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Medieval Warfare Vol VII, Issue 2: A War for England - The Battle of Lincoln, 1217


Medieval Warfare Vol VII, Issue 2: A War for England - The Battle of Lincoln, 1217

Medieval Warfare Vol VII, Issue 2: A War for England - The Battle of Lincoln, 1217

The main focus of this issue is the First Baron’s War. This began after King John refused to accept the terms of Magna Carta, triggering a revolt by many of his nobles. They then called for help from France, and gained the support of Prince Louis, heir to the throne and the future Louis VIII of France. At first Louis and his supporters dominated, but despite his best effort King John retained some very able supporters. John’s main contribution to his side’s eventual victory was to die, leaving his young son Henry III as king. John’s death removed the main reason for the war, but Louis still appeared to be in the stronger position. Key articles here look at two of the three key military moments in the war – the long siege of Dover, which held out against Louis, and the battle of Lincoln, where part of his army that had been sent north was destroyed.

Seven articles focus on the First Baron’s War – from its causes to the battle of Dover, although finishing before the final naval battle of Sandwich. An eighth looks at the development of the English castle, and the impact that castle design had on sieges. This is a useful study of this important medieval war.

Away from the main theme there is a look at the use of honey as battlefield medicine, the crossbow, and two key battles between the Byzantines and the Fatamids in northern Syria, both of which saw Byzantine armies defeated.

Articles
Because Magna Carta failed - the First Baron's War (1215-1217)
The Siege of Rochester - Hard Pressed and strongly resisted
Hating John - How English chroniclers portrayed the king
The Siege of Dover - the key to England
From towers to tunnels - Gamechangers in English castle-building
The Battle of Lincoln - A day to be venerated through our age
A warrior for king and Christ - Peter de Roches at the battle of Lincoln
Prisoners of war - The aftermath of the Battle of Lincoln
The battles at Orontes and Aparmea
The sweet side of war - Honey and military medicine
A devilish device - The crossbow



Rose of Sharon

Relevant Genealogies

According to local legends, souvenirs that Theobald IV of Champagne, the son of Blanche of Navarre, Countess of Champagne, and called the Troubadour, brought back to Europe in 1240 from the Barons’ Crusade included the rose called “Provins” from Damascus, transporting it “in his helmet,” along with a piece of the true cross, and perhaps the Chardonnay grape which in modern times is an important component of champagne. Theobald IV is said to have started growing the rose in the region of Provins where it spread widely. The rose gardens of Provins soon became famous and the use of the rose, also called the “Apothecary’s Rose” (Latin name rosa gallica ‘officinalis’), was extremely frequent in medicine, in religious and secular ceremonies.

It may have been through their intermarriage with the descendants of Alfonso VI of Leon and Castile that the Plantagenets adopted the Sufi symbol of the rose, which according to the Zohar, written in Toledo during the time of Alfonso X of Castile, known as El Astrologo, symbolizes the “Jewish congregation.” The name “rose of Sharon” first appears in English in 1611. In the Song of Solomon, according to King James Version of the Bible, the beloved—speaking for the mystical Shekhinah—says “I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.” The Zohar opens by stating that the rose and the alternate symbol of the lily symbolize Knesset Yisrael, “the Collective soul roots of Israel… Just as a rose, which is found amidst the thorns, has within it the colors red and white, also Knesset Yisrael has within her both judgment and loving kindness.”[1] The lily came to represent the royal house of France, while the rose became the heraldic symbol of the two competing rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet involved in the War of the Roses: red rose of the House of Lancaster and the white rose of the House of York.

Genealogy of the Survival of the Templars

Sancha + ALFONSO II OF ARAGON, the Troubadour (patron of Guyot of Provins, source for Wolfram von Eschenbach)

PETER II OF ARAGON (killed at the BATTLE OF MURET supporting CATHARS, founder of the ORDER OF SAINT GEORGE OF ALFAMA) + Marie of Montpellier

JAMES I OF ARAGON (raised by TEMPLARS) + Violant of Hungary

Violant + ALFONSO X OF CASTILE, el Astrologo

Sancho IV of Castile (had affair with Rachel the Beautiful, Jewess of Toledo)

Beatrice of Castile + Afonso III of Portugal (see below)

Peter III of Aragon + Constance, Queen of Sicily (g-d. of FREDERICK II, Holy Roman Emperor)

JAMES II ARAGON (founder of the ORDER OF MONTESA) + Blanche of Anjou

Elizabeth, Queen of Portugal + DENIS I OF PORTUGAL (founder of the ORDER OF CHRIST)

FREDERICK III OF SICILY (hired Templar Roger de Flor) + Eleanor of Anjou (sister of CHARLES I OF HUNGARY, founder of the ORDER OF SAINT GEORGE)

Constance of Sicily, Queen of Cyprus + HENRY II OF LUSIGNAN (transferred property of Templars to Hospitallers. In contact with Ramon Llull)

James II of Majorca (student of Raymond Llull) + Esclaramunda of Foix (her grandfather was a cousin of Raymond-Roger Trencavel, identified with Perceval)

Isabella of Aragon + Louis IX of France (b. of CHARLES OF ANJOU)

PHILIP IV “LE BEL” OF FRANCE (ordered arrest of Templars in 1312) + Joan I of Navarre (g-d of Theobald IV of Champagne)

Isabella of France + EDWARD II OF ENGLAND

EDWARD III OF ENGLAND (founder of the ORDER OF THE GARTER)

The House of Plantagenet, descendants of the House of Anjou, the House of Luxembourg and French House of Lusignan—all descended, according to medieval folk legends, from the dragon spirit Melusine—were founders of the Order of the Dragon and the Order of the Garter, based on the legend of Saint George, who was revered by Sufis as Al Khir and Jewish Kabbalists as Elijah. The Order of Saint George of Hungary was founded by Charles I of Hungary, who was descended from Peter II of Aragon, the founder of the Order of Saint George of Alfama, and a defender of the Cathars who was killed in the Battle of Muret, last major battle of the Albigensian Crusade, which he fought alongside his brother-in-law, the Cathar supporter Count Raymond VI of Toulouse. Peter II was the son of Alfonso II of Aragon and Sancha, the daughter of Alfonso VII of Leon and Castile and Richeza of Poland. Peter II’s sister, Constance married Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor, who was confirmed by Joachim of Fiore as the fulfilment of the prophecy of Merlin. Peter II’s son was James I of Aragon, known as the Conqueror, who married Eleanor, the daughter Alfsonso VIII of Castile, a patron of the Order of Santiago, and his wife Eleanor of England, sister of Richard the Lionheart.

