Why was there a reference to the Battle of Hastings in Harper Lee's novel?

I am unfamiliar with details of European history; how is the Battle of Hastings relevant to the historical background in Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird?

Chapter 1, Paragraph 4:

Being Southerners, it was a source of shame to some members of the family that we had no recorded ancestors on either side of the Battle of Hastings.

This passage is quite difficult for me to understand. How does the Battle of Hastings connect to the Southern American identity in Alabama during the 20th Century?

Southerners are renowned for the recorded depth of their family trees. This statement is making the point, with tongue solidly in cheek, that the family had no ancestors worthy of the name to trace genealogy to.

In practice it was much more common for Southern families to trace lineage to Civil War heroes, Revolutionary War heroes, or notable early immigrant communities such as the Pilgrims of Mayflower fame. However, the further back the better, so to have no-one of note in one's lineage, all the back to 1066, was a significant hole in one's community standing.

This character would have been a contemporary of Alabama's Governor George Wallace who (in) famously said, "segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever." This meant, "Your social status of today is your status of tomorrow, and forever." A person who shared that mindset would care deeply about whether their family had or didn't have ancestors going back "forever," (e.g. to the Battle of Hastings).

The Battle of Hastings was arguably the most important event in (modern) English history. Most prominent English families had men engaged in it on one side or the other. Not being "represented" in what as arguably the "creation" of modern England was a source of concern to lineage conscious English families.

After he won, William the Conqueror compiled a list of major landholders in the so-called Domesday Book. Most of these landowners, by definition, had some family member fight at Hastings because of the feudal system. Not having anyone in the family represented there after so many generations of intermarriage signified a lack of feudal ancestors with status, at least to some.

A commenter reasonably observed that "not everyone considers 950 years ago to be 'modern.'" That's the way that most people on This Site would feel. But the question was why did the author depict a character from the middle of the 20th century Alabama as using the Battle of Hastings as a "frame of reference." Put another way, the Battle of Hastings (almost 1000 years in the past) had relevance to Alabamans in the 1960s because those Alabamans believed that it had such relevance.

Southerners were more likely to feel this way than Northerners because a larger percentage of (white) Southerners were of English descent. Also, a larger percentage of English Southerners were "gentlemen" settlers, as opposed to e.g. Puritans, and therefore even more class conscious than other Englishmen.

The name Newton means "new town", while Makerfield is an ancient name for the district from the Brittonic word "mager" meaning "wall" combined with the English word "field". [3] [4] Neweton was mentioned in the Domesday Book. "In Makerfield" was added to distinguish it from other Newtons and recorded as Makeresfeld in 1205 and 1351, as Makefeld in 1206, Makerefeld in 1213 and Makerfield since 1242. [5]

Before the Norman conquest, Newton was head of a hundred. The Domesday hundred was assessed at five hides one of which included Newton. The lord of the manor was Edward the Confessor at his death in 1066. The Newton Hundred was subsequently combined with the Warrington and Derby Hundreds to form the West Derby Hundred. [4] [5]

The fields between Newton and Winwick were the site of one of the last battles of the Second English Civil War. [6] [7]

Newton has two railway stations. Newton-le-Willows railway station and Earlestown railway station, opened in 1830. They are two of the oldest railway stations. Earlestown was an important junction where the original Liverpool and Manchester line was joined by the 1837 line running south to Birmingham. The town has also had three other railway stations, situated at Parkside, where Huskisson's fatal railway accident happened, at the Vulcan Village and one serving the old racecourse, closed when Haydock Park Racecourse was opened. Two other local railway related landmarks are Newton Viaduct and the Sankey Viaduct which is locally known as the "Nine Arches".

Forming part of the historic county boundaries of Lancashire from a very early time, Newton-le-Willows is an ancient town having been mentioned in the Domesday Book. It was initially part of the Fee of Makerfield, which was part of the West Derby hundred. It was later made a parliamentary borough from 1558 until 1832, one of the earliest in Lancashire. From this date until 1894, the town came under the control of a Court Leet and Improvement Commissioners. The developing industrial town was then created into an urban district under the name Newton in Makerfield. The name of the urban district was changed in 1939 to Newton-le-Willows. On 1 April 1974 it lost its independence when Newton-le-Willows Council merged with a number of neighbouring local authorities, to create St Helens Metropolitan Borough Council. [8]

Newton-le-Willows is split into two wards, Newton and Earlestown, each ward returns three councillors to serve on St Helens Borough Council. As of May 2021, the Newton ward is represented by two Labour councillors and one Liberal Democrat, while Earlestown has two Labour councillors and one Independent.

Newton stands in the centre of the large Greater Manchester and Merseyside conurbation. It is located on the western edge of Chat Moss. The town consists of four districts, Earlestown, Wargrave, Vulcan Village and the ancient Newton in Makerfield area, that makes up the eastern part of the town.

The M6 and M62 motorways, and also the A580 East Lancashire Road pass close to the town. This has helped Newton become an important commuter town now that most of its industry has gone. There have been many new housing estates built around the outskirts of the town.

The Sankey Canal passes through the town and is crossed, on the Sankey Viaduct, by the world's first passenger railway, also within the boundaries of the town.

Newton-le-Willows and Earlestown railway stations have a good regional service with regular trains running to Liverpool and Manchester, St Helens, Warrington, Chester, West Yorkshire and along the North Wales coast to Llandudno. Earlestown is a very large station for the size of the town, with 5 platforms. On platform 2 is the old waiting room, regarded as one of the oldest remaining railway buildings.

There is a small bus station in Tamworth Street, with a number of bus routes running around the town, and out of town services connecting neighbouring Burtonwood, Haydock, Ashton-in-Makerfield, Lowton, Garswood and major towns of Warrington, St. Helens, Wigan and Leigh.

Once part of the ancient parish of Winwick, the town is split into four Anglican parishes, St Peter's covering Newton, St John's covering Earlestown, Emmanuel covering Wargrave and All Saints' covering the northern parts of the town.

Similar to other towns in Lancashire, Newton has a large Roman Catholic population and there are three Catholic churches in the town, St Patrick's in Earlestown, St Mary and St John's in Newton and St David's in Wargrave.

There are also many other denominations represented in the town, such as the Methodist and Baptist churches in the town centre.

From Victorian times until 2007, the town had a number of local newspapers. The Newton and Golborne Guardian was the longest established, which ceased publication in 2007. Other papers to have served the town over the years include the Earlestown Guardian, and Newton Reporter. The town comes within the distribution area of the St Helens Star and St Helens Reporter, both free newspapers. The Warrington Guardian, Liverpool Echo, Manchester Evening News and Wigan Evening Post are widely available within the town.

Local radio is provided by WA12 RADIO an internet-based radio station, founded in 2011 and now part of Newton Boys and Girls Club. Regional radio is provided by Heart North West, BBC Radio Merseyside and BBC Radio Manchester.

The town falls within the North West region for the BBC and Granada region for ITV.

There is a flourishing Amateur Radio community. The local club meets every Thursday evening and is an official training and examination centre for all classes of licence.

Newton-le-Willows racecourse closed down in 1898 and was replaced by Haydock Park Racecourse. The Old Newton Cup is the world's oldest continually competed for trophy, with a history dating back over 200 years.

Football has always been an important sport within the town, and Newton-le-Willows had its own club between 1894 and 1908. Newton-le-Willows F.C. played in the local leagues until the 1900–01 season when the club joined the English Combination where they competed for three years. In 1903–04 season the club joined the Lancashire Combination where their derby matches included Bryn Central and Wigan Town (a forerunner of Wigan Athletic). The club left the league at the end of the 1907–08 season at which point the club folded. Newton-le-Willows home ground was the Pied Bull Ground which was situated behind the public house of the same name and bordered Rob Lane (then Golborne Road), more or less where the Parchments estate lies. There has been a couple of spells that Earlestown Football Club has been quite successful. The team competed in the Lancashire Combination league which at the time (1950s/1960s) was the equivalent of today's Conference North. Earlestown enjoyed a local rivalry with a number of teams which would go on to national prominence, especially Wigan Athletic. Earlestown was a very ambitious club who hit the headlines when they signed Wilf Mannion as player manager. Crowds of one or two thousand were not unknown for local derbies. However, falling gates and the cost of a professional squad forced the club into bankruptcy in the mid 1960s. In its earlier history, Earlestown F.C. created a few pieces of history, including being defeated by Everton in the Liverpool Cup which was the Toffees' first cup final victory. A year later, Earlestown won the final beating an Everton side that would help form the football league just three years later. Earlestown also played Everton in the first ever match at Anfield stadium. [9] A number of smaller teams operate in the town, the most prominent being Vulcan Newton FC who have previously been in the Lancashire Combination and North West Counties League.

This area is a hotbed for rugby league with St Helens, Warrington, Widnes, Wigan and Leigh being neighbouring towns, however the town never had a rugby league team until recently, when in 2002, Newton Storm ARLFC was formed. Storm has become one of the fastest-growing amateur rugby league clubs in the north west. Rugby union was historically the most popular code in this town, with two teams, Newton-le-Willows RUFC and Vulcan RUFC being prominent teams in the South Lancashire and Cheshire leagues. The most prominent players in the past have been former England and British Lions international Fran Cotton, and Wigan player Steve Hampson.

Lee’s Offensive at the Battle of Chancellorsville

Hooker’s gambit was outdone by General Robert E. Lee’s quick thinking. Lee, too, divided his force, retaining 10,000 troops led by Jubal Early to hold Fredericksburg before marching the rest of his army West to meet Hooker head-on.

The two armies clashed in an open field just beyond the Wilderness, a forest west of Chancellorsville, on May 1, 1863. Despite his superior numbers, Hooker had his men fall back to defensive positions, opening the door for Lee to hatch the most brilliant offensive plan of his career.

Lee split his army again, sending his right-hand man Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson to attack the Union’s right flank, where they clashed with the Union XI Corps under Major General Oliver Otis Howard, caving in the Union line.

Excerpt: 'To Kill A Mockingbird'

To Kill A MockingbirdBy Harper LeePaperback, 336 pagesHarper Perennial Modern ClassicsList price: $12.99

When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow. When it healed, and Jem's fears of never being able to play football were assuaged, he was seldom self-conscious about his injury. His left arm was somewhat shorter than his right when he stood or walked, the back of his hand was at right angles to his body, his thumb parallel to his thigh. He couldn't have cared less, so long as he could pass and punt.

When enough years had gone by to enable us to look back on them, we sometimes discussed the events leading to his accident. I maintain that the Ewells started it all, but Jem, who was four years my senior, said it started long before that. He said it began the summer Dill came to us, when Dill first gave us the idea of making Boo Radley come out.

I said if he wanted to take a broad view of the thing, it really began with Andrew Jackson. If General Jackson hadn't run the Creeks up the creek, Simon Finch would never have paddled up the Alabama, and where would we be if he hadn't? We were far too old to settle an argument with a fist-fight, so we consulted Atticus. Our father said we were both right.

Being Southerners, it was a source of shame to some members of the family that we had no recorded ancestors on either side of the Battle of Hastings. All we had was Simon Finch, a fur-trapping apothecary from Cornwall whose piety was exceeded only by his stinginess. In England, Simon was irritated by the persecution of those who called themselves Methodists at the hands of their more liberal brethren, and as Simon called himself a Methodist, he worked his way across the Atlantic to Philadelphia, thence to Jamaica, thence to Mobile, and up the Saint Stephens. Mindful of John Wesley's strictures on the use of many words in buying and selling, Simon made a pile practicing medicine, but in this pursuit he was unhappy lest he be tempted into doing what he knew was not for the glory of God, as the putting on of gold and costly apparel. So Simon, having forgotten his teacher's dictum on the possession of human chattels, bought three slaves and with their aid established a homestead on the banks of the Alabama River some forty miles above Saint Stephens. He returned to Saint Stephens only once, to find a wife, and with her established a line that ran high to daughters. Simon lived to an impressive age and died rich.

It was customary for the men in the family to remain on Simon's homestead, Finch's Landing, and make their living from cotton. The place was self-sufficient: modest in comparison with the empires around it, the Landing nevertheless produced everything required to sustain life except ice, wheat flour, and articles of clothing, supplied by river-boats from Mobile.

Simon would have regarded with impotent fury the disturbance between the North and the South, as it left his descendants stripped of everything but their land, yet the tradition of living on the land remained unbroken until well into the twentieth century, when my father, Atticus Finch, went to Montgomery to read law, and his younger brother went to Boston to study medicine. Their sister Alexandra was the Finch who remained at the Landing: she married a taciturn man who spent most of his time lying in a hammock by the river wondering if his trot-lines were full.

