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At what point did English armies become English?

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  • #46
    Is the Uhtred mentioned in the link connected to the one the one in the Richard Cornwall books?

    From memory while the stories are of course fiction there was an Uhtred who collaborated with the Norman conquerors.
    Uhtred the Bold, Earl of Northumbria, son of Waltheof of Bamburgh predated the Norman Conquest. A descendant, Robert FitzMeldred married Isabel de Neville, their son Geoffrey "de Neville" inherited the estates of both parents and adopted the de Neville surname in the 1200's.

    Uhtred the Bold is indeed connected to the Bernard Cornwell's "Saxon Stories/Chronicles" and "The Last Kingdom" and Cornwell is connected as well. Adopted as a child with a rather austere upbringing, as an adult searching for his roots Cornwell discovered his father was a Canadian serviceman who returned to Canada after WWII - his father's surname was ... Oughtred.

    It wasn’t until he was in his mid-50s that Cornwell discovered who his birth parents were. His mother Dorothy, a widow, was living in Basingstoke. She was passionate about historical novels. Her apartment was full of them.

    “One day she had been in a bookshop and seen a book by Bernard Cornwell. There was a picture and she thought I looked exactly like my father. She knew and had known for years but had made no attempt to get in touch. She wasn’t surprised to hear from me.”

    His father William Oughtred, also widowed but remarried, was in Victoria, Canada. “I liked him enormously and it was something very familiar.” Suddenly, Cornwell had six half-brothers and a half-sister he had never known about. “For the first time in my life I was with people who were like me, who snorted when they laughed and had the same gait.”

    It turned out that the name Oughtred could be traced back to 6th Century Britain. “It goes all the way back to Eider the Flamebearer, one of the Saxon invaders of Northern England. He was the guy who took what is now Bamburgh Castle. The family became incredibly powerful in the north and were kings of Benicia, the kingdom of lowland Scotland and northern England which got subsumed into Northumbria.

    “Although the Danes took everything in northern England and East Anglia, they never took Bamburgh and it stayed in the Oughtred family right up until 1016 when the then Oughtred fell out with Canute and got murdered.”

    To his chagrin, Cornwell discovered that an Oughtred had been a hero of the Battle of Crecy, which he had written about in his novel Harlequin. The family did, however, give him the character and story of Uhtred for his Saxon series, including Death of Kings.

    Nearly all historical novels, Cornwell explains, have a big story and a little story. “The big story goes into the background. The little story goes into he foreground. I always wanted to tell the big story, the creation of England, because nobody knows has a *******ed clue about it. I had the big story but not the little story.”

    Discovering he was a member of the Canadian branch of the Oughtreds of Northumbria gave him that little story.
    Last edited by Marmat; 29 Sep 19, 11:27.
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    • #47
      Originally posted by marktwain View Post

      a good guess would be the period between Henry the sixth's ill fated 'peace' with Charles the seventh that cost Normandy, Maine and Anjou- resulting in hundreds of thousands of English refugees flooding back to England through Kent- and the first battle of saint Albans. approx. 1440 to 1455 AD.

      To the average English person, this indicated that the mirage of the Anglo Norman empire was effectively dead - and that overseas settlement in France had destroyed a large part of the English entrepreneurial class. Jack Cades rebellion in 1450 reflected that new belief.

      I was thinking that far too late and checked up the story of Ivanhoe, that well known Sir Walter Scott story about a Saxon noble overcoming prejudice from both sides, fighting for the true king and marrying the girl etc etc, anyway

      "There has been criticism of Scott's portrayal of the bitter extent of the "enmity of Saxon and Norman, represented as persisting in the days of Richard" as "unsupported by the evidence of contemporary records that forms the basis of the story."] Historian E. A. Freeman criticised Scott's novel, stating its depiction of a Saxon-Norman conflict in late twelfth-century England was unhistorical. Freeman cited medieval writer Walter Map, who claimed that tension between the Saxons and Normans had declined by the reign of Henry I. Freeman also cited the late twelfth-century book Dialogus de Scaccario by Richard FitzNeal. This book claimed that the Saxons and Normans had so merged together through intermarriage and cultural assimilation that (outside the aristocracy) it was impossible to tell "one from the other."[ Finally, Freeman ended his critique of Scott by saying that by the end of the twelfth century, the descendants of both Saxons and Normans in England referred to themselves as "English", not "Saxon" or "Norman"


      • #48
        I would suggest 3 stages whereby Anglo-Norman armies became English.

        1: Battle of Bouvines 1214. This was where the Norman lords in England lost almost all their French lands. Nobles in one country were no longer nobles in another, with certain major exceptions.
        2. Edward I 1272-1307. He went out of his way to be 'English', using the English language as his first choice. In addition, his attacks on Wales and Scotland, also created 'England' as the land not of those two other British nations.
        3. Edward III and the 100 Years War. Although Edward III created his coat of arms to state he was King of France and England, it was clear that England and France were now separate entities in the eyes of the kings.
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