James I of Aragon was married to Violant of Hungary, the daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary and Gertrude of Merania. Andrew II was the son of Bela III of Hungary and Agnes of Antioch, who was associated with Pontigny Abbey. Violant’s step-sister was Elizabeth of Hungary, also known as Saint Elizabeth of Thuringia. At the age of four, Elizabeth was sent by her mother to the Wartburg Castle to be raised to become consort of Landgrave Ludwig IV of Thuringia (1200 – 1227). Wartburg Castle had been one of the most important princes’ courts in the Holy Roman Empire when it belonged to Hermann I, Landgrave of Thuringia (d. 1217), the second son of Louis II, Landgrave of Thuringia (the Iron), and Judith of Hohenstaufen, the sister of Frederick Barbarossa. Hermann I supported poets like Walther von der Vogelweide and Wolfram von Eschenbach who wrote part of his Parzival there in 1203, and thus figures in Richard Wagner’s Tannhäuser.[2] After the death of his first wife in 1195, Hermann I married Sophia, daughter of Otto of Wittelsbach (1117 – 11 July 1183), called the Redhead. By her he had four sons, three of whom was Ludwig IV, Henry Raspe and Conrad I, grand master of the Teutonic Knights.[3]

Saint Elizabeth of Hungary and the Miracle of the Roses

After her death in 1231, Saint Elizabeth, was commonly associated with the Third Order of Saint Francis, the primarily lay branch of the Franciscan Order, which has helped propagate her cult. Elizabeth is best known for what is known as the “miracle of the roses.” According to the fable, while Elizabeth was taking bread to the poor in secret, she met her husband Ludwig on a hunting party. In order to quell suspicions that she was stealing treasure from the castle, he asked her to reveal what was hidden under her cloak, which at that moment fell open to reveal a vision of white and red roses, which proved to Ludwig that God was protecting her work.[4] From her support of the friars sent to Thuringia, she was made known to the founder, St Francis of Assisi, who sent her a personal message of blessing shortly before his death in 1226. Upon her canonization she was declared the patron saint of the Third Order of St Francis.

Peter II’s step-brother, Ferdinand II of Leon, the son of Alfonso VII and Berenguela, the daughter of the Templar Ramon Berenguer III, Count of Barcelona, was the founder of the Order of Santiago. Ferdinand II’s son, Alfonso IX of León, married Berengaria of Castile, the daughter of Alfonso VIII of Castile. Their son, Ferdinand III of Castile, through his marriage to Elisabeth of Hohenstaufen, granddaughter of Frederick Barbarossa, was the father of Alfonso X, known as El Astrologo, who married James I’s daughter Violant.

Violant was the sister of Peter III of Aragon who married Constance II of Sicily, granddaughter of Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor. Three of their children were involved in the survival of the Templars. Frederick III of Sicily, who hired the services of the famous Templar, Roger de Flor, married Eleanor of Anjou, the daughter of Charles II of Naples, who was supposed to have found the remains of Mary Magdalene at Saint-Maximin. Eleanor’s brother Charles Martel, Prince of Salermo, was the father of Charles I of Hungary, who founded the Order of Saint George of Hungary. Eleanor’s sister Blanche of Anjou married Frederick’s brother James II of Aragon, who absorbed the Templar properties into his own Order of Montesa, which merged with the Order of Saint George of Alfama, originally founded by Peter II of Aragon.

James II and Frederick’s sister Elizabeth married Denis I of Portugal, who founded the Order of Christ. Elizabeth of Aragon, more commonly known as Saint Elizabeth of Portugal, was a tertiary of the Franciscan Order and is venerated as a saint of the Catholic Church. Another story of the “miracle of the roses” is told of Elizabeth, who was the great-niece of Elizabeth of Hungary, who likewise was charitable toward the poor, against the wishes of her husband. Caught one day by Denis, while carrying bread in her apron, the food was turned into roses.

King Edward I (1239 – 1307), also known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots

Philippe IV le Bel of France, who ordered the arrest of the Templars in 1312, grandfather of Edward III of England who founded the neo-Templar Order of the Garter

Through his marriage to Joan, Countess of Ponthieu, Ferdinand III was also the father of Eleanor of Castile, wife of Edward I of England. Edward I’s brother, Edmund Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster (1245 – 1296), married Blanche d’Artois, widow of Henri III count of Champagne, took the rose as his emblem, becoming known as the red rose of Lancaster.[5] In 1271, Edmund accompanied his elder brother Edward I on the Ninth Crusade to Palestine. Edmund’s grandson, Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster (c. 1310 – 1361), the kingdom’s wealthiest and most powerful peer, would become a founder of the Order of the Garter. The son of Edmund’s nephew Edward II and Isabella, Edward III of England (1312 – 1377), founded the Order of the Garter in 1348, as “a society, fellowship and college of knights,” inspired by King Arthur and Knights of the Round Table, which contributed to the survival of Templar traditions, although it was his grandfather Philip IV le Bel who had ordered the arrest of the Templars in 1312. After the forfeiture of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester (c. 1205 – 1265), upon his death in 1265, Edmund Crouchback received the Earldom of Leicester and later that of Lancaster.

House of Luxembourg

The context of the founding of the Order of the Garter was the Hundred Years' War (1337–1453), a series of conflicts waged between the House of Plantagenet and its cadet House of Lancaster, the rulers of the Kingdom of England, and the House of Valois over the right to rule the Kingdom of France. The House of Valois was a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty who succeeded to the French throne, and were the royal house of France from 1328 to 1589. Junior members of the family founded cadet branches in Orléans, Anjou, Burgundy, and Alençon. Tensions between the French and English crowns had gone back centuries to the origins of the English royal family, which descended from Normandy and later Anjou. English monarchs had therefore historically held titles and lands within France, which made them vassals to the kings of France.

The Valois descended from Charles, Count of Valois (1270–1325), the second surviving son of King Philip III of France (reigned 1270 – 1285). Charles married Margaret, Countess of Anjou, the daughter of Charles II of Naples. Their son, Philip, Count of Valois (1293 – 1350), was the closest heir in male line. Because his father was the brother of the late Philip IV, the Count of Valois was therefore a nephew of Philip IV. The Capetian dynasty seemed secure until the death of Philip IV, who by his wife Joan I, Queen of Navarre, had left three surviving sons Louis X, Philip V and Charles IV and a daughter Isabella. Each son became king in turn, but each died young without male heirs, leaving only daughters who could not inherit the throne.

When Charles IV died without a male heir in 1328 the French succession became more problematic because of a new principle, attributed to the Merovingian Salic law, disallowed female succession. Charles IV's closest male relative was his nephew Edward III of England, whose mother was Charles IV's sister, Isabella of France. Isabella claimed the throne of France for her son by the rule of Proximity of blood, but the French nobility were opposed, maintaining that she could not transmit a right she did not possess. An assembly of French barons decided that a native Frenchman should receive the crown, rather than Edward. So the throne passed instead to Charles's patrilineal cousin, Philip, Count of Valois, who became Philip VI. Philip VI’s first wife was Blanche of Navarre, a supposed Grand Mistress of the Priory of Sion. Blanche’s grandparents were Philip IV le Bel and Joan I of Navarre, the great-granddaughter of Blanche of Navarre, Countess of Champagne.