When my father was admitted to the bar, he returned to Maycomb and began his practice. Maycomb, some twenty miles east of Finch's Landing, was the county seat of Maycomb County. Atticus's office in the courthouse contained little more than a hat rack, a spittoon, a checkerboard and an unsullied Code of Alabama. His first two clients were the last two persons hanged in the Maycomb County jail. Atticus had urged them to accept the state's generosity in allowing them to plead Guilty to second-degree murder and escape with their lives, but they were Haverfords, in Maycomb County a name synonymous with jackass. The Haverfords had dispatched Maycomb's leading blacksmith in a misunderstanding arising from the alleged wrongful detention of a mare, were imprudent enough to do it in the presence of three witnesses, and insisted that the-son-of-a-bitch-had-it-coming-to-him was a good enough defense for anybody. They persisted in pleading Not Guilty to first-degree murder, so there was nothing much Atticus could do for his clients except be present at their departure, an occasion that was probably the beginning of my father's profound distaste for the practice of criminal law.

During his first five years in Maycomb, Atticus practiced economy more than anything for several years thereafter he invested his earnings in his brother's education. John Hale Finch was ten years younger than my father, and chose to study medicine at a time when cotton was not worth growing but after getting Uncle Jack started, Atticus derived a reasonable income from the law. He liked Maycomb, he was Maycomb County born and bred he knew his people, they knew him, and because of Simon Finch's industry, Atticus was related by blood or marriage to nearly every family in the town.

Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop grass grew on the sidewalks, the courthouse sagged in the square. Somehow, it was hotter then: a black dog suffered on a summer's day bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men's stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning.

Excerpted from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Excerpted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

“War is Cruelty”

Negative 8322. People escaping from the Indian massacre of 1862. Adrian J. Ebell, 8/21/1862

1862 was the Union’s most troublesome year during the Civil War. Putting an end to any remaining anticipation that the War Between the States would resolve quickly, the spring battle at Shiloh was the war’s deadliest, obliterating the romantic ideals that had spurred men to seek out glory on the battlefield. 1 By August, the war still had not turned in the Union’s favor. General George B. McClellan was ordered to withdraw from southeastern Virginia, ending the Peninsula Campaign, and Confederate Generals Braxton Bragg and Edmund Kirby Smith began their invasion of border state Kentucky. The Second Battle of Bull Run brought the month to a close and a “humiliating, demoralizing defeat” to the Union war record. 2 But General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was not the only military force of concern in late summer 1862. On August 18th, violence came north to Minnesota as white settlers and local Dakota tribesmen clashed in a six-week struggle known as the Sioux Uprising or Dakota War of 1862.

The traditional history of the 1862 Dakota War reflects a regionalized understanding of the causes and consequences of the event, usually framed as a brief chapter in Minnesotan state history or North America’s Indian wars, a historical label that includes all manner of white settler-Native American conflicts ranging from before the American Revolution until the very end of the nineteenth century. 3 The category is, by this definition, incredibly broad and tends to obscure connections between “Indian wars” and other concurrent historical episodes. But the Dakotas’ war was a conflict of national significance as well, although the simultaneous Civil War often over shadows it in the American historical narrative.

Measured in terms of the number of civilian lives lost, the 1862 rebellion was one of the bloodiest in American history, and “it launched a series of Indian wars on the northern plains that did not end until 1890 with the battle of Wounded Knee in South Dakota.” 4 The conflict between Dakota tribesmen and American settlers in Minnesota also required the involvement of local militia and federal troops and resulted in legally questionable military trials of the defeated Dakota, requiring the intervention of President Lincoln. This article takes a closer look at some of connections between the Dakota War of 1862 and the American Civil War, connections that articulate the national stature and relevance of the 1862 Minnesotan frontier Indian war. Additionally, the Dakota War of 1862 offers a unique vantage point from which to examine the expansion and legitimacy of federal power in the Civil War era, as well as reconsider the consequences of two concurrent wars of rebellion. 5

Timeline of Events: The Dakota War of 1862

  • August 17, 1862: Five white settlers are killed following an altercation with four young Dakota men
  • August 18, 1862: The Sioux Uprising/Dakota War of 1862 begins with attacks on Upper and Lower Sioux Agencies, as well as Redwood Ferry. While most Dakota chose not to fight, those who did tended to be young men belonging to the Mdewakanton band, led by Chiefs Sakpe (Shakopee), Wakanozhanzhan (Medicine Bottle), Taoyateduta (Little Crow), Wamditanka (Big Eagle) and Mankato. 6
  • August 19, 1862: First attack on New Ulm
  • August 20 and 22, 1862: Attacks on Fort Ridgely
  • August 23, 1862: Second attack on New Ulm
  • September 2, 1862: Battle of Birch Coulee
  • September 3 and 6, 1862: Attacks on Fort Abercrombie
  • September 23, 1862: Battle of Wood Lake, the last major battle of the war and a critical defeat of the Dakota forces.
  • September 26, 1862: The Dakota surrender and release their captives.
  • September 28, 1862: A military commission is appointed to try those Dakota who participated in the uprising. In all, 303 men were tried for the murder and rape of civilians. President Abraham Lincoln later commuted the sentences of 264 prisoners.
  • November – December 1862: Dakota families are imprisoned outside Fort Snelling. Nearly 300 died as a result of settler reprisals and disease.
  • December 26, 1862: 38 Dakota men are hanged at Mankato after a lack of rope delayed the executions. The hangings remain the largest mass execution in American history.
  • Spring 1863: The Dakota are banished from Minnesota to a new reservation, Crow Creek, in Dakota Territory. The trip is arduous and deadly.
  • April 1863: The federal Dakota Expulsion Act is passed, abrogating all treaties and outlawing Dakota residence in the state of Minnesota. This law is still in effect in 2015.
  • Summer 1863 – 1864: Sibley and Sully Expeditions take place against Dakota Indians thought to have participated in the Dakota War of 1862.

Check out the Minnesota Historical Society’s comprehensive timeline for the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. An interactive timeline of events is available as well. To see where these events took place, enjoy the Minnesota Historical Society’s interactive map of the conflict.

Causes: A Civil War Opportunity? A Confederate Plot?

Cartoon about the Dakota War of 1862 featured in Harper’s Weekly on September 13, 1862. The cartoon’s caption applies a Jefferson Davis quote regarding the loyalty of Native American tribes to the Confederate cause to explain “the News from Minnesota.”

The 1862 Dakota War was the culmination of a number of serious and longstanding grievances. Some of the war’s causes were profoundly local. First settled by white Americans in the 1820s, Minnesota experienced tremendous growth by the 1850s, starting with a population of 6,000 in 1850 and growing to more than 150,000 by 1857. 7 This influx of Americans and recent immigrants strained relations between white settlers looking for available land and the area’s long-standing Dakota and Ojibwe inhabitants. Responding to the need to secure more land for white settlement, the U.S. initiated a series of treaties with the Dakota that slowly moved the Santee Sioux off their traditional lands. In 1851, the Dakota signed the treaties of Traverse des Sioux and Mendota, which involved the cession of their “southwestern Minnesota Territory, along with significant acreage in the southeast” for which they “were to receive just over three million dollars in cash and annuities, to be paid out annually over fifty years.” 8 After giving up nearly 24 million acres of fertile agricultural land, the Dakota were then relocated to “two reservations, each twenty miles wide and about seventy miles long, bordering the upper Minnesota River,” further decreased by land cessions in 1858. 9

Often waiting to receive the annuities owed to them, the Dakota were intimately familiar with the sluggishness and corruption of a federal Indian system that offered the tribes it managed no process to register their grievances. As the prominent Episcopalian Bishop of Minnesota, Henry Benjamin Whipple, warned, “A nation which sowed robbery would reap a harvest of blood.” 10 And when blood first started to spill in August 1862, some Minnesotans were quick to see the war’s beginnings “in the thievish and dishonest conduct of Government Agents, Officers, Traders, and the vile confederates that procure their appointment and share their plunder and then gloss over and hide their iniquity.” 11 The concurrent American Civil War played a part in delaying the payment of the Dakotas’ annuities in 1862, as the federal government, waging war against the Confederacy, was short on the hard currency required to pay the pensions. Already starving in the later summer of 1862, the Dakota could not afford to wait much longer for the money owed to them, particularly when local traders refused to extend additional lines of credit to the hungry Indians.

But the Civil War continued to affect the lead-up to the Dakota War beyond the tardy arrival of treaty annuities. Influencing both the Dakota’s decision to attack and the American settlers’ abilities to counter the Indians’ offensive, the Civil War “played a decisive role in convincing the Sioux that the time was ripe for their own war against the Union.” 12 Dakota writings demonstrate that there was considerable awareness that “the war with the South was going on then, and a great many men had left the state and gone down [South] to fight” and “it began to be whispered about that now would be a good time to go to war with the whites and get back [their] lands.” 13 Often a third party to the conflict between two other national powers, Native American tribes have historically often used power balances to preserve “the patina of Indian autonomy and seemingly strengthen their bargaining position.” 14 In the Civil War-era Dakota context, the war between North and South, which kept the federal government busy and required the deployment of most of Minnesota’s state troops, left Minnesotan settlers uncharacteristically defenseless and offered a unique opportunity for the Dakota to take back their traditional lands.

Civil War era events in surrounding states and territories also played a role in convincing the Dakota the time was ripe for rebellion. Confederates were very interested in the American western frontier, comprised of Missouri, Arkansas, and Kansas. Southern leaders also “recognized the Indian Territory’s strategic importance and sought immediately to control it.” 15 Southerners, in need of manpower once enlistments began to suffer as the war continued past the first six months, were also interested in Indian Territory for recruitment purposes. The Union government, on the other hand, took a hands-off approach to their southern Native American alliances, focusing on the Confederacy proper. Feeling abandoned by President Lincoln, various Indian tribes were bitter over the betrayal and “Confederate attempts to win over the Indians might have had less success had it not been for some serious grievances the tribesmen held against the federal government.” 16

The Dakota’s loyalties to the federal government were likewise tenuous and soon after war began rumors started circulating throughout Minnesota that the Confederacy had sent agents to convince the Santee Sioux to rebel and draw federal attention westward. As one volunteer to the Minnesota militia recorded in his memoirs, “the Sioux and the Chippewa had always been deadly enemies, but for the time being they had been persuaded by ‘Copperheads’ to unite to drive the white settlers across the Mississippi River and regain their hunting grounds.” 17 The historical evidence of direct Confederate involvement with the Dakota is slim and most historians agree Confederates were not actively engaged in fomenting Indian rebellion in Minnesota. Although some contemporary Minnesotans were skeptical of the plausibility of a Confederate plot with the Santee Sioux, rumors of active Confederate involvement did build settler panic once the Dakota were at war and was a listed reason in requests for federal assistance. Between rumors of C.S.A. agitation among the Dakota and the vulnerable position in which white settlers found themselves as a result of the war in the east, it is clear the American Civil War helped prompt the Dakota’s war in 1862 and affected its outcome. 18

Conflict: The Violence of War

“Indian outrages in the Northwest, an American family murdered by the Sioux Indians, in a grove near New Ulm, Minnesota,” from Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, October 25, 1862

Indian war involving civilian populations was new to Minnesota in 1862, but the mechanisms by which both Dakota and American settlers responded to the initiation of hostilities were not original. As was true for Americans personally affected by the Civil War, loyalties in Minnesota conflicted at every turn and war became a contest between two opposing visions for the future. The parallels between the conduct of those engaged in the Dakota War and the Civil War, especially in western states like Missouri plagued by guerilla warfare, and the shared methods of dealing with violence in both contexts, connects the two military offensives to a national war narrative.

The waging of the Dakota War was a violent but conflicted affair. Most Dakota, particularly those engaged as farmers, never even participated in the destruction to lives or property in 1862. Many Dakota proved unwilling to forego all ties with Minnesotans they had developed bonds of friendship and trust. While killings were largely arbitrary during the early hostilities, many Americans survived because Dakota fighters recognized various kinship bonds between the two peoples, forged either through marriage or friendship. 19 Minnesotans found themselves woefully unprepared for the conflict since most “could not believe that the Indians were bent on anything as serious as murder.” 20 Delays in communication and confusion over loyalties also put many settlers at a disadvantage when it came to their protection. Such was the problem for Paul Kitzman, a German farmer from Renville County, who had joined with twelve other families hurrying for the safety of Fort Ridgely once news of an Indian uprising arrived on the evening of August 18th. On their way to the fort, a Dakota warrior party overtook Kitzman’s group. When “the Indians, at least one of whom Kitzman knew well, assured them that it was the Chippewa who were on the warpath,” Kitzman and his compatriots returned home with an Indian escort. When the settlers reached one of their houses, the Indians turned on them, killing the men and some of the women and children 25 people died in total. 21

The story of Paul Kitzman’s fate is not unique. In some cases, the atrocities committed against white civilians were truly horrifying. Letters claimed “infants were nailed to trees alive and were left to die in the sight of their captive mothers.” 22 While some accounts of extreme violence were probably accurate, most were never confirmed. Even Minnesotans living through the conflict were skeptical of the reported killings. Early in his commission, Colonel Henry H. Sibley, Minnesota’s first governor, wrote to his wife: “Do not believe the thousand extravagant reports you hear. People are absolutely crazy with excitement and [heed] every absurdity.” 23

Extreme forms of violence perpetrated during the war were not limited to the Dakota. Colonel Sibley noted in his diary that his soldiers brutally scalped several Dakota warriors during the Battle of Wood Lake and that he intended to punish them for their indecency. Dakota combatants also recorded that “the whites scalped all [their] dead men” following the battle. 24 Americans scalped on other occasions as well Little Crow, who eluded the Minnesota militia following the end of the uprising but was killed in 1863, was also scalped following his death. His scalp, dressed with feathers, along with his skull, was placed on public display at the Minnesota Historical Society until 1915.

