought for him as King. Henry (The Percy) got quite angry and hot about his spurs and since Owain (in Wales) was rebelling thought it a good time to join in. Some Percys and of course some of those (surviving) nobles who had done well out of Richard II, got as far as Shrewsbury where they were defeated in 1403. This was a confusing battle as both leaders were called Henry and both were thought to be killed. Henry IV had more men and so won. Many rebel leaders were killed in battle, others captured and beheaded or fled to Scotland (with or without lice). Henry IV at this stage decided to solidify his rule by being Part 2.

Henry Now a Part 2 (more rebellions and health issues)

Henry apart from the lice continued to have other problems, such as

Richard Scrope

who was a Percy and a Bishop thought Henry IV was not a good king, and helped a few lords who had managed to survive to rebel in 1405. Although they assembled an army Henry (IV) tricked them into thinking he would forget the whole thing. He then captured and beheaded them, including Scrope (it was a rule of the 15th Century that any king who captured a Scrope could to have him beheaded). As bishops were not supposed to be executed, only exiled or imprisoned Henry was excommunicated by a pope, but another pope said due to a printing error it didn’t count and unexcommunicated Henry (and his lice) in 1407.

In 1408 Henry Percy’s father,

also Henry who was Earl of Northumberland who had previously fled came back and confusingly invaded his own land of Northumberland, though since he had scots allies it probably counted. He marched as far as Bramham in Yorkshire however unlike his son he was not nobly confronted by Henry (IV) but by local men led by a sheriff (and no doubt some lice), as he was armed with Scotsmen who were used to be gallantly slaughtered by English archers, he lost and died in battle.

Health

Probably because of having to put down rebellions (and lice) Henry (still a IV) accumulated lots of diseases which would be of interest to medicine in this era, but wasn’t much fun for him. What made things worse was lots of sanctimonious clergy were saying it was because he had beheaded a bishop. He spent his declining years arguing with his son Henry (eventually to be a V) and dying.

In March 1413 he said he was going on a crusade to Jerusalem and having made a pious statement promptly died, leaving no room for a Part 3.

Although there were other folk who reckoned they could be king, no one was going to argue with Henry IV’s son Henry V.

A True History of The Isles Vol II Chapter 8 – The End of the 14th Century and Richard II (well also his beginning too)

Martin Luther, The Reformation and Why Not?

The common and popular media would have you believe that 500 hundred years ago today Martin Luther invented the Reformation. Naturally being the common and popular media this is somewhat inaccurate. As a dedicated and serious historian (See “A True History of These Isles Vol. 1 (Prehistory to 1216 CE-ish)”, available on Amazon Kindle $0.99/£0.99- terms and conditions apply) it therefore falls upon myself to ensure the correct application of facts and a fair interpretation of both Luther and the events.

Luther’s Early Life

Martin Luther was born 10th Nov 1483in Saxony into an industrious family; he had several siblings. His father insisted he become a lawyer. He seems to have had a typical education as he referred to his time in school as being both ‘purgatory and hell’, while his university (at Erfurt) was a ‘beer and whorehouse’. Despite this he received a Master’s Degree in 1505. As his father was still stuck on the idea of his son being a lawyer Martin Luther was sent back to Erfurt to study just the law. He didn’t like it and felt there was more to Life, so took to philosophy, but on encountering Reason and Logic felt he might be slipping back into Law. He concluded the only way to be worthwhile and content was to encounter God

A Dramatic Event

On the 2nd Jul 1505, or so the records state, while walking in a field or riding on a road, he was struck by lightning, but survived. Not wishing to have that such a close encounter with God, as yet, weary of people inferring there were many other reasons why a student would be lying confused in a field and also not wishing to risk a repeat experience he became a monk.

How Things Were Done

At this time a large portion of Central Europe was supposed to be ruled by The Holy Roman Emperor. As was the custom of the time he divided his time between fighting the French while arguing with any pope as to who had the final say in things. In the meantime various princes, dukes, counts etc fought or sued each other, while suppressing peasants who rebelled or worse took the nobles to the courts. It was a good time for mercenaries and lawyers (Be fair, you can see Luther Snr’s point of view).