Philip VI’s son and successor was John II of France (1319 – 1364) who married Bonne of Luxembourg, and produced several children who featured prominently in the development of the Melusina legend and were associated with the Priory of Sion, pseudo-historical organization made famous by Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code as protectors of the Holy Grail. Bonne’s family also claimed descent from Melusine through their ancestor Siegfried, the father of Saint Cunigunde, who married the grandson of Otto I the Great’s brother, Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor.[6] Beatrix was the daughter of Charles IV of France and Marie of Luxembourg, the daughter of Henry VII (c. 1273 – 1313), Holy Roman Emperor. The Luxembourg family claimed descent from the she-demon Melusine through their ancestor, Sigfried, Count of the Ardennes (c. 922 – 998), father of Saint Cunigunde, wife of Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor[7] The family city of Luxembourg was founded around a castle developed from a Roman fort built on a rock called “the Bock,” which was famous as one of the most powerful and defensible castles in Europe. Siegfried, who bought the site of the castle in 963 was said to have married Melusina, who made the castle of Bock magically appear, the morning after her wedding. Their marriage lasted until Siegfried broke his vow not to disturb her privacy each month. When he spied on her taking a bath, he discovered that she was half-woman, half-fish. As he cried out in shock, Melusina immediately sank beneath the castle and disappeared.

Genealogy of the Order of Saint George, ORDER OF THE DRAGON AND PRIORY OF SION

Henry VII, Holy Roman Emperor (first emperor of the House of Luxembourg, who trace their descent from Melusine) + Margaret of Brabant

John the Blind, King of Bohemia + Elizabeth of Bohemia (granddaughter of Rudolf I of Germany, the first king of Germany from the House of Habsburg, marking the end of the Great Interregnum which began after the death of the Hohenstaufen Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor)

Bonne, Duchess of Normandy + John II, King of France (son of Philip VI of France, of the House of Valois, whose first wife was Blanche of Navarre, Grand Master of the Priory of Sion)

Charles V of France + Joanna of Bourbon

Charles VI of France + Isabeau of Bavaria (granddaughter of Frederick III of Sicily and Eleanor of Anjou, daughter of Charles II of Naples)

Isabella of Valois + Richard II of England (no issue)

Isabella of Valois + Charles, Duke of Orléans (see below)

Catherine of Valois + Henry V of England (grandson of John of Gaunt)

Henry VI of England (succeeded by Edward IV who killed his only son and imprisoned him in the Tower of London) + Margaret of Anjou (daughter of René of Anjou)

Edmund Tudor, Earl of Richmond + Lady Margaret Beaufort

Henry VII of England + Elizabeth of York (daughter of Edward IV of England + Elizabeth Woodville, accused of witchcrafrt)

Henry VIII, King of England

Mary Tudor, Queen of France + Louis XII of France

Charles VII of France

Louis I, Duke of Orléans + Valentina Visconti

Charles, Duke of Orléans + Isabella of Valois

Charles, Duke of Orléans + Marie of Cleves

Louis XII + Mary Tudor, Queen of France

Louis XII + Anne of Brittany

Claude of France + Francis I of France

Renée of France + Ercole II d’Este

Louis I, Duke of Anjou + Marie of Blois

Louis II of Anjou (see below)

John, Duke of Berry (requested that Jean d’Arras write the Roman de Mélusine or the Chronique de Melusine part of Le Noble Hystoire de Lusignan)

Philip the Bold + Margaret III, Countess of Flanders

John the Fearless + Margaret of Bavaria

Philip the Good (founder of the ORDER OF THE GOLDEN FLEECE) + Isabella of Portugal (sister of Prince Henry the Navigator, Grand Master of the ORDER OF CHRIST)

Joan, Queen of Navarre + Charles II of Navarre

Charles III of Navarre + Eleanor of Castile

Blanche I of Navarre + John II of Aragon (s. of son of Ferdinand I of Aragon)

Marie of Valois, Duchess of Bar (Jean d’Arras dedicated the Roman de Mélusine or the Chronique de Melusine to her) + Robert I, Duke of Bar (g-son of Edward I, Count of Bar, Grand Master of the PRIORY OF SION)

Yolande of Bar + John I of Aragon (s. of Peter IV of Aragon + Eleanor of Sicily)

Yolande of Aragon + Louis II of Anjou (see above)

Marie of Anjou + Charles VII of France (see above)

René of Anjou (Grand Master of PRIORY OF SION) + Isabella of Lorraine

Margaret of Anjou + Henry VI of England (succeeded by Edward IV, s. of Richard Duke of York)

Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor + Elizabeth of Pomerania

SIGISMUND, HOLY ROMAN EMPEROR (founder of the ORDER OF THE DRAGON) + (see below)

Elisabeth, Duchess of Austria

Anne, Queen of England + King Richard II (son of Edward the Black Prince, founder of the Order of the Garter)

Marie of Luxembourg + Charles IV of France (when he died without an heir, the direct House of Capet was succeeded by Philip VI of France of its branch, the House of Valois)

Beatrix of Luxembourg + CHARLES I OF HUNGARY (founder of the ORDER OF SAINT GEORGE. Nephew of Eleanor of Anjou, who married Frederick III of Sicily, who hired services of Templar Roger “Jolly Roger” de Flor. Their daugher Constance of Sicily married Henry II of Lusignan, who transferred property of Templars to Hospitallers. Eleanor’s sister Blanche of Anjou married James II of Aragon, founder of the Order of Montesa)

Louis I of Hungary + Margaret of Bohemia (Sigismund’s half-sister)

Louis I of Hungary + Elizabeth of Bosnia

Mary, Queen of Hungary + SIGISMUND, HOLY ROMAN EMPEROR, founder of the ORDER OF THE DRAGON

John of Berry (1340 – 1416), commissioned Jean d’Arras Roman de Mélusine or the Chronique de Melusine part of Le Noble Hystoire de Lusignan

The ascension of the Counts of Luxembourg culminated when Henry VII became King of the Romans, King of Italy and finally, in 1312, Holy Roman Emperor. Henry VII was the son of Henry V, Count of Luxembourg, who paid homage to King Theobald II of Navarre, Count of Champagne. Emperor Frederick Barbarossa decided that Henry V’s mother, Ermesinde, Countess of Luxembourg, was the heir to the County of Luxembourg. Ermesinde was initially betrothed to Henry II of Champagne, but the engagement was cancelled in 1189. Instead, Ermesinde first husband was Theobald I of Bar (c. 1158 – 1214), also Count of Luxembourg. Their son was Henry II of Bar (1190 – 1239) who was killed in the Barons’ Crusade. His daughter Margaret of Bar was Henry VII’s mother. She was also the aunt of Edward I, Count of Bar, a purported Grand Master of the Priory of Sion. During his brief career, Henry VII reinvigorated the imperial cause in Italy, which was racked by the struggles between the Guelfs and Ghibelline, and inspired the praise of Dino Compagni and Dante Alighieri. Henry VII was the first emperor since the death of Frederick II in 1250, ending the Great Interregnum of the Holy Roman Empire With the ascension of Henry VII as Emperor, the new dynasty of the House of Luxembourg not only began to rule the Holy Roman Empire, but rapidly began to exercise growing influence over other parts of Central Europe as well.