The Scalp of Little Crow, Leader of the Dakota Uprising of 1862.

In the early twentieth century, some Americans found the display distasteful. Dr. Asa Daniels, who served the Dakota reservation until 1861, objected on the grounds that “other states have suffered from their Indian wars, but none have thought it proper to desecrate their State Capitol with the scalp of a fallen foe.” 25 Minnesotans also retaliated with violent acts against the Dakota, even after the conflict had ended and many Dakota men, women, and children were placed in federal custody. When captured Dakota noncombatants were moved to Fort Snelling in the winter of 1862, Minnesotans “armed with guns, knives, clubs and stones, rushed upon the Indians… beating them, and otherwise inflicting injury.” 26 The Dakota War of 1862, like many wars before and after, proved a breeding ground for savagery and inhumanity on all sides of the conflict.

Intensive violence off the formal battlefield was also not limited to Minnesota in the Civil War era many frontier communities experienced the brutality of irregular warfare. Confederate guerilla forces in Missouri brutally killed and maimed Unionist Kansans, and vice versa, in this same period. 27 Further south, conflicts between Confederate forces and deserters also often ended gruesomely. Such was the case with Benjamin Franklin Knight’s murder in southeastern Mississippi. Twenty-seven years old at the time, Ben Knight, the cousin of Newton Knight, the leader of a band of Confederate deserters, awoke in the early hours of April 15, 1864 to find a group of Confederate cavalrymen in his front yard. Panicked, although he was neither a deserter nor a criminal, Benjamin ran and was immediately shot and wounded. Still managing to flee, the young man was pursued, along with his seventeen-year-old cousin Sil Coleman, and torn apart by bloodhounds. The Confederate cavalrymen eventually caught up with Benjamin and Sil, still struggling to survive, and hanged them. 28 Dakota warriors and Civil War guerrilla fighters similarly faced arbitrarily applied punitive action in 1862. In the chaos of the Civil War, the inconsistent interpretation of military protocol not only affected Native American combatants, but western irregular Confederate forces as well. Even by 1862 “some commanders in Missouri were applying the policy of summary execution not only to Indians but to Confederate guerrillas.” 29 Ultimately, the inability for white Americans to conceive of Native American or guerilla warfare as honorable fundamentally affected the escalation of violence throughout the West and in Minnesota in 1862.

Consequences: Military Commission and Expulsion

Internment camp of the defeated Dakota outside Fort Snelling.

On September 28, 1862, Colonel Henry H. Sibley appointed a military commission for “assigning culpability to those Indians identified as having perpetrated crimes during the uprising.” 30 These trials, considered controversial in 1862 and which remain so today, not only dictated the fate of the Dakota warriors brought to court, but also marked the beginning of the end of the Dakotas’ protected right to live in Minnesota. Military commissions had been used earlier in the Civil War before their application in the aftermath of the Dakota War in January 1862 General Halleck set up one such commission in the Department of Missouri. 31 Just days before Sibley ordered the trials, newspapers across the country printed “Lincoln’s September 24th proclamation authorizing military commission trials of rebel insurgents and ‘their aiders and abettors.’” 32 Thus, in 1862, aided by the necessities of civil war, the military commission became the U.S. Army’s standard practice and Sibley’s chosen method to bring the Dakota to justice.

As the trials commenced, on November 7th Dakota tribal members were moved from the Lower Sioux Agency to Fort Snelling, where they could be held indefinitely as they awaited trial. Within a week, the captured Dakota arrived at a fenced camp of teepees where they spent the winter waiting for the government’s decision regarding their future. Attacked by angry locals, the camp also suffered from a measles outbreak as 1862 drew to a close and was not so different from the deadly and disease-infested contraband and refugee camps of the Civil War farther south. As the detained Dakota awaited their sentencing in both physically and psychologically strenuous conditions, commissioners heard more than 300 cases over a six-week period. Most of the defendants spoke limited or no English and were not familiar with American legal procedures, including protections against self-incrimination. Not considered legitimate belligerents, the Dakota were tried as civilian criminals, their war officially labeled a domestic rebellion, a status given to the Confederate conflict as well. Despite the fact that legally the Dakota were a sovereign tribal nation that had conducted war with the United States, those tried were convicted of the civilian crimes including murder. 33 All but 70 of those brought before the commission were convicted, 303 of whom were condemned to death, an outcome popular with the majority of the surviving American Minnesotan community.

Some Minnesotans, however, did advocate for clemency. Bishop Henry B. Whipple, who wrote tirelessly on the Dakota’s behalf, believed the trials to be flawed in many ways: 34

The trial was conducted on the border, near the scene of massacre. The commission must have felt deep indignation at the scenes they had witnessed. It was conducted with haste. More than thirty men were tried and condemned to die in one day. Officers of the highest character who were present at the trial have assured me that it could not and did not make a careful examination.

–Bishop Harry B. Whipple

Writing to his friend, Minnesota Senator Henry M. Rice, Whipple offered President Lincoln words of caution: “One word as to these prisoners – we cannot hang men by hundreds. Upon our own premises we have no right to do so. We claim that they are an independent nation and as such they are prisoners of war. The leaders must be published but we cannot afford any wanton cruelty to purchase a long Indian war.” 35 Bishop Whipple worried that the execution of over three hundred Dakota would only bring more blood, “I tremble for my country when I remember that God will compel us to reap what we sow.” 36 Whipple did, however, also realize that some of the convicted were in fact guilty. In a letter to the editor of The Pioneer, one of the newspapers servicing St. Paul, Bishop Whipple qualified his calls for mercy, writing, “As to the condemned, I have had no desire to find fault with the court or shield the really guilty.” 37

  • Carol Chomsky, “The United States-Dakota War Trials: A Study in Military Injustice,” Stanford Law Review 43 (Nov. 1990): 13 – 98.
  • Marouf Hasain Jr., In the Name of Necessity:Military Tribunals and the Loss of American Civil Liberties (Tuscaloosa, AL: University Alabama Press, 2005)
  • Maeve Herbert, “Explaining the Sioux Military Commission of 1862,” Columbia Human Rights Law Review 40 (April 2009): 743 – 747.
  • Heather Cox Richardson, “The Largest Mass Execution in American History,” We’re History, accessed August 5, 2015,
  • John Fabian Witt, Lincoln’s Code: The Laws of War in American History (New York: Free Press, 2012)

Although more than 300 Dakota originally received death sentences, a popular ruling among Minnesotans, the trials came under the official review before the verdicts were executed, due to their questionable conduct in terms of “the speed of the proceedings, the nature of the evidence, and the identity of the judges.” 38 President Abraham Lincoln himself conducted the audit of the trials, confirming only 38 of the sentences handed down by Sibley’s military court. Reasserting the Dakotas’ status as formal enemy combatants, covered by the rules of war, Lincoln commuted the sentences of all those convicted only of going into battle against the United States. Repercussions of a wholesale execution of the 303 Dakota on the Union’s Civil War fight were an important factor in President Lincoln’s decision. If the U.S. could execute Indian combatants, Union and Confederate forces surrendering would be at risk of execution as well. As a result President Lincoln’s belief that he “could not hang men for votes,” on December 26, 1862, thirty-eight Dakota met their death by the noose, producing in the largest mass execution in American history.

The late December executions, however, did not end most Dakota lives in Minnesota after the war. In April 1863 President Lincoln approved the removal of the remaining Dakota, approximately 1,300 people, in federal custody to a western reservation, Crow Creek, approximately 80 miles above Fort Randall in Dakota Territory. 39 Demographically, the band of exiled Sioux were largely women and children “only 176 men were among the 1,318 Dakotas deported from Fort Snelling, and many of those were elderly.” 40 The removal of Minnesota’s Dakota people was a harrowing experience nearly 300 died as a result of the trip alone. On the first leg of the journey all 1,300 Dakota were placed on two steamboats at Hannibal, Missouri, half the exiles were put aboard a train with sixty persons to a freight car. At St. Joseph, all the Dakotas were “loaded onto the already crowded steamboat for a hot, month-long, torturous trip up the Missouri.” 41 The conditions on these boats were terrible. As Reverend John Williamson, one of the non-military men who accompanied the exiled Sioux to Crow Creek, reported, “[The Dakota] were crowded like slaves on the boiler and hurricane decks of a single boat, and fed on musty hardtack and briny pork, which they had not half a chance to cook… The mortality was fearful.” 42 Reverend Williamson declared the experience to be “nearly as bad as the Middle Passage for slaves.” 43 Thus was one of the fundamental ironies of the results of the 1862 uprising/war: the United States, which had just claimed augmented federal power and used its army to emancipate southern slaves, used that same power to accomplish the removal of a sovereign people. The trials and removal brought neither justice nor peace and the 1862 war proved merely the opening salvo in the decades long Sioux Wars that continued until 1890. 44

Little Crow’s wife and children at Ft. Snelling in 1863.

Dividing Lines: Indian War or Civil War?

Describing the nature of the Civil War conflict in the later winter of 1861, the famed southern diarist Mary Chesnut wrote, “We separated North from South because of incompatibility of temper. We are divorced because we have hated each other so.” 45 Those who experienced and survived the war were not the only ones to view the conflict in binary terms. Scholars and popular writers have commonly framed the American Civil War as an epic contest between a free North and slave South. Although the Civil War was at its core a war between the federal Union and Confederate governments over the future of slavery on American soil, it produced and influenced a series of conflicts, including the Dakota War of 1862, that did not always involve federal troops against Confederates but revolved around conflicting understandings of the meaning and practice of American freedom.

Part Two: Unexpected Affinities

For thus moche dar I saye wel:
I had be dolven [“buried”] everydel [“entirely”]
And ded, ryght thurgh defaute [“lack”] of slep,
Yif I ne had red and take kep
Of this tale next before.
Book of the Duchess (221-24)

Chaucer’s work is full of surprising encounters between people and written texts. In the passage above, the Book of the Duchess’s insomnia-plagued narrator’s randomly chosen book of fables leads him to the story of Ceyx and Alcyone, which itself involves sleeplessness the narrator takes the tale to heart and finds that it helps him nod off (see Kisha Tracy’s contribution below for an exploration of this poem’s emotional resonance). Other speakers describe the sheer pleasure of reading. In the prologue to the Legend of Good Women, for example, the narrator describes his relationship to books as one of “delyte” [“delight”], “reverence,” and “devocioun”—at least, before the nice weather comes along in May. Other moments of reading involve confrontation rather than connection, as when Alison becomes enraged by Jankin’s gleeful reading of the “Book of Wicked Wives” in the Wife of Bath’s Prologue.

Reading can also lead to negative responses on the part of modern-day readers: Middle English often appears intimidatingly unfamiliar to twenty-first-century eyes. As several of the contributors below point out, people who keep reading in spite of this sensation often receive something much more positive—an unanticipated shock of recognition between a character’s or speaker’s stories and their own. This kind of connection can become all the more satisfying given the chronological and cultural gaps separating us from medieval writers. If you’ve ever fallen asleep with a smartphone in your hand, you might find it reassuring to know that when The Book of the Duchess’s speaker finally awakes, he recounts that “the book that I hadde red…[was] in myn hond ful even [“wide open”]” (1326-29). With this in mind, you might want to remain open to the possibility that The Canterbury Tales will speak in strange and satisfying ways to your scholarly interests, storytelling techniques, and emotional experiences.

Victorianists, Victorians, and the “Father of English Poetry”

by Vincent A. Lankewish ([email protected])

To ask “What does it mean to read a text from medieval England?” is to invite reflection not only on twenty-first-century readers’ responses to medieval texts, but also on the complex relationship between other time periods and the Middle Ages as well. In this essay, I explore Victorianists’ engagement with the multiple, competing readings of Chaucer’s poetry by Victorians themselves. Indeed, I am one such Victorianist, engaged in a study of Victorian perceptions of gender and genre in the The Legend of Good Women, a less well-known poem compared to The Canterbury Tales, but one in which scholars have become increasingly interested over the past three decades.

