I’m currently reading Realm Divided A Year in the Life of Plantagenet England by Dan Jones The year is in fact 1215. The year that King John attached his Royal seal to the Magna Carta. Dan Jones has a wonderful way of bringing to life the day to day lives of ordinary people as well as describing the amazing historical events that took place among the upper classes. Barons and clergy, kings and knights all fighting for what they believed was their right to rule and govern.
Before the Magna Carta was completed there was a draft schedule known as the Unknown Charter drawn up that included articles of royal concessions. One of them concerned inheritance law which demanded
that the king observe men’s wills and that he should allow widows to remarry according to the wishes of their families and not the king who would auction off the bride to the highest bidder…. a widow should be entitled to live in the marital home for forty days after her husbands death ‘and until she has had her proper dower’.
Sometimes we just take things for granted and are then reminded that all things came to be through someone else’s struggles.
On a lighter note some table manners haven’t changed in centuries. During the time of Henry II guests were
reminded to refrain from riding their horses in the halls of the great houses and to refrain from putting their elbows on the dinning table or speak with their mouths full. Guests at a lord’s hall were not to scratch their armpits in public and were to
…..wait for it …..
feign illness if the wife of a host should make a pass at them.
I wonder if that last rule was still expected during the time of Catherine Howard, Henry VIII’s fifth and flirty young wife. Most of the male court attendees would have been wobbling about clutching their stomachs.
DN2 (daughter number 2) returned from the Northern Territory a few days ago after working on a cattle station for the past six months. I drove her car yesterday to the farm in South Australia where she is staying for a while and she came down the lane to meet me to show me the way into the farm. What I surprise I got !
Her partner cooked up a roast in the camp oven and we ate sitting around the fire
Then a neighbor brought over a two day old lamb who’s mother died yesterday
Charlie, who smelt like beautiful clean wool, is now in the loving hands of DN2 and will live out his days on the farm
I spent the whole of Mothers Day traveling back home and the closest I got to breakfast in bed was the drive through Maccas at 6.30 am for a egg and bacon McMuffin with DN2 and her boyfriend while waiting for the bus.
Every Easter since my kids were little they would wake up to find a Bilby chocolate rather than a bunny chocolate on Easter Sunday. They were never very impressed as their friends all got bunnys and they didn’t but the tradition continued and this year, due to changing circumstances, chocolate Bilbys are not an option. Miss M, not to be defeated, found the save the Bilby website and we have purchased our own soft toy Bilby for Easter.
Don’t you just love his little black and white tail?
After reading the website I decided to go one step further and I am now the very proud sponsor of ‘Macca‘
Macca was born in Charleville Queensland on 30th Janurary 2015.
He was named after radio personality and inspirational conservationist Ian McNamara – hence Macca-
of ABC’s radio show Australia All Over.
He lives in the historical railway building in Charleville where he and his mates feature in shows to educate and delight visitors about the research and conservation programs that are vital to the survival of his breed and other unique native species.
Go to the link above and have a read and I’m sure you will become a sponsor as well….It cost less than a pair of new shoes or a couple of good books. I’d love to hear from you if you do.
It was in Late Antiquity that people began to turn away from the worship of many gods of the classical Greco-Roman and eastern pantheons and drifted towards more philosophical beliefs promoting one divine power. Sects that sent a message of personal salvation and rebirth were becoming more widespread.
It was Emperor Constantine the Great (324-337) and his conversion to Christianity that saw the change and assimilation. Although he was careful not to offend Italy’s powerful senotorial elite. Remaining associated with the old state religion and worshipping of the sun god (Sol Invictus) who’s birthday is 25th December and introducing the ‘venerable day of the sun’ ( Sunday) as a compulsory day of rest. It is this assimilation that we still live with today.
Emperor Constantine the Great remained katechumen ( a Christian in preparation) until being baptised on his deathbed in 337.
Baptism-one of the sacraments of the Christian church- was the washing away of the new Christian’s sins but every sin committed after baptism could only be atoned for by harsh penance. As a result many katechumen waited until near death before being baptised.
It wasn’t until the early Middle Ages that this train of thought was reversed and baptism was practiced shortly after birth so that evil spirits could not encompass them.
If Emperor Constantine had introduced two days of rest we may well have had an eight day week !!!