Emperor Henry VII’s daughter Marie of Luxembourg married Charles IV of France, while her sister Beatrice married Charles I of Hungary, founder of the Order of the Saint George. Their brother, John the Blind (1296 – 1346), in addition to being Count of Luxembourg, also became King of Bohemia, and remains a major figure in Luxembourg history and folklore and is considered by many historians the epitome of chivalry in medieval times. John the Blind married Elizabeth of Bohemia, the daughter of Wenceslaus II of Bohemia and Judith of Habsburg. Judith was the daughter of Rudolf I (1218 – 1291), the first king of Germany from the House of Habsburg. Wenceslaus II’s father, Wenceslaus I of Bohemia, was the son of Béla III of Hungary and Agnes of Antioch who was associated with Pontigny Abbey. Luxembourg remained an independent fief of the Holy Roman Empire, and in 1354, John’s son and successor Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1316 – 1378), elevated it to the status of a duchy with his brother Wenceslaus I becoming the first Duke of Luxembourg. Charles IV’s Golden Bull of 1356 served as a constitution of the Empire for centuries.

Bonne and John II’s children included Charles V of France, Jean de Berry, Philip the Bold and Marie of Valois. It was at Jean Duke Berry’s request Jean d’Arras wrote a long prose romance called the Roman de Mélusine or the Chronique de Melusine part of Le Noble Hystoire de Lusignan. D’Arras dedicated the work to Marie of Valois, Duchess of Bar, and expressed the hope that it would aid in the political education of her children. Marie herself married Robert I, Duke of Bar, the grandson of Edward I, Count of Bar (1307 – 1336), another purported Grand Master of the Priory of Sion. Edward I was the son of Henry III, Count of Bar and Eleanor of England, the daughter of Edward I of England and Eleanor of Castile. Marie and Robert’s daughter Yolande of Bar married John I of Aragon, the son of Peter IV of Aragon (1319 – 1387) and Eleanor. Eleanor was the daughter of Peter II of Sicily, the brother of Constance of Sicily, the wife of Henry II of Lusignan. Peter II and Constance were the children of Eleanor of Anjou, the daughter of Charles II of Naples, and Frederick III of Sicily.

Order of the Garter

The Black Book of the Garter (detail)

Edward III founded the Order of the Garter in 1348, around the time of his claim to the French throne. Edward III was crowned in 1327 at age fourteen after his father was deposed by his mother Isabella and her lover Roger Mortimer (1287 – 1330). At age seventeen, Edward III led a successful coup d'état against Mortimer, the de facto ruler of the country, and began his personal reign. After a successful campaign in Scotland he declared himself rightful heir to the French throne in 1337, incepting what became known as the Hundred Years’ War. The original founders of the order included Edward III’s eldest son Edward, Prince of Wales (1330 – 1376), known as the Black Prince, and Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster (c. 1310 – 1361), the kingdom’s wealthiest and most powerful peer. Henry of Grosmont’ was the grandson of Edmund Crouchback, the son of Henry III by his wife Eleanor of Provence. Henry’s grandmother was Blanche of Artois. After the forfeiture of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester upon his death in 1265, Edmund received the Earldom of Leicester and later that of Lancaster. William Edington (d. 1366), Bishop of Winchester, was the first Prelate of the Order, and that office has since been held by his successors at Winchester, traditionally a senior bishopric of the Church of England.

The most popular legend of the founding of the order involves the “Countess of Salisbury,” who while dancing her garter is said to have slipped to the floor. When the surrounding courtiers snickered, King Edward supposedly picked it up and tied it to his own leg, exclaiming Honi soit qui mal y pense, meaning “evil upon he who thinks it.” This phrase has since become the motto of the Order. As historian Margaret Murray pointed out, the garter is an emblem of witchcraft. Garters are worn in various rituals and are also used as badges of rank. The garter is considered the ancient emblem of the high priestess. In some traditions, a high priestess who becomes Queen Witch over more than one coven adds a silver buckle to her garter for each coven under her.[8] The motto is inscribed, as hony soyt qui mal pence, at the end of the Middle English Arthurian romance Sir Gawain and the Green Knight of the late fourteenth century.

According to one legend, King Richard the Lionheart was inspired in the twelfth century by Saint George the Martyr while fighting in the Crusades, to tie garters around the legs of his knights, who subsequently won the battle. Saint George, the patron saint of England, Georgia and Moscow, is also the origin of the knightly tale of rescuing a maiden from a dragon, symbolizing the age-old motif of the dying-god’s struggle with the Dragon of the Sea. The cult of Saint George first reached England when the Templars were introduced to the cult presumably through their contact with the Rubenids of Armenian Cilicia, returned from the Holy Land in 1228. The heraldic shield of St. George’s Cross encircled by the Garter is sewn onto the left shoulder of the ceremonial mantle. The collar is composed of gold heraldic knots alternating with enameled medallions, each showing a rose encircled by the Garter.

John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster (1340 – 1399)

Scholars have identified a connection between the Order of the Garter and the Middle English poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. One of the best-known Arthurian stories, it describes how Sir Gawain, a knight of King Arthur’s Round Table, accepts a challenge from a mysterious “Green Knight” who dares any knight to strike him with his axe if he will take a return blow in a year and a day. Scholars have attempted to connect the Green Knight to other mythical characters, such as Jack in the green of English tradition and to Al-Khidr of the Sufis.[9] The poem contains the first recorded use of the word “pentangle” (pentagram) in English, and the only representation of the symbol on Gawain’s shield in the Gawain literature.[10] In line 625, the pentangle is described as “a sign by Solomon.”

Two candidates proposed as authors of the Sir Gawain and the Green Knight are John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, and Enguerrand VII de Coucy (1340 – 1397). In 1338, Enguerrand’s father, Enguerrand VI de Coucy (c. 1313 – c. 1346), married Catherine of Austria, oldest daughter of Leopold I, Duke of Austria, the third son of King Albert I of Germany, and Catherina of Savoy, and the granddaughter of the powerful Amadeus V, Count of Savoy. The marriage with the House of Habsburg and House of Savoy was arranged by King Philip VI himself, who was seeking foreign allies against England and to secure the loyalty of the barony of Coucy, strategically located in Northern France and fortified with the Château de Coucy.[11] Young Coucy first met Edward III in 1359, as one of forty royal and noble hostages exchanged for the release of John II of France who was captured at Poitiers in 1356. De Coucy was married to Edward III's daughter, Isabella, and was given admittance to the Order of the Garter on their wedding day.[12] De Coucy’s daughter Marie I de Coucy, Countess of Soissons, married Henry of Bar, son of Marie of Valois and Robert I, Duke of Bar, grandson of Priory of Sion Grand Master, Edward I, Count of Bar. Marie had a younger sister, Philippa de Coucy, who married Robert de Vere, 9th Earl of Oxford, Marquess of Dublin, Duke of Ireland, also a Garter knight.

Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1340s – 1400)

John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster (1340 – 1399), was the third of the five sons of Edward III, and a Knight of the Order of the Garter. John of Gaunt was a close friend of Geoffrey Chaucer (c. 1340s – 1400), widely considered the greatest English poet of the Middle Ages, best known for The Canterbury Tales, who served under Lancaster’s patronage. Edward III granted Chaucer “a gallon of wine daily for the rest of his life” on St George’s Day in 1374. According to tradition, Chaucer studied law in the Inner Temple, an Inn of Court, which takes its name from the Templars, who originally leased the land until their abolition in 1312, when the land seized by the king and granted to the Hospitallers. Chaucer is believed to have written The Book of the Duchess in honor of Blanche of Lancaster, the late wife of John of Gaunt, who died in 1369 of the plague.[13] Near the end of their lives, Lancaster and Chaucer became brothers-in-law when Chaucer married Philippa de Roet in 1366, and Lancaster married Phillippa’s sister Katherine Swynford in 1396. Philippa was a lady-in-waiting to Edward III’s queen, Philippa of Hainault.