Medievalists, of course, have long urged colleagues in other period fields to read, study, and teach medieval literature even if they don’t consider themselves experts on the Middle Ages. In his 1990 essay “On the Margin,” Lee Patterson, for example, stresses the need “to dismantle the barriers that divide medieval studies from the rest of the human sciences” (104).[6] As a doctoral student at Rutgers-New Brunswick in the early 1990s, I unknowingly found myself heeding Patterson’s advice, taking courses not only in Victorian poetry, prose, and fiction, my designated areas of specialization, but also in the history of the English language, medieval romance, and medievalism. Little did I realize at the time, however, the degree to which studying Victorian literature is contingent upon at least a working knowledge of the medieval history, literature, and culture that plays so central a role in so many major texts of the period.

In this light, I initially planned to write my dissertation on Chaucer and the Victorians—a project in which I am still interested.[7] Although I eventually jettisoned that topic, I continued to study and write about both medieval literature itself and Victorian interest in medieval authors, presenting my work several times at the International Congress on Medieval Studies and at conferences sponsored by the New Chaucer Society, as well as contributing an article on the twelfth-century French Roman d’Enéas to Sylvia Tomasch and Sealy Gilles’s essay collection Text and Territory: Geographic Imagination in the European Middle Ages. Moreover, as a graduate student and, later, an assistant professor of English at Penn State-University Park, I happily taught undergraduate courses on the history of English and Chaucer, as well as undergraduate and graduate courses called “Inventing the Past: Nineteenth-Century Medievalisms.”

My split identity as a Victorianist and occasional medievalist has been a source of satisfaction and, at times, frustration. Take, for example, a proposal entitled “On the Edge of Ruskin’s Chaucer” that I recently submitted for consideration to members of the program committee organizing a Victorian studies conference. In July 2004, I had travelled to the Ruskin Library and Research Centre at Lancaster University to study the annotations in the margins of Ruskin’s copy of the 1843 Edward Moxon edition of Thomas Tyrwhitt’s Poetical Works of Geoffrey Chaucer. I found Ruskin’s marginalia on the pages of Chaucer’s poem The Legend of Good Women especially intriguing as they offered an unusual glimpse of the interpretive processes through which Ruskin came to adduce the Legend as literary support for the domestic and civic duties that he assigns to men and women in his book Sesame and Lilies (1865).

Sesame and Lilies comprises two lectures, “Of Kings’ Treasuries” and “Of Queens’ Gardens,” that address the education of boys and girls in Victorian society and ostensibly challenges the prevailing notion of woman as “the shadow and attendant image of her lord” (111). For Ruskin, the belief that a woman “[owes her lord] a thoughtless and servile obedience, and [is] supported altogether in her weakness by the pre-eminence of his fortitude” denigrates her (111). He therefore redefines the functions of each sex: “The man’s power,” he asserts, “is active, progressive, defensive. He is eminently the doer, the creator, the discoverer, the defender” (121). “[The woman’s] intellect,” he maintains, “is not for invention or creation, but for sweet ordering, arrangement, and decision. She sees the qualities of things, their claims and their places. Her great function is Praise” (122). Possessing “a guiding, not a determining function,” a woman, Ruskin argues, must exert a positive influence on her husband, thereby leading him toward fulfillment of his domestic and civic responsibilities (121).

In my conference presentation, I planned to argue that Ruskin’s commentary serves as a summons to examine the annotated text as a work in and of itself. Using my own transcriptions of these as yet unpublished glosses on the Legend, I would suggest that the seemingly peripheral annotations are central to any understanding of Ruskin’s gender theory. In the end, my paper was rejected, albeit with some kind words about the mostly favorable response to my abstract. Later on, however, I heard through the academic grapevine that some members of the committee had found my proposal a bit baffling: Is it about Ruskin? Is it about Chaucer? Is its focus Victorian literature or medieval literature? The answer to these questions, of course, would be “yes” and “both.”

Vincent A. Lankewish teaches literature and history at the Professional Performing Arts High School in New York City.

Modular Storytelling in Literature and Video Games

I’m going to tell you a story about a form of writing for video games I call modular storytelling where players can experience plot moves in any order they wish.

My first major video game was Ripley’s Believe It or Not: The Riddle of Master Lu (1995). Set in the late 1930s, the game featured fictional exploits of real-life globetrotting adventurer and collector of curios, Robert Ripley. The game was designed so that the player could experience any of multiple major locations in the game from the Himalayas to Easter Island in any order. The exercise was so successful that several reviewers complained that the game was linear, not realizing that any path chosen by the player would appear to be linear to that player. My current game, The Lion’s Song (2016-17) set in Vienna, Austria in the early years of the twentieth century, is an episodic exploration of the creative process. Each episode follows a different character (a journalist, a composer, a painter, and a mathematician), each struggling to complete a creative work. Any of the episodes can be played in any order and player choices affect how the stories unfold as a result.

We have twentieth and twenty-first century examples of the potential for modular storytelling in episodic television, soap opera, cliffhanger movie serials, and the “crime dossiers” of Dennis Wheatley and J.G. Links in the late 1930’s.

The novels of Charles Dickens and his contemporaries, published “in parts,” a few chapters released each week, were exactly like a TV series of today where the story progresses and characters develop from episode to episode. Yet consider A Christmas Carol. What if the order of the ghosts were rearranged? It might be intriguing if Scrooge started with the Ghost of Future Yet to Come and traveled back in time to where Scrooge makes his first mistake in his descent into miserly misery.

Miguel de Cervantes wrote Don Quixote de la Mancha in 1605. Don Quixote is a picaresque novel. Structurally, this means it is constructed of a series of loosely connected episodes. In fact, once Don Quixote and Sancho start out on their quest to prove that chivalry is not dead, the episodes could be presented in any order leading to the same poignant climax of the Don on his deathbed believing he has failed in his quest. Yet the reader knows he has succeeded. We most remember the episode where the Don tilts at the windmills. It feels like the climax of the story. It has entered our language to signify a foolhardy action. Yet after Don Quixote has gathered his traveling companions, it is the first episode in the story.

In the 1380s Geoffrey Chaucer began writing The Canterbury Tales. These vignettes lie within a structure: stories told by a group of pilgrims en route to Canterbury from London. After the Prologue the order of all the tales is, in many instances, flexible. This is made possible because the “structure” focuses on the characters, rather than a linear story. And here is Chaucer’s great gift to videogame writers. We can create our non-linear stories by using characters as stops within a modular structure that mirrors the open world gameplay players crave, and never interrupts the play to forcibly inject a plot development.

The main structure of Homer’s Odyssey is a series of flashbacks Odysseus recounts to the Phoenicians late in the narrative. Each flashback is an episode, and they can be rearranged in any order with a simple adjustment here and there.

I am at heart a storyteller. At the heart of each of my games is, I hope, a compelling story, whether they are set in the past, present day, or the far future. It was my knowledge of how games can support non-linear story structures that led me to seek out examples in other media. Finding these made me realize that modular storytelling is as old as the Bardic tradition.[8] More work, both in game studies and practical game production, is now being done to uncover early examples of non-linear storytelling. The free-flowing structure maps seamlessly to game designs seeking to allow meaningful player choice. This can be seen in Christopher Totten’s instructive contribution to this very chapter (see part III below).

This little story of how I came to create a non-linear form of storytelling for games that I call modular storytelling is itself divided into paragraphs. Let’s call them episodes, for fun. Ignoring the first and last paragraphs, they are thinly tied together creating a structure that takes the reader back through time. But they could be structured in chronological order, or they could be structured by medium. Print this out and cut them into pieces, a paragraph each, and assemble them in any order you wish. The message is the same.

Lee Sheldon is a professional game designer and Professor of Practice at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Millennials, Monsters, and the Middle Ages

I began my academic career in London, England. Not surprisingly, much of my early education focused on medieval English culture, castles, and mythology. As a five-year-old boy, I was entranced by the tales of knights, grotesque monsters, and superhuman kings repeatedly encountered in school and on field trips. All of this undoubtedly played a role in my decision to study medieval monsters as part of an independent high school research project. As detailed below, the project involved both unexpected challenges and new insights into the connections between medieval and modern culture.

The most difficult aspect of reading medieval mythology involved rewiring my brain to analyze texts at length and in depth. As a millennial student, my world is almost exclusively condensed into seconds-long sound bytes of information which convey meaning, descriptions and ideas quickly and without the need to engage in independent thought. Messages are almost always easily discernible. Consequently, I believe that the art of creative, meaningful writing is endangered. Texting, smartphones and digital applications have reduced communication down to acronyms and condensed words. Detailed descriptions are replaced by photographs snapped on a smartphone.

That is not to suggest, however, that a millennial must be disconnected from studying, and even enjoying, medieval literature and culture. On the contrary, my “Medieval Monsters” project demonstrated to me that humans are still humans and continue to experience fear, love, beauty, loyalty, and seek understanding of the world and events surrounding them. Focusing on a variety of popular medieval “monsters”, such as the Dragon and Banshee, I discovered that the medieval oral tradition and illuminated manuscripts utilized wild descriptions of monsters to explain that which they could not otherwise understand. The Dragon, for example, may have represented the eternal battle between good and evil in medieval English literature. The Banshee mythology may have provided medieval Celts with a means of understanding what happens to a deceased’s soul after death. The logical progression of my interest was to locate other ways that medieval literature utilized character descriptions. Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales satisfied this curiosity. I found that analyzing Chaucer’s use of physiognomy as a means of revealing the inner personality of his characters was similar to analyzing the underlying reality which gave rise to stories and descriptions of various medieval monsters. For example, in the Clerk’s Tale, Chaucer refers to the “Chichevache,” a mythological, human-faced cow monster reputed to feed on “good women” (line 1188). His description of the monster as being thin and starved suggests a paucity of “good women” at the time. It is this peeling back of the layers of description to unearth the underlying meaning that I find most fascinating about medieval monsters in general and, more specifically, Chaucer’s characters in the Canterbury Tales.

The process of researching this project taught me that research and learning must be more than mere fact gathering. Rather, it should be an exercise in understanding and analysis of a new and different imaginative world, that of medieval England. I enjoyed the freedom afforded by the fact that this was an independent research project. The absence of strict rules guiding my fact gathering allowed me go off on tangents and read and research things that interested me just for the sake of interest. Indeed, I read and researched for information and understanding, rather than mere facts to fill a paper or support an idea. This project taught me that a little freedom can go a long way in inspiring high school students to work closely and carefully with challenging material.

Brendan Fitzgerald attends Regis High School in New York, New York.

“To Have of Sondry Tongues Ful Knowyng:” Spanish, Middle English, and Me

by Christa T. Cottone ([email protected])

“What’s the first word that comes to mind when you hear The Canterbury Tales?” my professor asked at the start of my Chaucer class. If my professor posed that question today, almost four years later, I would say, “Cool.” But, that day, I said, “Boring.” My next thought was “scary”—the class was going to read the Tales in Middle English. When reading this new language I had to temporarily forget Spanish grammar and pronunciation rules, rules that had taken me eight years to memorize. An alarm rang in my head when I read a noun ending in cioun or when I voiced an initial h. At the same time, however, I felt comfortable when objects preceded verbs and nouns preceded adjectives. Spanish and Middle English had collided.

That Spanish–Middle English collision taught me to respect linguistic differences, though my brain urged me to seek similarities. Now, as an editor, I readily adapt to the writing style displayed in each piece I analyze. Whether I am reading El Mío Cid or the Tales, I deconstruct each line of text, label its parts of speech, and translate it into standard present-day English. Perhaps the writing follows an unconventional pattern, but I commit myself to understanding its own distinctive design.

Perseverance, then, has been the most important takeaway from my study of Spanish and of Middle English. When I substitute teach, I hear the same complaint from students of all ages: “We don’t like [insert foreign language here] because it’s too hard.” I admit to my students that I, too, uttered such a statement in middle school. Had that fear stopped me, I might have avoided taking a Chaucer class, writing an almost-130-page master’s thesis, and becoming a teacher. So, when my students speak of foreign language, I reply, “You may not like [insert foreign language AGAIN] now, but you might later.” All students and professionals encounter subject matter that appears irrelevant because they have deemed that matter difficult, boring, or both. My job is to find the creativity and persistence to help these readers power through their initial knee-jerk reactions.

As an office manager, an editor, and a substitute teacher, I have employed Spanish more frequently than I have Middle English. However, my implementation of Middle English speaks to the relationship I developed with the language. “Boring” became “useful.” In January 2015, I taught Spanish to middle schoolers. I explained the informal/formal you dichotomy, /usted, to eighth graders, sharing that English had once possessed a similar layer of complexity in its second-person pronouns. I exposed my students to English’s development, just as the Tales had exposed me to French’s influence on English.

The Tales have also remained in my consciousness in other ways. In February 2017, I attended an exhibition of saints’ relics. Staring at a piece of St. Thomas à Beckett’s bone, I said to my father, “Thomas à Beckett was the Archbishop of Canterbury, and I learned that in my Chaucer class.” Like the Tales’ pilgrims, I journeyed to a sacred place—a church—while reflecting on stories. Those narratives, though solemn, served the same purpose as the stories in the Tales: connection. I connected to saints and witnessed history, while Chaucer’s pilgrims have connected to readers and shaped history. Whether linguistically or culturally, Middle English has opened my mind to the many different ways we can “translate” between our experiences and those of other people and cultures.