Luther in Conflict with The Church  

At this time the Church had become very indulgent by making a rule which said you could do what you liked as long as you said you were sorry and paid a large amount of money to the Church. Luther thought this unfair upon the poor people and showed his displeasure by writing a version of the Bible in a very common language called The Vernacular while in 1517 (31st Oct) also by nailing to the door of a church a work of nine-five reasons why he was right. The Church authorities acted swiftly.

In 1521 he was summoned to a church court. Here, he defended his case with great eloquence for three or five days and then confused everyone by saying he had nothing to say and was going to stand there. Despite this clever and dramatic move The Church authorities said Luther was incorrect and thus an hysteric. They then condemned him to the terrible punishment of a Diet of Worms.

The Peasant’s Official Revolt

Because Luther had been saying the Church was too wealthy and not Religious enough he had gathered a following. On hearing the news of the cruel sentence passed on him The Poor People were so outraged by this vile treatment that they rose in official rebellion (instead of their normal rowdy behavior). This started in 1524, a peasants’ council was formed and in was agreed to upgrade the rebellion into a war. This ended in 1525, because the authorities could massacre better than peasants could massacre large armies.

The peasants however were good at wrecking churches, monasteries, and being not educated also libraries. Luther was disgusted with this and told them they should concentrate on praying, being rude to bishops and but listen to their rulers.

This was well-received by many of the nobility.

Luther’s Private Life

During this turbulent time people were daring to think the unthinkable. This can be typified by the case of twelve nuns at a convent in Brehna, Saxony who were fed up of being nuns. On hearing of this Luther in a spirit of gallant manliness smuggled them out in herring barrels on the 4th April 1523. The Church authorities may have thought something fishy was going on but possibly shrewdly deduced he’d end up in a pickle. He and one nun Katharina von Bora did however fall in love and marry, thus allowing all clergy to marry. When Katharina found out he’d been living on hard bread and sleeping in a mildewed bed (or maybe the other way around) she soon sorted him out, Luther learning the great value of the phrase ‘Yes Dear’

Luther and The Reformation    

Several bishops and affiliated lesser nobility had tried to have Luther massacred but more sympathetic nobles kept hiding him. When the authorities realised he wasn’t arguing with them, but only the bishops and rowdy peasants it became safe for him to come out of hiding. The first thing he had to do was to tell people to stop listening to people who were not reading The Bible but just having visions as you never knew where they’d got those visons from. He wisely then set up his own church to ensure more Bible reading and singing of hymns.

In Later Years

Luther had a family, his own church and a reformation, however in later years he also suffered with many types of ill-health which made him short-tempered, and sadly not amusingly irascible but down right unpleasantly rude. Being a typical man when admonished by his wife on this score he blamed someone else. This included in particular The Jews, which was very unfair because he was supposed to have read the Bible and it didn’t need much of an excuse for the population to pick on Jews. This outlook of his may have led to a case of Terminal Stupidity as he died in 1546. Normal and balanced people do not subscribe to these later views and wish he’d just to stuck more wholesome pastimes in his retirement such as tending to a garden or annoying bishops.

Luther’s Legacy

It can be argued that because of Luther there are a lot more ways of being Christian than there used to be. As long as people don’t hurl insults or objects at each other over the matter then this is no bad thing.

Foot-Note

The author wishes it to be known this article is originally based on a post of some two years ago (Whimsicalities Anyone?) which is so full of inaccuracies and incorrect assumptions that is has been fully overhauled.

For more interesting views on matters historical readers may (or may not) wish to consider investing in a copy of  51vnj7ZqupL__SY346_

 

 

Available on Kindle (normal terms and conditions apply)

 

 

A True History of The Isles Vol II Chapter 7 – The Church and Its Plaice in the Currents of Society

 

It is a fashion in these days for some folk to assume The Church of the Middle Ages was there to keep the Common Folk in check with ignorance and superstition built of deliberate falsehoods.