Because of his many trips to mainland Europe, numerous scholars have suggested that Chaucer came into contact with Petrarch or Boccaccio, who introduced him to the forms and stories of medieval Italian poetry which he would use. Chaucer’s stories imitate, among others, his Italian contemporaries Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio. For example, Chaucer imitated many the stories from Boccaccio The Decameron for his The Canterbury Tales.[14] Chaucer referred to astrology in The Canterbury Tales, and he commented explicitly on the subject in his Treatise on the Astrolabe, demonstrating personal knowledge of judicial astrology, with an account of how to find the ascendant or rising sign.[15] Persian Jewish astrologer Mashallah’s treatise on the astrolabe was a source of Geoffrey Chaucer’s Treatise.

The Prioress’s Tale in The Canterbury Tales is introduced with an invocation to the Virgin Mary, then describes a story Asia where a community of Jews, whom Satan, “That hath (built) in Jewes’ heart his waspe’s nest,” incites to murder a seven year-old boy. When the mother finds his body, he begins miraculously to sing the Alma Redemptoris (“Nurturing Mother of the Redeemer”). The boy is made to explain that although his throat was cut, he was visited by the Virgin Mary. The story ends with a reference to Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln.

The story is introduced with an invocation to the Virgin Mary, then sets the scene in Asia, where a community of Jews live in a Christian city. Satan, 'That hath (built) in Jewes' heart his waspe's nest', incites some Jews to murder the child and throw his body into a public cesspit. His mother searches for him and eventually finds his body, which begins miraculously to sing the Alma Redemptoris ("Nurturing Mother of the Redeemer"). The Christians call in the city magistrate, who has some of the guilty Jews drawn by wild horses and then hanged. The boy continues to sing throughout his Requiem Mass until the local abbot of the community asks him how he is able to sing. He replies that although his throat is cut, he has had a visit from Mary who laid a grain on his tongue and told him he could keep singing until it was removed and she would come for him. The abbot removes the grain and he becomes silent and passes away. The story ends with a reference to Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln, another child martyr whose death was blamed on Jews.

Chaucer’s The Parlement of Foules contains one of the earliest references to the idea that St. Valentine’s Day is a special day for lovers.[16] Chaucer also translated Boethius’ Consolation of Philosophy and The Romance of the Rose by Guillaume de Lorris (c. 1200 – c. 1240). Throughout The Romance of the Rose, the word Rose is used both as the name of the titular lady and as an abstract symbol of female sexuality. Forty-five years later, circa 1275, Jean de Meun wrote additional lines, in which he glorified the victories of Charles of Anjou.

Order of the Dragon

Sigismund of Luxumbourg (1368 –1437), Holy Roman Emperor

The cause of the Wars of the Roses is traced to the question of succession after Edward III’s death in 1377.[17] Because his eldest son Edward, the Black Prince, had died the year before, Edward III was succeeded on the throne by the Black Prince’s only surviving son Richard II (1367 – 1400), who was only ten years old. According to contemporary sources, “the King of Castille, the King of Navarre and the King of Portugal” were present at his birth in Bordeaux in Aquitaine.[18] Richard’s posthumous reputation has been shaped to a large extent by Shakespeare, whose play Richard II portrayed his misrule and his deposition as responsible for the Wars of the Roses. Richard II's reign was marked by increasing dissension between the King and several of the most powerful nobles. One of his first significant acts was in 1382 to marry Anne of Bohemia, the sister of Emperor Sigismund of Luxembourg (1368 –1437), the founder of the Order of the Dragon.

The decline of the House of Luxembourg began under Emperor Charles IV’ son Wenceslaus IV (1361 – 1419), deposed by the prince-electors in 1400. In 1410, rule was assumed by Wenceslaus’ brother Sigismund who once again stabilized the rule of the Luxembourgs and even contributed to end the Western Schism in 1417. When Sigismund succeeded in convincing Antipope John XXIII to convene of the Council of Constance in 1414 to settle the Western Schism, which had resulted from the confusion following the Avignon Papacy, he had travelled to France, England and Burgundy in a vain attempt to secure the abdication of the three rival popes. The Council of Constance also condemned Jan Hus (c. 1372 – 1415) as a heretic and facilitated his execution, despite the fact that Sigismund had granted him a safe-conduct and protested against his imprisonment.[19] As King of Bohemia, Sigismund’s brother, Wenceslaus sought also sought to protect Hus and his followers against the demands of the Roman Catholic Church. A note in the Book of Acts of the Theological Faculty of the University of Vienna of 1419 mentions a conspiracy between the Waldensiens, Jews and Hus’ followers.[20] According to Louis I. Newman, in Jewish Influence on Christian Reform Movements, there was distinct Jewish influence in Hus’ thought. Hus made use of the works of the Jews of Prague, and quotes from Rashi, the Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel and the commentary of Gershom ben Judah. He makes extensive use of the Postilla of Nicholas of Lyra, which in turn is based on Rashi.[21] Not only was Hus stigmatized as a “Judaizer,” but when he was about to be burned at the stake for heresy in 1415, he was denounced with the words: “Oh thou accursed Judas, who breaking away from the counsels of peace, hast consulted with the Jews.”[22] Thus, while the Council of Constance ended the Papal Schism, the latter period of Sigismund’s life was dominated the Hussite Wars, fought between the Hussites and the combined Christian Catholic forces of Sigismund, the Papacy, European monarchs loyal to the Catholic Church.

Execution of Jan Hus (c. 1372 – 1415)

Sigismund’s first wife was Mary, Queen of Hungary, the grand-daughter of Charles I of Hungary, whose Order of Saint George served as a model for his own Order of the Dragon. The Order of the Dragon was founded in 1408 by Emperor Sigismund and his wife Barbara of Cilli (1392 – 1451). Barbara inherited a unique genetic marker, Haplogroup T, which suggests likely secret Jewish ancestry. Barbara of Cilli belonged specifically to subclade T2, whose distribution varies greatly with the ratio of subhaplogroup T2e to T2b, from a low in Britain and Ireland, to a high in Saudi Arabia.[23] Within subhaplogroup T2e, a very rare motif is identified among Sephardic Jews of Turkey and Bulgaria and suspected Conversos from the New World.[24] Barbara became popularly known as “The German Messalina,” because she was accused of adultery and intrigue.[25] Aeneas Silvio Piccolomini, later to be elected Pope Pius II, chronicled Barbara in his Historia Bohemica written in 1458, and accused her of associating with “heretics.” He claimed that Barbara and her daughter Elizabeth used to profane the Holy Communion by drinking real human blood during the liturgy. Barbara was also accused of maintaining a female harem and staging huge sexual orgies with young girls.[26]

Sigismund and his wife were responsible for the creation of the Order of the Dragon in 1408. The Order of the Dragon was founded to protect the royal family of the Holy Roman Empire and to fight the Ottoman Turks. Its statutes, written in Latin, call it a society whose members carry the signum draconis, though no name was assigned to it. Contemporary records, however, refer to it was the Order of the Dragon. It was to some extent modelled after the Order of St. George, founded by Charles I of Hungary, the grandfather of Sigismund’s first wife, Mary, Queen of Hungary. The Order of Saint George flourished during Charles I’s reign and achieved greater success under the reign of Charles I’s son, King Louis the Great of Hungary and Poland (1326 – 1382). Louis always had a good and close relationship with Sigismund’s father Emperor Charles IV, and Sigismund was betrothed to Louis’ eldest daughter, in 1374, when he was six years old.