Christa T. Cottone is a portfolio management assistant at a publishing house in New Jersey.

A Community of Grieving Readers: The Book of the Duchess

by Kisha Tracy ([email protected])

I have great wonder, be this light,
How that I lyve, for day ne nyght
I may nat slepe wel nygh noght
I have to many an ydel thought
Purely for defaute of slep
That, by my trouthe, I take no kep
Of nothing, how hyt cometh or gooth,
Ne me nys nothing leef nor looth. (Book of the Duchess 1-8)

I did not encounter Chaucer’s Book of the Duchess until graduate school. The first time I read these beginning lines I remember thinking, Yes, I know that feeling. How Chaucer depicts the sleeplessness, the haze of insomnia, the creation inherent in “ydel thought,” and yet the confusion in taking “no kep/Of nothing”: what better poetry to capture the vagaries of too many sleepless nights? It was difficult not to be drawn to so human a narrator. While we were certainly solid acquaintances before, Chaucer and I now became friends.

Chaucer wrote the Book of the Duchess, according to accepted scholarship, after 1369 as a tribute to John of Gaunt’s late wife Blanche.[9] The poem is a dream vision centering on the interaction between the dreamer/narrator and the Black Knight, who is grieving for his lady White. Scholars disagree about the ending of the poem and whether or not it provides consolation for the bereaved literary figure or the historical widower.

The most powerful aspect of the Book of the Duchess is its intimate understanding of grief. The poem is a complicated study of devastating loss. Carolyn Dinshaw traces the “growing emotional involvement” in Chaucer’s narrators during the course of the narratives, particularly in Troilus and Criseyde, but which is also applicable to the Duchess.[10] David Wallace, also speaking of Troilus, remarks, “He, this Chaucerian ‘I’, becomes subjectively over-invested in the plight of his protagonists.”[11] Indeed, the Book of the Duchess narrator alludes to his own grief before encountering the Black Knight in his dream vision. Dinshaw writes, “The dream-vision setting…encourages us to read these characters as parts of the narrator’s own mind…we can understand the Black Knight and the dreamer in the Book of the Duchess as figures who work through a grief like the narrator’s own.”[12] This double experience of grief builds on each other in order not just to depict or represent but to investigate the effects of loss.

At the narrator’s behest, the Knight tries to articulate the origin of his grief. He finally reaches the moment that he directly expresses his desire never to let his lost lady White leave his mind:

…”That, by my trouthe, y nolde noght
For al thys world out of my thoght
Leve my lady noo, trewely!” (1109-1111)

“Repentaunce? Nay, fy!” quod he,
“Shulde y now repente me
To love? Nay, certes, than were I wel
Wers than was Achitofel,
Or Anthenor, so have I joye,
The traytor that betraysed Troye,
Or the false Genelloun,
He that purchased the tresoun
Of Rowland and of Olyver.
Nay, while I am alyve her,
I nyl foryete hir never moo.” (1115-25)

The Knight argues that if he forgets his beloved, it would make him the direst sinner in the world, even such as the famous traitors Achitophel, Antenor, or Ganelon. He clings to this belief, even though it is clearly the memories of his lost love that cause him so much pain. He would rather retain his memory of White than alleviate his own sorrow.

The Knight’s choice is a moment in which we can expand upon Dinshaw’s observation that the Knight works through grief similar to that of the narrator’s by adding here the reader as well. Earlier in Chaucer’s Sexual Poetics, she writes that “[l]iterary production takes place on bodies.”[13] In this case, it takes place not just on bodies, but deep in the emotions and the mind. Chaucer portrays the true heart of grief, embodied by his character’s choice to retain his beloved in his memory and imagination rather than seek solace in forgetfulness. The human mind over time tries to protect itself by dimming painful memories, but the Knight resists this process, finding it a betrayal of their love.

The Knight’s choice, witnessed by the dreamer/narrator, unites readers across the centuries who themselves have experienced grief. Chaucer’s medieval text encapsulates a timeless human struggle, which is perhaps where we find the true consolation embedded in the poem.

Kisha Tracy is Associate Professor of English Studies at Fitchburg State University.

Starting Points for Further Exploration

Biddick, Kathleen. The Shock of Medievalism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1998.

Cohen, Jeffrey Jerome. “Towards a More Progressive Medieval Studies (and a More Humane Humanities).” In the Middle. . Accessed 11 June 2017.

International Society for the Study of Medievalism.

@LeVostreGC. “Chaucer Doth Tweet.” Twitter.

Seaman, Myra, Eileen Joy, and Nicola Masciandaro. Dark Chaucer: An Assortment. Brooklyn, NY: Punctum Books, 2012.

Strohm, Paul. Chaucer’s Tale: 1386 and the Road to Canterbury. New York: Penguin Books, 2015.

TEAMS Consortium for Teaching Medieval Studies. “Special Issue on Teaching Feeling.” The Once and Future Classroom XIII (2016).

This is how the FBI responded to the worst biological attack in US history

Posted On June 25, 2020 22:01:37

One week after the September 11 attacks on New York City, another devastating terrorist attack targeted our people. On September 18, 2001, letters were mailed to several news stations and Senators. The FBI organized a task force titled Amerithrax to hunt down whoever was responsible and bring them to justice.

As the case progressed it became a media circus, and the stakes were never higher. The FBI themselves called it “one of the largest and most complex in the history of law enforcement.” Across the United States, law enforcement took a stand against terror and through great personal risk took on a killer with the ability to murder millions.

Our greatest fear had come to pass, the FBI found mounting evidence pointing towards one of America’s top research facilities. The worst biological attack in US history was not al-Qaeda — it was an inside job.

The attacks

September 18, 2001 – Five letters are believed to have been mailed to ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, and the New York Post, all located in New York City, and to the National Enquirer at American Media, Inc. (AMI) in Boca Raton, Florida.

October 5, 2001 – The first fatal recipient of the anthrax letters was admitted into the hospital with pulmonary problems. Robert ‘Bob’ Stevens reported having symptoms similar to the flu. Doctors believed he had meningitis, but after the doctors completed further testing, it was discovered that he had developed pulmonary anthrax. His death was the first death from anthrax in 25 years. He had come into contact with anthrax through the letter that was mailed to him at American Media in Boca Raton, Florida.

October 9, 2001 – Two more anthrax letters were addressed to two Democratic Senators, Tom Daschle of South Dakota and Patrick Leahy of Vermont.

At least 22 people developed anthrax infections, half from inhaling the deadly bacteria. Five died from inhaling anthrax.

Years later

A media circus criticizing the FBI’s inability to bring the investigation to a close placed intense pressure to deliver. The letters and mailboxes were examined in forensic laboratories, the killer left no DNA evidence, and the FBI labs were not equipped at that time to handle the deadly anthrax bacteria.

The FBI sent their evidence to be held at Fort Detrick in the USAMRIDD bio-weapons lab. They wanted to run a series of tests to identify where the anthrax was created. It was a sophisticated strain because for anthrax spores to be seen as a white powder, they would need the support of a state-funded program for the expensive drying process. The US suspected that Iran or Iraq could be capable of sponsoring terrorists with the weapon.

During this time the Bureau followed up on suspects and made very public raids on Steven Hatfill’s property. He was a bio-weapons expert and (at the time) the primary suspect of the investigation. He refused to be strong-armed into producing a confession and defended himself publicly in the media. He was eventually exonerated.

The FBI looked into another expert, Dr. Bruce Edwards Ivins as another potential suspect. Colleagues of his reported that he had an unusual interest in anthrax and was working extra hours on an unauthorized project. The FBI confirmed the increased activity in August, September, and October. The irony was that he worked at the very lab where the FBI first went to seek help for the investigation, Fort Detrick.

RMR-1029 is the evidence flask that tested positive for AMES, the strain of anthrax used in American laboratories, specifically Fort Detrick. His tests came back negative at the original testing, but when the FBI tested them again, they returned as positive. The FBI believed they caught him trying to intentionally deceive them.

November 1, 2007 – The FBI executes a search warrant of his property and interviews Ivins’ family.

The FBI continued their strong-armed tactics to get a confession out of Dr. Ivins. The pressure of surveillance was so intense that he had a psychotic break during a group therapy session. He stated that he had had enough and was going to go out in a blaze a glory. He had a gun and was going to go into work and shoot all his coworkers and everybody who wronged him. He was arrested the next day.

Two weeks later he was released and returned home. He committed suicide by overdosing on Tylenol PM and died in the hospital four days later from liver and kidney failure.

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. A published history of Colonial families in America refers to Ivo's parentage in a passage relating to "Margaret Radcliffe, . descended from William the Lion, King of Scotland, and Ivo de Taillebois, son of Fulke, Count of Anjou".[a] Assuming Ivo's birth date to be about 1036, Fulke III (970-1040), the 5th Count, lived too early to be Ivo's father, and Fulke IV (1043-1109), the 7th Count, lived too late. The only Count of Anjou, then, who could have been Ivo's father was the 6th Count, Geoffrey II Martel (1006-1061), but his name was not "Fulke". On the other hand, "An ancient pedigree of the House of Curwen" styles Ivo not as the son of Fulke, but as "the 'left-handed' (illegitimate) brother of Fulk/Foulque, Earl Anjou, King of Jerusalem".[b aa bb] However, the Fulke who became King of Jerusalem was Count Fulke V (1092-1143) of Anjou, and he was born too late to have been Ivo's half-brother. If the ancient pedigree is correct that Ivo was the bastard half-brother of Fulke, it would have to have been Fulke IV "Rechine" (1043-1109), the 7th Count of Anjou, whose life-span was contemporaneous with Ivo's.

Under the above construction, one of Ivo's parents would have been either Ermengarde (c.1018-1076), daughter of Fulke III, or her husband, Geoffrey, Count of Gatinais (c.1000-1046). Ivo's being styled "de Taillebois" rather than "de Gatinais" seems to argue against his having been the son of Geoffrey of Gatinais. The writer, therefore, accepts as most likely that Ivo was the issue of an out-of-wedlock union of Ermengarde and a man said to be Reinfred Taillebois, which would make Ivo the illegitimate half-brother of Fulke IV. .

Ivo de Taillebois (literally translated, Ivor Woodcutter) was listed in the DOMESDAY BOOK of 1086-7, the detailed survey of landowners throughout England that was ordered by WILLIAM the Conqueror. Under the Barony of Kendal (then part of Yorkshire), the DOMESDAY BOOK included the following information:

"TALLBOYS, IVO Also called 'cut-bush'. Married Lucy. In charge of siege of Hereward the Wake at Ely, 1069. Steward to William II. Holdings in Lincs. and Norfolk."[e]

Speculation has abounded regarding the birth and death dates for Ivo, Lord Holland. While the year 1094 appears to be established as the date of his death,[f] a definite year for his birth has not been determined with certainty. The conjectured dates of birth range incredibly from 995 to 1075. One source states he was "born 995-1036 in York, England",[b].

While one source states that "Ivo Taillebois died about 1097",[l] the year 1094 appears to be accepted by most as the actual date of Ivo's death. Ivo's age of 58 at the time of his death gives us a birth year of 1036, but the source and accuracy of this information are unknown to the writer. However, a determination of the weight to be given it may be aided by considering the dates of other major events and circumstances in his life. Available records disclose that in 1066 Ivo fought alongside WILLIAM the Conqueror in the Norman Conquest of England[m] that in 1068 King WILLIAM granted to Ivo the family estates in Lincolnshire and/or Norfolk taken from the Saxon Hereward the Wake[n] that in 1069-1071 Ivo was in charge of the siege of Hereward at Ely[e o] that Ivo, as Steward to King WILLIAM II,[e] was certainly living when that monarch ascended the throne in 1087 and that Ivo reportedly died in 1094. The dates and circumstances of these events, together with Ivo's mother's reported birth date of 1018, suggest that Ivo's birth must indeed have occurred in or about 1036, as at least several other researchers show.[k]

Like the date of Ivo's birth, the place of his birth has also been variously reported. One source claims that he was "born in Anjou or Normandy, France".[d] Another source states, when speaking of Kendal Castle, the home of the Barons of Kendal, that it "was probably constructed by the men of Ivo Taillebois (Ivor Woodcutter), from Caen in Normandy, who was one of [the] region's first barons".[p] As seen above, other researchers claim that he was born in England, either in Yorkshire[s] or in Spalding, Lincolnshire.[r] Although a Norman, Ivo could well have been born in England since there was much movement of people back and forth between France and England before the Conquest. In this regard, the following seems significant:

In 1001, near Ramsey Abbey in the County of Huntingdonshire, a skeleton was unearthed that was believed to be that of the legendary Persian bishop, St Ivo, who had settled in the fen-country of England. The Fens, which cover portions of Cambridgeshire, Lincolnshire, Huntingdonshire, and Norfolk, include the town of St Ives in Huntingdonshire, named after the saint and located eight miles southeast of Ramsey Abbey. That Ivo was named after St Ivo not long after the discovery of the saint's bones suggests that Ivo may in fact have born in the area, and that his birthplace therefore may indeed have been in Spalding, a Lincolnshire town twenty-two miles north of Ramsey Abbey and which, like the Abbey, is located in The Fens.