This is quite inaccurate.

In the era under study the overwhelming majority of the clergy were quite as ignorant and superstitious as the Common Folk (and Nobility), the only difference being the Clergy could be so in a Literate and Latin way, thus appearing to be learned.

Structure

The Clergy– This was quite simple(ish). In Rome was the Pope who surrounded himself with an aura of mystique by claiming he was inflatable and so could be as big as he wanted to be. After him came cardinals who had special hats, even if they weren’t in fashion. Most common were the bishops who found ways to rule towns, or cities and so didn’t have to follow the teachings of The Bible and were thus quite particular. Anyone who was noble and rich enough could be a bishop or a cardinal. Below this were a whole lot of priests. The ones who were best at Latin worked for the bishops; the rest were expected to deal with the Common Folk, unless they managed to get a job with the nobility or royalty, in which case it was hoped they did as they were told.

Asceticism­– Many folk, became so other-worldly with their religion they became monks or nuns and lived in Monasteries or Convents devoted to a life of prayer and meditation. Quite a few folk seeing little in the way of career options in the secular world, did likewise opting for a steady job with board and lodge, even if it did mean getting up at ungodly hours to be godly. If monks and they got fed up of their fellow monks or the walls of the monastery they could become friars and live in the community helping the common people and annoying the priests. If that didn’t suit, the option of being a hermit was available. In these times they were normally known as Anchorites or Anchoresses, lived in small locked or bricked up rooms and were considered so holy that Common Folk paid more attention to them than anyone else and no one was allowed to knock down the doors on the walls if offended by them. Nobles never liked having one in their domain.

The Church and its Place in Society

Within the structure of the nation things where supposed to go like this:

The King ruled the realm because God had said he should.

The Nobles did all the ruling stuff for him because he, The King, said God had told him they should.

The Church would make sure that everyone including The King and The Nobles remembered that it was God who had the final say in matters.

However, because The Nobles were won’t to finalise arguments with sharp bits of steel, therefore many of the higher officers (Bishops etc) of The Church didn’t feel that secure unless they had folk about them who could also use sharp bits of steel. In addition, because kings often didn’t trust nobles particularly if they found them trying out The Throne, kings would often appoint Bishops, etc to help them govern because Bishops etc didn’t want to be kings as that spoilt their chances of being a Pope, Cardinal or at least an Arch. Some kings also would get annoyed if The Church (in the guise of Bishops etc) made public statements to the effect that the king, by God’s standard was doing a rotten job, particularly if nobles began to agree with them.

Small wonder that from time to time everything got quite mixed up.

Religious Requirements

People were expected, of course, to be Christian. If you were Muslim you could only live in Spain, North Africa or the Holy Land, none of which were, apparently yours, even if you had been born in any of them and could trace your ancestors back several generations. That this status because it been written down in Latin by a pope was all your average Christian needed to know. Due to Idiocy and a failure to understand The Bible everything that went wrong was said to be the fault of The Jews and they were expected to put up with this; unless of course the King wanted to right off debts and seize their property in which case they were expelled.

The European Problem  

One of the difficulties shared by royalty, nobility and The Church were the ripples caused by all the hoo-hah debates and arguments over the duties, obligations and authorities of Popes and Kings in France, Germany, etc.  This was similar to those carried on in these Isles but even more ill-tempered with armies and sieges involved.

The principal two issues being;

French kings, with some, albeit arguable, justification thought they (and their bishops) knew everything better than anyone else. The pope in Rome tried to deal with this by excommunicating whatever French King was around. But the French King just went ahead and found a pope of his own.

The German kings who believed were so many Germans that a German King should be an Emperor if he wanted to be and so have bits of Italy and thus become Holy. As this meant German kings were closer to The Pope than he would have cared for, popes tended to try and get involved in who was the emperor; this sometimes worked. Other times emperors got involved in deciding who should be pope. They also argued over who had the bigger authority from God and who could tell who to do what.