The Order of the Dragon adopted Saint George as its patron saint, whose legendary defeat of a dragon was used as a symbol for the military and religious ethos of the order. The Order adopted the red cross and the Gnostic symbol of the Ourobouros, or serpent—in this case a dragon—biting its own tail. Alchemically, the Ourobouros symbolizes the union of opposing energies and is one of the primary symbols of the philosopher’s Stone. Dragons are important alchemical symbols representing the properties of mercury and the application of life force or energy. Like lions, the alchemical dragon is black, green or red according to its level of transformation. The Red Dragon is the chaotic energy of the First Matter at the beginning of the work that becomes the Philosopher’s stone. The First Matter is a basic tenet of the Hermetic philosophy. The Emerald Tablet refers to the “First Matter” as the “One Thing,” the primordial chaos of the universe fashioned into material reality by the thoughts or Word of the One Mind. Chemically, the Red Dragon is the pure red oil of lead in its initial state and the red power of projection in its perfected or tamed state.[27]

Siege of OrlÉans

Joan of Arc at the siege of Orléans

Henry V of England (1386 – 1422), knight of the Order of the Garter and the Order of the Dragon

The close relationship that developed between Henry V of England (1386 – 1422) and Emperor Sigismund resulted in Sigismund being inducted into the Order of the Garter, who returned the favor by inducting Henry V into his own Order of the Dragon. When Henry V’s father, Henry Bolingbroke (1367 – 1413), the son the Black Prince’s brother, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster (1340 – 1399), returned from exile in 1399, initially to reclaim his rights as Duke of Lancaster, he took advantage of the support of most of the nobles to depose Richard II and was crowned King Henry IV, establishing the House of Lancaster on the throne. The House of Lancaster derive their name from John of Gaunt’s primary title of Duke of Lancaster, which he held by right of his spouse, Blanche of Lancaster, the daughter of Garter founder Henry of Grosmont. Henry IV’s son and successor, Henry V, inherited a temporary period of peace, and his military success against France in the Hundred Years' War strengthened his popularity, enabling him to reinforce the Lancastrian claim to the throne.

Henry V had seized the opportunity presented by the mental illness of Charles VI of France and the French civil war between Armagnacs and Burgundians to revive the conflict. Resounding victories at Agincourt in 1415 and Verneuil in 1424 as well as an alliance with the Dukes of Burgundy raised the expectations of an ultimate English triumph in France, and persuaded the English to continue to pursue the war. John of Berry’s brother, Philip the Bold (1342 – 1404), was the founder of the Burgundian branch of the House of Valois, which began after his father John II of France granted him the French Duchy of Burgundy in 1363. Philip ruled as Duke Philip II of Burgundy from 1363 to 1404.

Already upon death of their brother Charles V in 1380, his brothers Philip and Jean de Berry, and Duke Louis I of Anjou (1372 – 1407), had acted as regent for his minor son Charles VI of France (1368 –1422). As Charles VI suffered from increasing mental illness, Philip tried to spread his influence across the French kingdom, meeting with the fierce resistance by Charles VI’s younger brother Louis. Philip the Bold’s son, John the Fearless (1371 – 1419) succeeded him in 1404. Charles V married Isabeau of Bavaria, the daughter of Stephen III, Duke of Bavaria and Taddea Visconti, the eldest child of Bernabò Visconti, of the Visconti of Milan, a noble Italian family. Stephen III was the son of Stephen II, Duke of Bavaria and Elisabeth of Sicily, the daughter of Frederick III of Sicily and Eleanor of Anjou, the daughter of Charles II of Naples.

René of Anjou (1409 – 1480), purported Grand Master of the Priory of Sion

Charles VI and Isabeau’s son, Charles VII of France (1403 – 1461), married Marie of Anjou, the sister of René of Anjou (1409 – 1480), King of Naples, known in France as Good King René, also purported to have been a Grand Master of the Priory of Sion. René was the great-grandson of Marie of Valois. Marie of Valois’ daughter, Yolande de Bar (c. 1365 – 1431), married John I of Aragon, who was descended from Charles II, King of Naples. René’s interests also included Arthurian and Grail romances, and devoted a great part of his life to art, and especially to the collection of the poetry of the Provençal troubadours. René, who was well-versed in the occult, included at his court a Jewish Kabbalist known as Jean de Saint-Remy, who, according to some accounts, was the grandfather of Nostradamus.[28] According to Nostradamus’ son César, “There was in the city of Saint Maximin a Hebrew, very learned and widely known in medicine, a celebrated philosopher named Abraham Solomon, who, despite the fact that he was a Jew, stood in high favor with the grandees of his day, especially with René of Anjou. As the king desired to keep him in his service, he was excused from paying the taxes usually levied upon the Jews.”[29] It was probably Abraham Solomon and other Jewish physicians who drew René of Anjou’s attention to the condition of the Jews in his kingdom. René’s ancestor Charles I of Anjou accorded numerous concessions to his Jewish but his son and successor Charles II curtailed many of these projections. René issued a decree in 1454, which lessened the hardships brought about by the proclamation of Charles II forcing all Jews to wear the wheel-shaped badge. It also confirmed the right of Jews to practice medicine. René set an example by making Abraham his personal physician and exempting him from all taxes levied on Jews.[30]

"The Vision and Inspiration" by Louis Maurice Boutet de Monvel.

Saint Margaret released from the dragon (satan)

René’s mother Yolande played a crucial role in the struggles between France and England, influencing events such as the financing of Joan of Arc’s army in 1429 that helped tip the balance in favor of the French. As Charles VI, the French king at the time of Joan's birth, suffered from bouts of mental illness, his brother Louis, Duke of Orléans, and the king’s cousin John the Fearless, quarreled over the regency of France and the guardianship of the royal children. The young Charles of Orléans (1394 – 1465), the son of Louis and Valentina Visconti, the daughter of Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan, succeeded his father as duke and was placed in the custody of his father-in-law, Bernard VII, Count of Armagnac (1360 – 1418). Bernard’s wife was Bonne, the daughter of John, Duke of Berry, and widow of Count Amadeus VII, Count of Savoy. Charles married Bernard’s daughter, also named Bonne.

Bernard d’Armagnac became the nominal head of the faction which opposed John the Fearless in the Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War, and the faction came to be called the “Armagnacs,” and the opposing party led by the Duke of Burgundy was called the “Burgundian faction.” Taking advantage of these internal divisions, Henry V of England he invaded France in 1415, winning a dramatic victory at Agincourt, and subsequently capturing many northern French towns in 1417. In 1418, Paris was taken by when the Burgundians defeated Bernard and his followers. After all four of his older brothers had died in succession The future French king, Charles VII, assumed the title of Dauphin—the heir to the throne—at the age of fourteen. His first significant official act was to conclude a peace treaty with the Duke of Burgundy in 1419. This ended in disaster when Armagnac partisans assassinated John the Fearless during a meeting under Charles's guarantee of protection.