A composite picture of the life of Ivo, Lord Holland, can be drawn from various early sources, including mediæval manuscripts. One of these, DE GESTIS HERWARDI, or GESTA HEREWARDI, is believed to have been written before 1125 by a reputable monk-historian called Richard who was commissioned to do the work by an authority who may have been Hervey, the first Bishop of Ely (1107-1131).[q] In addition to giving other details about Ivo, this manuscript describes Ivo's support of Duke WILLIAM of Normandy in opposing the Englishman, Hereward the Wake, who took up arms to resist the confiscation of his lands by the French conquerors. The material in this manuscript was based upon Richard's interviews with companions of Hereward's who were still living. From this, and the other early sources, the following picture of Ivo de Taillebois can be gained:

It appears that Ivo began life as the bastard child of Ermengarde de Anjou. Later, Ivo, then in France, "went to England in 1066"[d] at the time of the Norman Conquest, and was a companion in that year of Duke WILLIAM of Normandy at the Battle of Hastings.[r, m] Before sailing to England, WILLIAM and his knights heard Mass in the church at Dives-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, and a plaque there that lists WILLIAM's companions in the invasion includes "Ivo Taillebois".[m] Also listed on the plaque were "Guillaume [William] Taillebois", and "Raoul [Rolf] Taillebois", who were possibly sons but more probably brothers or other relatives of Ivo's.[m] The Battle Abbey Rolls also name "Ivo Taillebois" as one of WILLIAM's companions at the Battle of Hastings.[r] Finally, other companions of WILLIAM at the Conquest, significant because of Ivo's later marriage to Lucy, included Lucy's grandfather William Malet de Graville, his sons Gilbert de Malet and Robert Malet, and his brother (or another son?) Durand Malet.[r, m]

As one of WILLIAM's Commanders, Ivo would have been amongst the elite who provided WILLIAM with ships, horses, men, and supplies for the invasion of England, in return for which WILLIAM granted them English baronies and earldoms forcibly taken from conquered Saxon lords.[r] The Norman Conquest, estimated at 12,000-men strong, proved victorious at the Battle of Hastings. In that battle, and subsequently, Ivo appears to have served WILLIAM as a loyal and effective fighter. The following description of Ivo, probably fairly accurate, appeared in a 19th-century novel that was itself simply an expanded rewriting of the GESTA HEREWARDI:

"A proud man was Ivo de Tailleboise as he rode next morning out of Spalding Town with a hawk on his fist, hound at heel, and a dozen men-at-arms at his back. . . An adventurer from Anjou, brutal, ignorant, and profligate, low-born too . . . valiant he was, cunning, and skilled in war. Called 'thou old butcher' by King William, he and his group of Angevin [i.e., of Anjou] rutters had fought like tigers by William's side at Hastings".[s]

Following the Conquest, WILLIAM I, now King of all England, rewarded Ivo by making him the Earl of Holland in Lincolnshire.[b] Reportedly, WILLIAM also gave Ivo lands that had belonged to the Earl Ælfgar.[b] Later, Ivo was granted the Castle and Barony of Kentdale (now Kendal),[t] which had been held by the Englishman, Turold (Thorold) of Bucknall, Sheriff of Lincolnshire,[u l] and which was located in that portion of Yorkshire that later became County Westmorland (now County Cumbria). One source states that "The barony and castle of Kendal, held by Turold, were granted by William I to Ivo de Taillebois."[u] However, another source states that "The earliest records show the Barony of Kentdale being granted to Ivo de Taillebois by William Rufus in 1087".[t] A third source gives further light on the matter:

"The two expeditions of William Rufus to York in 1091 and to Carlisle in 1092, were probably instrumental to the king's grant of all Kentdale, including Beetham and its members, to Ivo Taillebois, who appears to have obtained Kirkby Stephen also."[l]

This grant is disclosed in the documents relating to Ivo's alms gift of various parish churches to St Mary's Abbey, York.[l] It would appear likely that the original grant of the Barony to Ivo was made by WILLIAM the Conqueror, and an additional extensive grant of all the lands of Kentdale was later made to Ivo (between 1087 and 1091) by WILLIAM II Rufus.

Kendal Castle is thought to have been originally "a wooden motte-and-bailey structure [that] was built by the Normans sometime during the early 1100s", and "was probably constructed by the men of Ivo Taillebois (Ivor Woodcutter), from Caen in Normandy, who was one of [the] region's first barons. A more permanent, stone structure was put up later and new buildings were added at different periods during the castle's history."[p].

The Lincolnshire lands given to Ivo by WILLIAM included the family estates at Bourne of the Saxon patriot, Hereward the Wake, as previously mentioned. Upon Hereward's return to Bourne in 1068, he became enraged when he found that his lands had been given to Ivo de Taillebois, and his brother's decapitated head had been impaled above the entrance. That very night, Hereward armed himself and slew fifteen Norman soldiers, impaling their heads in place of his brother's.[n] Hereward is renowned for his heroic achievements in resisting the encroachments of WILLIAM I as the latter sought to solidify his conquest of England. [q, o] In 1070, King WILLIAM appointed a Norman abbot for Peterborough Abbey in place of the Saxon Abbot Turold. At this, Hereward the Wake and his followers revolted against King WILLIAM, sacked Peterborough Abbey, and then fled to the Isle of Ely in Cambridgeshire, where a large number of refugees gathered round Hereward.[q] The following passage is from a 13th-century manuscript:

"AD 1071. The Earls Edwin, Morcar and Siward with Egelwin, Bishop of Durham, associated themselves with many thousand disaffected persons and rebels against William the First. . . . finally [they] seek a place of refuge in the Isle of Ely. There, under the leadership of Hereward the Wake, they make frequent sallies and do much damage . . ."[v]

The Isle of Ely had remained a "pocket of resistance"[n] as WILLIAM sought to complete his conquest of England. (Ely was at that time an "isle" of land on a hill surrounded by marshland.)

In 1071, King WILLIAM, with Ivo leading his army, besieged the Isle,[q] and in the course of the siege, Hereward shot an arrow through WILLIAM's shield, pinning it to his breast. Ivo is credited with having saved WILLIAM's life.[b] Later, Hereward, who had escaped capture during the siege,[o] was caught and placed in fetters in the custody of Robert de Horepol, at Bedford. A year later King WILLIAM was inclined to set Hereward free . .

"But the Earl de Warenne and Robert Malet and Ivo de Taillebois remained hostile to him, dissuading the king from setting him free from custody, declaring that it was because of him that the country was not pacified."[q]

At this, Hereward's warder, Robert de Horepol, exclaimed:

" 'Alas, alas! Soon now, through the machinations of Ivo de Taillebois, this man once renowned for hosts of soldiers and the leader and lord of so many very eminent men, is to be taken from here and delivered into the hands of a detestable man and sent to the castle of Rockingham'."[q]

Other accounts of Ivo also are not exactly superlative in their flattery. An early history spoke of accusations made by Ivo as having ruined Ulfketul, the Saxon Abbot of Croyland Abbey, so that Ingulphus could be installed in his place. Ingulphus, who had been secretary to WILLIAM the Conqueror, was an Englishman who had been bred in Normandy. Showing kindness to the ejected Ulfketul, Ingulphus said, "Seeing that this venerable person was worthy of all favor and filial love, and was distinguished for his most holy piety, I had him placed in his ancient [Abbot's] stall", after which Ingulphus considered himself sort of a sub-Abbot during the remainder of Ulfketul's lifetime.[w]

The common Saxon people over whom Ivo ruled in his Earldom seemingly had little love for their master whom they "supplicated as their lord on their bended knees" and who "tortured and harassed, worried and annoyed, incarcerated and tormented them".[w] The people were not the only recipients of Ivo's allegedly abusive treatment. It was said that Ivo

"would follow the various animals of the people of Croyland in the marshes with his dogs drive them to a great distance, drown them in the lakes, mutilate some in the tail, others in the ear while often, by breaking the feet and the legs of the beasts of burden, he would render them utterly useless".[w]

Such, at least, was the Englishmen's perception of Ivo, biased as it probably was.

Ivo, Lord Holland, apparently married twice. The above-mentioned ancient pedigree of the Curwen family states that he was "married to Gondreda, Countess of Warwick".[b aa bb] Presumably after Lady Gondreda's death, WILLIAM I, having granted to Ivo the Barony of Kentdale that previously had belonged to Turold of Bucknall, also gave Turold's daughter, Lucy, to Ivo as his second wife. At this, Ivo is said to have remarked, "I have her father's lands, why not have the daughter too?"[b]

The question arises as to who were the children of Ivo de Taillebois, and indeed whether he had any children at all. According to one source, Ivo never had issue:

"One of the earliest Barons of Kirkby Kendal in Westmorland was Ivo Taillebois who came with William the Conqueror, but had no children so his title and estates were left to his brother, Gerard".[x]

Another genealogist states that many researchers now believe that Ivo and Lucy Malet, who later became the Countess of Chester, did not have issue, but whether or not Ivo had children by Lady Gondreda is not mentioned.[y] According to the Oxford scholar Lady Katherine Keats-Rohan, Ivo and Lucy did, in fact, have issue, but apparently only one child, a daughter named Beatrice. This source states that

"the lordship of Spalding and other places in Lincolnshire were held after Ivo's death not by Beatrice, his direct heir and the daughter of his marriage to Lucy, but by the later husbands of Lucy".[z]

Two other sources name as Ivo's children Ælftred de Tailbois,[b cc] "The Englishman", born in 1045,[d] and Lucy de Tailbois.[b dd] Regarding Lucy de Taillebois, the first source states that "Lucia [Ivo's wife] had one child, a daughter named Lucia, who married twice", and the second source has the daughter Lucy de Taillebois marrying Ranulph de Meschines, her mother's third husband.[dd] Thus, it seems clear that the two Lucys were actually one and the same person, Ivo's wife. As for Ælftred de Taillebois, one source cites a published genealogy of the Southworth family according to which

"Lucy obtained the parental estates and married Yvon Taylboys, earl of Angiers in France, and baron of Kendal . . . [the Southworth genealogy] gives her no children by Taylboys, but mentions children by her second and third husbands . . . mentions a son, Eltret or Ughtud [i.e., Ælftred], living in 1106, as if he were the son of Yvon Taylboys. . . Documents . . confirm Eltret's or Ughtud's son was Ketel or Chetel, whose son was Gilbert, whose son was William FitzGilbert".[ee]

Ælftred, then would appear to be the son of Ivo by his first wife, Lady Gondreda. Ælftred's reported birthdate of 1045 is in conflict with a birthdate of 1036 for Ivo, which would make him aged nine in 1045. A reconciliation of the dates must remain unresolved at present. One further point: Some records also name as Ivo's son Nicholas FitzGilbert de Tailbois, born in "1097 or 1100", but he was more probably Ivo's great-grandson.[d] One further presumed relative of Ivo's, perhaps a sister, would appear to be Matilda Taillebois, born 1044 in Normandy, who married Hugh Beauchamp, born 1040 in Normandy,[dd] whose descendants became the Earls of Warwick.

Based on his extensive research and that of a professional genealogist, Charles Hampson concludes that Ivo was succeeded in the Barony of Kentdale

"by his son, Ælftred, called the Englishman, whose eldest son and subsequent successor was Gilbert de Furnesco. Gilbert by his wife Goditha had two sons. The elder was William de Lancaster and the younger Nicholas de Radeclive".[aa]

The writer accepts the descent given by Hampson, absent the discovery of contrary evidence. Further information regarding the life and death of Ivo, Lord Holland, has not been found. Whether or not he was as described by the novelist, "An adventurer from Anjou, brutal, ignorant, and profligate, low-born too . . . valiant he was, cunning, and skilled in war",[s] his place in the history of England is secure.

The known de Lancaster family connections at the peak of power in the early Middle Ages is as follows below. This attempts to summarize what we know of the original male-line ancestry. To compare to other summaries which may contain more information, see especially Steve Hissem's de Lancaster webpage, the "stirnet" Lancaster webpage, as well as the website of Paul Lawrence. Concerning the earliest ancestors of the de Lancasters, controversy continues. A useful starting point is the debate of November 2005 on the GEN-MEDIEVAL Rootsweb List.

Ivo de Taillebois (Ives 𠇌ut-bush” in French), died in the 1090s and was of the time of King William the Conqueror and his son King William Rufus. He is said to have been an ancestor of the de Lancasters, though it does not appear possible that this was through an unbroken line of sons - as is sometimes asserted[1] - in any case not legitimate sons.