What with the French and Germans announcing they were kings and who was or wasn’t pope, and The Pope excommunicating everyone, small wonder things became so confusing that on occasions even a pope’s auntie was put in charge.

This was all very unsettling for the folk of these Isles as they never knew when they might be excommunicated. Various attempts were made to settle matters by sending Englishmen over to be pope or emperor, but this was only a temporary measure on account of the large numbers of French, German and Italians already there.

Religious Beliefs and Heresies (Part I) – The Usual Business

As was stated earlier everybody had to be Christian, which was observed in these Isles. People who didn’t either were locked up, burnt, or hung in order to save them. Whereas there were interesting heresies and schisms in other countries, the early decades of this era in these Isles the whole business was very much left up to the individual and so not many folk noticed.

This was annoying for the nobility who were unable to take advantage of the resulting social discord and so seize others’ lands or settle scores under the guise of protecting The Word of God.

The principal problem for The Church was having to deal with serious priests and insufferable Common Folk who wanted to know just what was in the Bible in English and even worse suggesting that too many of the Bishops’ etc were far too worldly with lands, wealth and possibly more than one person in their bedroom.

Another problem faced by The Church was the King who although always believed in God often told Bishops, (and so forth) that since God had placed him (ie The King) on the Throne, who did the Church think it was telling him (ie The King) how to behave?

Religious Beliefs and Heresies (Part II) – A Big  One.

A scholarly person John Wycliffe who had been born in the orderly year of 1320 spent many years around Oxford. He seems to have been a fussy sort of fellow as he was never happy with the chairs which the University or Church were at pains to give him. This dyspeptic streak may have been the reason why he said The Church was not doing a particularly good job. Wycliffe felt The Church was too wealthy, too much involved in the government of the country and some of the clergy were having too much fun in life.

Initially this made him popular with much of The Nobility.

By 1377 Wycliffe was effectively reasoning the Bible should be very much in English and had gathered a following who were so obstructive to the daily work of The Church they became known as The Bollards. In this year he wrote De incarcerandis fedelibus which excited a lot of people when he finally translated it into English and explained that a King should rule over a Church and A Pope, and more importantly people didn’t have to listen to the clergy unless the king said they could. The Church would have moved against him but the then current pope the XI th Gregory died in 1378 and several French bishops said they were the next pope which put everything on hold.

This enabled several nobles to encourage Wycliffe who, naturally not being that worldly took the nobles at their word. This might have gone quite well for him but for 1381.

Revolts by Common Folk

Because of The Black Death, Wars with France and other stuff to make the king’s accounts add up, much stress was set upon the Common People to pay lots more taxes. They were already roused by an itinerant preacher John Ball who when not in prison was rolling about the countryside saying Wycliffe was right and coming up with inspired ditties such as

‘When Adam and Eve sat about chattin’

                                                Who had any use of speaking Latin?

So when a self-important government official John Bumptious, upset the folk of Essex by demanding the back taxes at once, a revolt broke out and led by several men called Tyler The Common Folk advanced on London chanting:

‘When Eve picked flowers and Adam sat in a tree

                                                There was no need of an aristocracy’

This change in subject and lack of improvement in verse concerned the nobles. When the commoners reached London and started to loot, burn, pillage and execute, which were exclusive privileges of the nobility, there was a confrontation in which the most important Tyler was killed. The Young King Richard II announced he was now the leader of the Revolt. He listened attentively to the rebels and with great sympathy had them all executed.

Although Wycliffe was not directly involved, he was blamed as being the cause for having a Bible written in English and died in 1384, probably of arguments.

None of this stopped him having followers who kept on turning up years afterwards even when the nobility were trying to concentrate on the best way of having a war over whether Richard II was dead and if so who should be king.

This would be so complex that they quite forgot about religion as an excuse for quite a while, except when it came to massacring Wycliffe’s followers.

Thus it can be clearly concluded The Nobility of The Realm were only ready to listen to bishops, etc when it suited them.

In the next chapter, we shall look at the main reasons for all those woes in the forms of Richard (a II) and Henry (a Bolingbroke).