Philip the Good (1396 – 1467)

The new duke of Burgundy, Philip the Good (1396 – 1467), son of John the Fearless, blamed Charles for the murder and renewed his father’s alliance with Henry V, who married Philip’s second cousin, Catherine of Valois, the sister of Charles VII. Philip however declined membership in the Order of the Garter in 1422, which would have been considered an act of treason against the king of France. The allied forces conquered large sections of France. During Philip the Good’s reign, the Burgundian State reached the apex of its prosperity and prestige, and became a leading center of the arts. Philip is known in history for his administrative reforms, his patronage of Flemish artists such as van Eyck and Franco-Flemish composers such as Guillaume Du Fay, and, ultimately, the capture of Joan of Arc.

In 1420, the queen of France, Isabeau of Bavaria, the wife of Charles VI of France, signed the Treaty of Troyes, which granted the succession of the French throne to Henry V of and his heirs instead of her son Charles VII of France (1403 – 1461). Henry V and Charles VI died within two months of each other in 1422, leaving an infant, Henry VI of England (1421 – 1471), the nominal monarch of both kingdoms. Henry V of England and Charles VI of France died within two months of each other in 1422, leaving an infant, Henry VI of England, the nominal monarch of both kingdoms. Henry V's brother John of Lancaster 1389 – 1435) led the English forces against Joan of Arc, while he acted as regent of France for his nephew Henry VI. By the time Joan of Arc began to influence events in 1429, nearly all of northern France and some parts of the southwest were under Anglo-Burgundian control. The English controlled Paris and Rouen while the Burgundian faction controlled Reims, which had served as the traditional site for the coronation of French kings.

René d’Anjou was “Reignier” in Shakespeare’s Henry VI, where he pretends to be the Dauphin to deceive the French heroin Joan of Arc (c. 1412 – 1431), who later claims to be pregnant with his child. Joan of Arc claimed to have received visions of the archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, and Saint Catherine of Alexandria instructing her to support Charles VII­ and recover France from English domination late in the Hundred Years’ War. According to the Golden Legend, Saint Margaret was a native of Antioch and the daughter of a pagan priest named Aedesius. When mother having died soon after her birth, Margaret was nursed by a Christian woman. Having embraced Christianity and consecrated her virginity to God, Margaret was disowned by her father, adopted by her nurse. Olybrius, Governor of the Roman Diocese of the East, asked to marry her, but with the demand that she renounced Christianity. Upon her refusal, she was cruelly tortured, during which various miraculous incidents occurred. One of these involved being swallowed by Satan in the shape of a dragon, from which she escaped alive when the cross she carried irritated the dragon’s innards.

Illustration of Gilles de Rais Disposing of the Corpse of a Woman

Jeanne of Arc’s companion and guide was Gilles de Rais (1405 – 1440), became Maréchal of France, career ended in a famous trial for Satanism, abduction, and child murder. When his family secured a decree from King Charles VII in 1435, restraining him from selling or mortgaging the rest of his lands, he turned to alchemy. He also developed an interest in Satanism, hoping to gain knowledge, power, and riches by invoking the devil. He was later accused of having abducted, tortured, and murdered more than 140 children. The killings came to an end in 1440, when an ecclesiastical investigation that brought Rais’ crimes to light. Rais’ bodyguard Étienne Corrillaut, known as Poitou, testified that his master stripped children naked and hung them with ropes from a hook to prevent him from crying out, and then masturbated upon their belly or thighs. Rais then either killed the child himself or had the child killed. In his own confession, Rais testified that “when the said children were dead, he kissed them and those who had the most handsome limbs and heads he held up to admire them, and had their bodies cruelly cut open and took delight at the sight of their inner organs and very often when the children were dying he sat on their stomachs and took pleasure in seeing them die and laughed.”[31] Rais was condemned to death and hanged.

With his court removed to Bourges, one of the few remaining regions left to him. However, his political and military position improved dramatically with the emergence of Joan of Arc as a spiritual leader in France, who led French troops to lift the siege of Orléans in 1429. This led to the reconquest of other strategic cities on the Loire river, and a defeat of the English at the battle of Patay. With the local English troops dispersed, the people of Reims opened their gates, which enabled the coronation of Charles VII in 1429 at Reims Cathedral. A few years later, he ended the English-Burgundian alliance by signing the Treaty of Arras in 1435, followed by the recovery of Paris in 1436 and the steady recapture of Normandy in the 1440s. Following the battle of Castillon in 1453, the French expelled the English from all their continental possessions except for the Pale of Calais.

John of Lancaster’s first wife was Anne of Burgundy, the sister of his ally Philip the Good. John’s second wife was Jacquetta of Luxembourg, a fourth cousin twice removed of Emperor Sigismund. Jacquetta’s first husband was John of Lancaster 1389 – 1435), an ally of Philip the Good. Jacquetta’s uncle, John II of Luxembourg (1392 – 1441), an ally of Philip the Good, was the head of the military company that captured Joan of Arc, whom he kept at Beauvoir and later sold her to the English, who burned her at the stake for heresy.

Tudor Rose

King Henry VII of England (1457 – 1509), Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece, and Elizabeth of York (1466 – 1503)


THIS WEBSITE has a guestbook page where you can say hello and ask questions. A recent visitor was Guido from Switzerland who wanted to know more about the kind of equipment I use to make sound recordings.

The only substantial bit of kit I’ve bought recently is a Sony PCM D100 recorder. In brief, it’s a slightly chunky stereo handheld recorder with excellent on-board mics that can be swivelled inwards or outwards. This makes the D100 suitable for many different recording situations and it’s generally easy and fun to use. At the time of writing it costs in the region of £550.

The D100 weighs about 14oz or 400gm and is 3” wide by 6” high by 1¼” deep, or 72 by 157 by 33mm. It’s too big to put in any pocket except a large coat pocket and even then its mass may become irksome. The D100 belongs in a bag: a courier bag, a handbag, a sports bag &ndash any kind of small shoulder bag where you can get at it quickly.

I bought mine in the summer of 2019 after another handheld recorder developed a fault in one of the channels. At first I just used the D100 piggy-backed on my Sound Devices MixPre-D mic pre-amp, connected via the D100’s line-in socket. This kind of arrangement has been used by several recordists who wanted the quality of a Sound Devices pre-amp but couldn’t afford one of their 7-series recorders. It saves money but it’s cumbersome. In recent years it’s been made obsolete by more affordable high-quality recorders such as the Zoom F6 and the Sound Devices MixPre-3.

The D100 has a solid-feeling metal body, takes 4 AA batteries, has 32 GB of internal memory and takes SD cards and Sony Memory Sticks too. It has line-in and mic sockets, the latter providing plug-in power for use with small external mics, such as a binaural pair. So far so good.

The on-board mic capsules are very sensitive to being buffeted by the wind and to vibration from the recorder’s body. These weak points can be remedied in part by buying some inexpensive accessories.