He was married to Lucy,who seems to have had both Anglo-Saxon and Norman noble blood from Lincolnshire, which was perhaps the area he most called home. He is often asserted to have had a connection with Anjou in France, rather than Normandy itself, perhaps because he or his family appear to have been benefactors of religious institutions there. He might certainly have had such connections to his fellow French warlords, but his name is chiefly remembered for his role in putting down important rebellions (such as in Durham and in the Fens were he fought Hereward the Wake). His real ancestry is not certain. While he played a role in managing operations in several parts of the country, especially Lincolnshire, Durham, the Fens, Kendal and Carlisle, it is most relevant to us here that it appears that the later Barony of Kendal was formed out of possessions put together under one lord for the first time by him, possibly as part of a quite deliberate policy of the King to establish a strong man near the tough Scottish border. There are many other speculations about the full extent of his rights and possessions, but the only certain ones in the northwest of England are Kirkby Stephen and Clapham in Yorkshire. It is very likely that he also played at least some role in administering the disputed lands closer to Scotland, such as Carlisle.

There were several de Taillebois men in England in Ivo's generation and they may have been related. Ralf de Taillebois, sheriff of Bedfordshire, appears as a witness on one of Ivo’s charters and is widely thought to be a brother. Ralf's family line, like Ivo's, "daughtered out". By the way, in French, his name appears as Raoul, and of course Ralph or Ralf is actually the same name as Randolph, which in Latin can appear as Radolfus for example.

The surname, which reappears in later generations in England, sounds like it is based on a nickname rather than a title, but there is a place called Taillebois in Lower Normandy (not Anjou), in the arrondisement of Argentan, and a noble French family who used this surname lived in the area. A note in the cartulary of La Trinite de Vendome mentions a copy of the grant of the church and patronage of Cristot by Ives Taillebois to the abbey. It should be mentioned that the placename may itself have been derived from a personal name. In any case this is what Hector de la Ferrière-Percy felt when writing his Histoire du Canton d'Athis, Orne, et de ses Communes (1858 p.297). According to him the Norman Taillebois family, who he believes to be that of Ivo in England, were based in Briouze, just to the south of Taillebois, from at least the 11th century. Because there was a Taillebois family in France, it is possible that the Taillebois individuals we find in England all arrived at different times and were perhaps only distantly related.

In any case after Ivo and Ralf, there is a long gap in the records for definite sightings in England of this family. While it is not clear how later families with this surname connect back to Ivo and/or the de Lancasters, there were some who were specifically in the area of Ivo's possessions in Cumbria, most strikingly a second Ivo de Tailboys, chamberlain of Robert de Veteripont. He possessed land in Cliburn, and the neighbouring parishes of Bampton and Askham, in Westmorland, and apparently through a marriage of about 1209, also Hepple, in Northumberland and Hurworth in Durham. His descendants came to hold land in Lincolnshire and play a role in English political life in a much different world than the first Ivo's. But what was the connection between the two Ivo's? Both the first Ivo, the more famous one, and his seeming brother Ralph were apparently succeeded by daughters, so who were the "new" Taillebois? Ragg was no doubt right to suggest that Ivo could very well have had illegitimate children. On the other hand, we know of one case where this surname was passed on by a daughter to her son.

Apart from this second Ivo's family, and that of the first Ivo's daughter (below), there are few hints of any Taillebois presence in Northern England during the 1100s and 1200s, between the two Ivos. We can only mention a few hints.

  • First, Ragg draws our attention to a citation by a historian named Hodgson, who on p.137 of a book called Westmorland apparently stated that a Thomas Tailbois had given the church of Shap to Shap Abbey.
  • Second, the powerful cleric, Aimeric Thebert, archdeacon of Carlisle from 1196, and apparently also an archdeacon in Durham, is often referred to as a Taillebois. I have not been able to find a source for this assertion.
  • A Walter Tailbois appears as a witness of a grant by William de Lancaster II to his illegitimate son Gilbert of land in Patterdale, which must have been before 1184. The time and place make this Walter a probable "antecessor," possibly father, to the second Ivo de Tailbois mentioned above. It is of course very interesting that he appears in an important Lancaster family transaction.
  • The de Lancaster family of Kendal

Beatrix de Taillebois, wife of Ribald of Middleham, was a daughter of Ivo de Taillebois, and probably his only child. According to the annalist Peter of Blois, Ivo and Lucy's "only daughter, who had been nobly espoused, died before her father for that evil shoots should not fix deep roots in the world, the accursed lineage of that wicked man perished by the axe of the Almighty, which cut off all his issue." Peter did not like Ivo. What is important for us is that Ribald and Beatrix's son Ralf (or Randolph, Ranulph etc.) used the name Taillbois, and married a member of the de Brus family, later closely allied to the the de Lancasters. According to a pedigree appearing page 42 of Keats-Rohan's Domesday Descendants, and pointed out to me by Susan Johanson, there were other sons, Hervi, Rainald, William. Keats-Rohan's sources were apparently Rev, H. C. FitzHerbert, "An Original Pedigree of Tailbois and Neville" The Genealogist, ns iii (1886), 31 and Charles Clay (ed.), Early Yorkshire Charters, vol. 5 (Yorkshire Archaeological Society, 1936) pp.298-315. These men would be about the same generation as Gilbert, the father of William de Lancaster discussed below. Concerning Clay, Rosie Bevan informed me that the four sons were mentioned in a charter of St Mary's York, dated between 1121 and 1130, but only Ralph was there named as a Taillebois. Concerning FitzHerbert Peter Stewart informed me that an old pedigree there gives all four brothers the name Taylboys. If this family is somehow the source of the second Ivo (of Cliburn and Hepple), then later Tailboys of England may have actually descended from Ribald of Middleton, who was apparently of Breton ancestry. His main heirs eventually took the surname Fitz Randolph. But there is no sign of any Gilbert, and Gilbert the father of William de Lancaster I (see below) must have been a contemporary of Ralf, Harvey, Rainald and William?

a. George Norbury MacKenzie, ed., COLONIAL FAMILIES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, vol. V (1912 reprint Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1995) p. 492. b. Deborah Thornsbury Keser, in her Web site, THORNSBERRY GENEALOGY Website: (

deboraht/genealogy.htm). e. THE DOMESDAY BOOK: "Landowners" URL: f. John Cannon and Ralph Griffiths, THE OXFORD ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF THE BRITISH MONARCHY (Oxford, England, and New York : Oxford University Press, 1998) as cited in ROYAL ANCESTORS OF SOME LDS FAMILIES, by Michael L. Call, Chart 438 Web site: l. William Farrer Litt, RECORDS OF KENDALE, vol. 1, edited by John F. Curwen published on the Internet at URL: HTM. m. LIST OF KNIGHTS ACCOMPANYING WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR ON HIS INVASION OF ENGLAND, 1066, by Robert Bunker, Hong Kong Website: See also COMPANIONS OF DUKE WILLIAM AT HASTINGS Website: this list is "a combination of all the known Battell Abbey Rolls". n. CITY OF ELY Website Web site telling of the City of Ely URL: o. "Famous Cambridgeshire Men and Women," in CAMBRIDGESHIRE GENEALOGY (An England GenWeb Project Website)

engcam/famspple.htm#hereward. p. "Kendal Castle" at KENDAL, CUMBRIA Web site URL: q. DE GESTIS HERWARDI SAXONIS (or GESTA HEREWARDI), Peterborough Cathedral Manuscript 1, ff. 320-39 translated into modern English and published on the Internet as: Stephen Knight and Thomas H. Ohlgren, ed., HEREWARD THE WAKE (Kalamazoo, Mich.: Western Michigan University for TEAMS, 1997) URL: originally published in ROBIN HOOD AND OTHER OUTLAW TALES. r. COMPANIONS OF DUKE WILLIAM AT HASTINGS, op. cit. s. Charles Kingsley, 1819-1875, HEREWARD THE WAKE : "LAST OF THE ENGLISH", 2 vols., with an introduction by Maurice Kingsley (1866 reprint New York: J.F. Taylor, 1898) vol. II, chap. XXI, p. 1 as cited in THORNSBERRY GENEALOGY, op. cit. t. A SHORT HISTORY OF KENDAL in the Website of The Glen Guest House, Oxenholme, Kendal, Cumbria ( Also see THE ENCYCLOP౭IA BRITANNICA (Chicago: The Encyclop๭ia Britannica, Inc., 1966) vol. 13, p. 28. u. THE ENCYCLOPAEDIA BRITANNICA (Chicago: The Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc., 1966) vol. 13, p. 280: KENDAL, a market town and municipal borough in Westmorland, Eng., 22 mi. N. of Lancaster. v. Matthew Paris, CHRONICA MAJORS, compiled in the 13th century as cited in "Famous Cambridgeshire Men and Women" in CAMBRIDGESHIRE GENEALOGY, An England GenWeb Project Website:

engcam/famspple.htm#hereward. w. Charles Knight (1791-1873), THE POPULAR HISTORY OF ENGLAND : AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF SOCIETY AND GOVERNMENT FROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD TO OUR OWN TIMES, vol. 1, From the invasion of Caesar to the end of the reign of Edward III (London: Bradbury and Evans, 1856) chaps. XIV, XV Charles Knight Collection, Hallward Library, University of Nottingham Library Website at URL: x. Melatiah Everett Dwight, THE KIRBYS OF NEW ENGLAND (New York: Trow Printing, 1898) p. 3 FHC microfilm #1429854, Item 8 quoted in ENGLAND, the Website of Betti Paull ([email protected]) URL:

adriannehopkins/england.htm. y. "More Ratcliff Branches" in LINNIE VANDERFORD POYNEER's Website URL: z. Katherine S.B. Keats-Rohan, "Antecessor Noster: The Parentage of Countess Lucy Made Plain" in PROSOPON: NEWSLETTER OF THE UNIT FOR PROSOPOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH, no. 2 (May 1995) © Linacre College, Oxford Website: aa. Charles P. Hampson, THE BOOK OF THE RADCLYFFES (Edinburgh: Privately printed by T. and A. Constable, Ltd., at the University Press, 1940) p. 297 regarding Ivo de Taillebois and his descendants, Hampson states, "VIDE [i.e., see] Kuerden's MSS. in Chetham's Library, Manchester". bb. CHETHAM'S LIBRARY (Web site: Chetham's library, Long Millgate, Manchester, M31SB, England the Curwen pedigree will be found in the Library's MSS at: "C.6.1-3 KUERDEN, Richard (1623-90?) (1-2) 2 vols. of notes for the History of Lancashire. Proposed History by Richard Kuerden and Christopher Towneley (3) Index to the Chetham folio and quarto volumes by R.T. Hampson and W. Dobson 1850s". cc. SAHLIN : OUR FAMILY HISTORY Web site of Ingvar Sahlin, Sweden ([email protected]), URL: dd. DESCENDANTS OF IVES TAILLEBOIS Website of David Thaler, 10605, 171st Ct., NE, Redmond, Wa., 98052 ([email protected]) URL: ee. Samuel Gilbert Webber, A GENEALOGY OF THE SOUTHWORTHS (SOUTHARDS): DESCENDANTS OF CONSTANT SOUTHWORTH, WITH A SKETCH OF THE FAMILY IN ENGLAND (Boston: The Fort Hill Press, S. Usher, 1905) p. 432 (footnote) as cited in Frederick Lewis Weis, ANCESTRAL ROOTS OF CERTAIN AMERICAN COLONISTS WHO CAME TO AMERICA BEFORE 1700, 7th ed. (Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., c1992) 34:24, 132A:26, 246B:25 and as quoted in the STEVENS/SOUTHWORTH/MEDIEVAL DATABASE Website: dd. World Family Tree, vol. 1, Pedigree #986 CD V701_01 (c) 1995 Broderbund Software, Inc.

  • *Thornburgs in England
  • Selside Hall Pedigree of Thornburgs in England
    • Name Birth Spouse

    Ivo's parentage and ancestry has been the subject of many articles and conflicting theories. The consensus is the he was born in 1036, probably in Cristol, Calvados, France of scandalous parentage. It appears that Ivo began life as the out-of-wedlock child of Hermengarde of Anjou (1018-1076) a direct descendant of Charlemagne, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and a man said to be Reinfred Taillebois (the woodcutter. She was 18 at the time and had just married Geoffrey, Count of Gatinais (1004-1046), who was 14 years older than she. As a descendant of Charlemagne, Ivo would also then have descended from Charlemagne's forefathers who are documented back to Antenor, King of the Cimmerians, who in died about 443 BC!

    IVES TAILLEBOIS - Spalding, Lincolnshire. In Spalding (Spaldinge ) Ivo(Tailbois) had 4 ploughs in lordship 40 villagers and 33 s mallholders who have 13 ploughs. A market, 40s 6 fisheries, 30 s from salt -houses, 30s a wood of alders, 8s. Value before 106 6 23 pounds 2 s.8d. now 30 pounds, Exactions 30 pounds.

    Emigration With William The Conqueror

    Ivo Taillebois was a Norman who became Sheriff of Lincolnshire as a result of the Norman Conquest of England.

    Ivo was the brother of Ralph Taillebois, but the two of them were of unknown parentage.

    Ivo was also called Yvo de Taillebois.

    Ivo and his wife Lucy founded, or perhaps re-founded, a priory at Spalding subject to St Nicholas, Angers, in France.

    Ivo was employed at the siege of Ely in 1071.

    Ivo was a notable and ruthless royal official, active against both Hereward the Wake and Ralph of Gael. He took part in the settlement of the liberties of Ely circa 1080.

    Ivo and Lucy made a grant to Saint-Nicholas d'Angers in 1083.

    Ivo had custody of the lands of the see of Durham on the expulsion of the Bishop for taking the part of Duke Robert in 1088.

    After his death, his fief passed to the heirs of Lucy's third husband, Ranulf I, Earl of Chester, and none of it passed to the heirs of his daughter Beatrice, wife of Ribald.

    from Compiler: R. B. Stewart, Evans, GA


    Born: 1020 / 1040, Anjou or Normandy, France

    Notes: Known as "Baron of Kendal", brother of the Earl of Anjou. Went to England in 1066. his wife Lucia was the daughter of Earl Aelfgar, who was the son of Godifu "Lady Godiva".

    Father: Ferreol De GATINAIS

    Mother: Ermengarde Comtesse d'Anjou

    Married: Lucia MALET (dau. of Earl Aelfgar and grandau. of Gruffydd, King of Wales)

    1. Lucia De TAILBOIS (C. Chester)

    Married 2: Judith De LENS (Countess of Boulogne) (b. ABT 1054 - d. AFT 1086) (dau. of Lambert de Boulogne, Comte de Lens, and Adeliza of Normandy) (w. of Waltheof, Earl of Huntingdon and Northampton)

    7. William De TAILLEBOIS •Name: Ivo Tallebois 1 •Sex: M 𠈫irth: ABT 1016 2 �th: UNKNOWN

    Ivo de Taillebois, The Earl of Holland and 1st Baron of Kentdale (now Kendal. A published history of Colonial families in America refers to Ivo's parentage in a passage relating to "Margaret Radcliffe, dau. of Sir Edward Radcliffe, who d. 1520, cousin of Queen Katherine Parr, and descended from William the Lion, King of Scotland, and

    Ivo de Taillebois, son of Fulke, Count of Anjou".[a]

    Assuming Ivo's birth date to be about 1036, Fulke III (970-1040), the 5th Count, lived too early to be Ivo's father, and Fulke IV (1043-1109), the 7th Count, lived too late. The only Count of Anjou, then, who could have been Ivo's father was the 6th Count, Geoffrey II Martel (1006-1061), but his name was not "Fulke". On the other hand, "An ancient pedigree of the House of Curwen" styles Ivo not as the son of Fulke, but as "the 'left-handed' (illegitimate) brother of Fulk/Foulque, Earl Anjou, King of Jerusalem".[b aa bb] However, the Fulke who became King of Jerusalem was Count Fulke V (1092-1143) of Anjou, and he was born too late to have been Ivo's half-brother. If the ancient pedigree is correct that Ivo was the bastard half-brother of Fulke, it would have to have been Fulke IV "Rechine" (1043-1109), the 7th Count of Anjou, whose life-span was contemporaneous with Ivo's. (This same ancient pedigree records Ivo as being the common ancestor of both the Radclyffe and Curwen families,[b] which later intermarried with each other.) Under the above construction, one of Ivo's parents would have been either Ermengarde (c.1018-1076), daughter of Fulke III, or her husband, Geoffrey, Count of Gatinais (c.1000-1046). Ivo's being styled "de Taillebois" rather than "de Gatinais" seems to argue against his having been the son of Geoffrey of Gatinais. The writer, therefore, accepts as most likely that Ivo was the issue of an out-of-wedlock union of Ermengarde and a man said to be Reinfred Taillebois, which would make Ivo the illegitimate half-brother of Fulke IV.

    Whatever the construction, a 1,980-page chart listing the descendants of the Emperor CHARLEMAGNE discloses that Ivo, as a member of the House of Anjou, was clearly a descendant of the Emperor CHARLEMAGNE (742-814).[c] As a descendant of CHARLEMAGNE, Ivo would then also descend from CHARLEMAGNE's forefathers who are documented back to ANTENOR, King of the Cimmerians, who died in about 443 B.C.!

    (The historic province of Anjou, with its ancient capital of Angers, is now the Department of Maine-et-Loire. Fulke IV was the grandfather of Ivo's half-grandnephew, Geoffrey Plantagenet [1113-1151], Count of Anjou from 1129. Geoffrey married Princess Matilda, daughter of King HENRY I of England, and became the founder of the English royal dynasty of Plantagenet.)

    Official Father: Foulques III b: 21 JUN 967 in Anjou, France

    Most likely the illegitimate son of Adelaide , of Vermandois, descended from Charlemage

    Official Mother: Hildegarde Of Lotharingia b: ABT 984 in Anjou, France

    Marriage 1 Lucia Of Mercia b: ABT 1040 Children 1. Adeliza Taillebois b: ABT 1067 2. Eldred b: ABT 1070

    IVO DE2 TAILLEBOIS, THE EARL OF HOLLAND (REINFRED1)1,2,3 was born 1036 in either France (Caen in Normandy, or Anjou), or in England (Spalding, Lincolnshire, or Yorkshire)4,5,6,7, and died 1094 in England, probably in the Barony of Kendal (in what is now County Cumbria)8,9,10,11,12.

    He married (1) LADYGONDREDA, COUNTESS OF WARWICK13. She was born about 1032 in England, and died Unknown. He married (2) LADYLUCY, COUNTESS OF CHESTER about 1076 in (Lincolnshire, England?), daughter of THOROLD/TUROLD, SHERIFF OF LINCOLN and [----?----] MALET. She was born about 1060 in England, perhaps in Alkborough, Lincolnshire14,15, and died 1136 in England (probably), and was buried in Spalding, Lincolnshire16.

    Notes for IVO DE TAILLEBOIS, THE EARL OF HOLLAND: [The writer's thirtieth great grandfather.] Ivo de Taillebois, The Earl of Holland and 1st Baron of Kentdale (now Kendal), is the claimed Progenitor in England of our Radclyffe / Ratcliffe family. A published history of Colonial families in America refers to Ivo's parentage in a passage relating to "Margaret Radcliffe, dau. of Sir Edward Radcliffe, who d. 1520, cousin of Queen Katherine Parr, and descended from William the Lion, King of Scotland, and Ivo de Taillebois, son of Fulke, Count of Anjou".[a] Assuming Ivo's birth date to be about 1036, Fulke III (970-1040), the 5th Count, lived too early to be Ivo's father, and Fulke IV (1043-1109), the 7th Count, lived too late. The only Count of Anjou, then, who could have been Ivo's father was the 6th Count, Geoffrey II Martel (1006-1061), but his name was not "Fulke". On the other hand, "An ancient pedigree of the House of Curwen" styles Ivo not as the son of Fulke, but as "the 'left-handed' (illegitimate) brother of Fulk/Foulque, Earl Anjou, King of Jerusalem".[b aa bb] However, the Fulke who became King of Jerusalem was Count Fulke V (1092-1143) of Anjou, and he was born too late to have been Ivo's half-brother. If the ancient pedigree is correct that Ivo was the bastard half-brother of Fulke, it would have to have been Fulke IV "Rechine" (1043-1109), the 7th Count of Anjou, whose life-span was contemporaneous with Ivo's. (This same ancient pedigree records Ivo as being the common ancestor of both the Radclyffe and Curwen families,[b] which later intermarried with each other.) Under the above construction, one of Ivo's parents would have been either Ermengarde (c.1018-1076), daughter of Fulke III, or her husband, Geoffrey, Count of Gatinais (c.1000-1046). Ivo's being styled "de Taillebois" rather than "de Gatinais" seems to argue against his having been the son of Geoffrey of Gatinais. The writer, therefore, accepts as most likely that Ivo was the issue of an out-of-wedlock union of Ermengarde and a man said to be Reinfred Taillebois, which would make Ivo the illegitimate half-brother of Fulke IV.

    Whatever the construction, a 1,980-page chart listing the descendants of the Emperor CHARLEMAGNE discloses that Ivo, as a member of the House of Anjou, was clearly a descendant of the Emperor CHARLEMAGNE (742-814).[c] As a descendant of CHARLEMAGNE, Ivo would then also descend from CHARLEMAGNE's forefathers who are documented back to ANTENOR, King of the Cimmerians, who died in about 443 B.C.!

    (The historic province of Anjou, with its ancient capital of Angers, is now the Department of Maine-et-Loire. Fulke IV was the grandfather of Ivo's half-grandnephew, Geoffrey Plantagenet [1113-1151], Count of Anjou from 1129. Geoffrey married Princess Matilda, daughter of King HENRY I of England, and became the founder of the English royal dynasty of Plantagenet.)

    It appears that Ivo began life as the bastard child of Ermengarde de Anjou, a direct descendant of CHARLEMAGNE. Later, Ivo, then in France, "went to England in 1066"[d] at the time of the Norman Conquest, and was a companion in that year of Duke WILLIAM of Normandy at the Battle of Hastings.[r, m] Before sailing to England, WILLIAM and his knights heard Mass in the church at Dives-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, and a plaque there that lists WILLIAM's companions in the invasion includes "Ivo Taillebois".[m] Also listed on the plaque were "Guillaume [William] Taillebois", and "Raoul [Rolf] Taillebois", who were possibly sons but more probably brothers or other relatives of Ivo's.[m] The Battle Abbey Rolls also name "Ivo Taillebois" as one of WILLIAM's companions at the Battle of Hastings.[r] (Battle Abbey, built by WILLIAM in 1094 near Hastings, Sussex, was named after the Battle of Hastings in 1066 which ensured WILLIAM the crown of England.) Finally, other companions of WILLIAM at the Conquest, significant because of Ivo's later marriage to Lucy, included Lucy's grandfather William Malet de Graville, his sons Gilbert de Malet and Robert Malet, and his brother (or another son?) Durand Malet.[r, m]

    "Descendants of Charlemagne des Francs, King" in BRUNER/NIX GENEALOGY, Web site of Elmer Gene Bruner ([email protected]), 6345 Fennwood Drive, Zachary, La., 70791: < > p. 1,941.

    It appears that Ivo began life as the out-of-wedlock child of Hermengarde of Anjou (1018-1076) (Ted's 30th Great Grandmother), a direct descendant of Charlemagne, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire and a man said to be Reinfred Taillebois (the woodcutter) (Ted's 30th Great Grandfather). She was 18 at the time and had just married Geoffrey, Count of Gatinais (1004-1046), who was 14 years older than she. As a descendant of Charlemagne, Ivo would also then have descended from Charlemagne's forefathers who are documented back to Antenor, King of the Cimmerians, who in died about 443 BC! Now that's really a long way back.

    Descendant of the Saxon Kings?

    View Post-em! Name: Ives (Ivo) de TAILLEBOIS , 1st Baron of Kendal 1 2 3 Sex: M ALIA: Ivo /Tailboys/ Birth: ABT 1036 in Cristot, Calvados, Normandy, France 4 Death: 1094 in Kendal, Westmorland, England 5 Note:

    Father: Geoffroy II "Ferreol" Count of GATINAIS b: ABT 1000 in Chateau Landon, Seine-et-Marne, Ile-de-France, France Mother: Ermengarde d' ANJOU b: 1018 in Anjou/Pays-de-la-Loire, France

    Marriage 1 Judith of LENS b: 1054 in Lens, Artois/Pas-de-Calais, France

    Marriage 2 Lucy (Lucia) of MERCIA b: ABT 1070 in Crowland & Spalding, Lincolnshire, England

    Om Ivo de Taillebois, Sheriff of Lincoln, 1st Baron of Kendal (svenska)

    Förnamn Ivo Fitzrichard de Roumare (Ivo) "Lord Kendal" Lancaster formerly Taillebois Ivo deRoumare Mellannamn঺ron Efternamn৞taillebois Flseortœristot, Calvados, Basse-Normandie, Franceœristont, Calvados, Normandy, France D཭sdatum򑂔򑄔 D཭sort Kendal, Cambria, England Kendal Castle, Westmoreland, England.

    Baron of Kendal Sheriff of Lincolnshire

    Event: Came with William the Conqueror. In 1092 (shortly before his death) William II Rufus drove the Scots from the Lake District and gave Kendal to Ivo de Taillebois, whose descendants maintained an interest in the town until the nineteenth century. Type: Arrival Date: 1066

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