First, wind noise. You cannot use the Sony D100 outdoors without a windshield except on a completely still day. You’ll also need a windshield if you want to use it for recording outdoor interviews, otherwise the speaker’s plosive buh and puh sounds can sound distorted. Even with a windshield it’s a good idea not to hold the mic very close to the speaker’s mouth.

The Sony comes with a windshield but it’s not very effective as the furry fibres are a bit short. I bought a better one with longer wind-taming fur off Amazon, sent by a supplier called Songbadger or DucklingPower or similar. Alternatively, Zoom make a Universal Windshield for their own recorders which also happens to fit the D100 and that too is an improvement.

The second drawback is the D100’s susceptibility to handling noise and this takes some getting used to. You have to grasp the recorder securely and then be continually mindful not to flex your hand or move any of its fingers by even the smallest amount. If it was any more sensitive it’d pick up your pulse.

One solution is to buy a cheap camera handle of the kind that are meant for video shooting with smartphones or compact cameras. The handle likely won’t cancel any vibrations from your hand but it will make it easier to hold the recorder comfortably for longer periods of time while keeping a steady grip. The one pictured below (along with the non-Sony windshield) has a lanyard so you won’t drop the damn recorder into a stream and costs £10 on Amazon.

This setup is lightweight and very portable, but it isn’t discreet. Holding the recorder by a handle and pointing it towards some interesting sound is an assertive, purposeful gesture which will attract attention. As well as the eye-catching windshield, which some passersby will have the urge to touch, you may be using headphones or earbuds to monitor your recordings as you make them. Many people will know what you’re up to. Often that’s not a problem, but in others it will be a better policy to keep the recorder out of sight and connect it to a pair of binaural mics or some other kind of headworn arrangement which isn’t too noticeable.

After the smoking ban in pubs everyone liked to remark how you could, for the first time, smell the toilets. With lockdown the streets are now so quiet that you can properly hear all the air conditioning units at work. The other day I went to try out the D100 in Cambridge city centre. In normal times the narrow pavements are packed full of shoppers, students and tourists. A recording made at the junction of a passageway and a small back street gives some idea of how well suited the D100 is to quiet environments.

Two cyclists talk as they come down the passageway towards the recording point before turning left close by, there’s a constant aircon hum from some university building, birds sing and the bells of different colleges and churches strike the hour. Self-noise is low, and the stereo image feels open with quite good localisation of sound sources. I feel the lower frequencies could do with a bit more oomph but this is a personal thing, and may be a positive feature if you want to downplay the presence of traffic.

What was happening in that environment was pretty straightforward. During a later outing the recorder didn’t do so well in the complex environment of Cambridge Market. Sitting on the edge of the old fountain in the middle of the market, I saw and heard all kinds of activity going on around me. Refuse collectors were banging and shifting bins behind me, to my right food was being fried on a griddle, ahead of me people were talking to the owner of a fruit-and-veg stall, to my left people were walking past.

I tried recording with the D100 facing two different ways, but neither effort yielded a very coherent stereo image and it didn’t seem worth uploading them to Soundcloud. Take my word for it! Too much seemed to be going on all around, a confusion. In many similar situations I’ve found that headworn and binaural-style mic arrays do much better in giving a compelling and realistic sound &ndash the Street Life 2017 section here has dozens of street market recordings made that way.

Here is a constraint in using the D100. It seems best to have the most prominent audible action going on in front of you and perhaps to the sides, but not close by all around. The recorder makes you more a spectator of events than a participant, just as a camera often does.

The other mic position is with the capsules facing inwards towards each other. This should be better for isolating particular sound sources, as you might need to do during an outdoor vox pop or when making focused effects-stype recordings. It might also be usuable for indoor podcasts. Although you can’t speak into the D100 from too close (a pop filter might help), I found that at home it picked up very little reverberant tone in a room with a fitted carpet, drawn curtains and some hard surfaces covered with towels.

The second recording presented here is a comparison between the D100 and my homemade acoustic baffle with its two Sennheiser MKH 8020 omni mics and Sound Devices MixPre-D. It was made in an overgrown cemetery at around 4.45 in the morning when the air seemed to ripple like old glass with the dawn chorus.

The D100 occupies the first half of that recording. It doesn’t sound as refined or as natural as the Sennheiser setup, but I think it’s pretty decent and for much lower cost and weight.

I recommend the Sony PCM D100 recorder for its good sound quality, versatility and ease of use. It’s ideal for taking on holiday or on speculative recording trips where you don’t want to be weighed down with gear. This isn’t a comprehensive review so there’s no mention here of the recorder’s more advanced features. On Paul Virostek’s Creative Field Recording blog there’s a detailed write-up with several sample recordings to hear.


Open Access (electronic)

Repository: Georgia State University Library Digital Collections

Planned Parenthood Southeast Records are comprised primarily of files, 1955-2011, from the office of Planned Parenthood Southeast, and its predecessors, Planned Parenthood of the Atlanta Area and Planned Parenthood of Georgia. The records are organized in 13 series, which reflect Planned Parenthood Southeast’s organization, its activities (both internal and external), as well as special formats of the records. The series are: I. Administrative Files II. President/CEO Files III. Legislative Files IV. Office Files V. Legal VI. Campaigns and Projects VII. Media and Publicity Files VIII. Event Files IX. Training Files X. Development Files XI. Subject Files XII. Artifacts and Textiles XIII. Audio-Visual Materials and Scrapbooks. Margaret Sanger, a practicing nurse, began Planned Parenthood New York in 1916 to provide family planning services for low income and immigrant women. Decisive legislation in the 1930's legalized birth control in New York, Vermont and Connecticut, and gradually, as legislation allowed, Sanger was able to disseminate information on birth control methods through opening health clinics across the nation. The Atlanta, Georgia affiliate of Planned Parenthood was founded in 1964 by Mrs. Herbert (Esther) Taylor. Mrs. Taylor brought together representatives of churches, professionals and businesses to organize what was then called the Planned Parenthood Association of the Atlanta Area, Inc., (PPAA) and later (in the 1980's) simply referred to as Planned Parenthood of Atlanta. At the time of PPAA's founding, Fulton County had one of the highest rates of infant mortality in the nation: statistics showed 50,000 women in greater Atlanta between the ages of 15 and 45 needed family planning services but could not afford a private physician. In 1966, the first Planned Parenthood clinic opened at the Bethlehem Community Center, and by 1974 Planned Parenthood of Atlanta was operating nine clinics throughout the Atlanta area, serving 7,000 patients a year. In 1997, clinic outreach was further expanded when Planned Parenthood of East-Central Georgia joined with Planned Parenthood of the Atlanta Area to become Planned Parenthood of Georgia. In 2010, Planned Parenthood Georgia combined with the Alabama and Mississippi affiliates, and together they became Planned Parenthood Southeast. The Planned Parenthood Action Fund of Georgia is a pro-choice advocacy organization. A separate entity from Planned Parenthood Southeast, the Action Fund's mission is to advance and defend reproductive freedom for all through fund raising for lobbyists to elect pro-choice leaders, tirelessly advocating on behalf of women, men and young people who rely on Planned Parenthood to provide reproductive choice.


Watch the video: CASTLES OF WAR - MEDIEVAL WARFARE - Discovery History Military full documentaryNew (January 2022).