The Habsburg Sisters, Part I: Eleonore von Habsburg, Queen Consort of Portugal and France

by Heather R. Darsie Most people interested in Tudor history are familiar with names like Charles V, Francis I, or even Christina of Denmark. Charles’ mother Juana of Castile might sound familiar. But what of Juana’s four daughters, Charles V’s sisters? Who were they? Why were they important? How did they fulfill the goals of Charles and his brother Ferdinand in the early 16th century? This article will provide … Continue reading The Habsburg Sisters, Part I: Eleonore von Habsburg, Queen Consort of Portugal and France

Arthur Plantagenet, Viscount Lisle

by Heather R. Darsie Arthur Plantagenet was born in the late 1460’s in English-held Calais. He was the illegitimate son of King Edward IV o England. His mother’s identity is unknown. Up until Edward IV’s death in 1483, Arthur was raised at court. It is not known how his teenage years were spent after Edward’s death and during the reigns of Richard III or Henry … Continue reading Arthur Plantagenet, Viscount Lisle

Massacre at Vassy? A Skirmish with Mary, Queen of Scots’ Uncle and the Huguenots

Tensions over religion rose throughout the 16th century in France, culminating in the French Wars of Religion (1562-1598). The Vassy Massacre on 1 March 1562 is frequently seen as the first major incident which sparked the Wars of Religion. The Catholic Francis, Duke of Guise, entered the small town of Vassy and was present for the massacre. A group of Huguenots were attacked and slaughtered, … Continue reading Massacre at Vassy? A Skirmish with Mary, Queen of Scots’ Uncle and the Huguenots

1519: A Tudor Year in Review

by Heather R. Darsie The year 1519 was a year of massive changes, important births, and important deaths in Western Europe. Some of these impacted Henry VIII’s reign, whilst others did not come meaningfully into play until the reigns of Henry’s daughters. Henry VIII turned 28 years old in 1519, and was still young-minded. Births and Deaths Maximilian I von Habsburg, Holy Roman Emperor, died … Continue reading 1519: A Tudor Year in Review

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II of England

by Heather R. Darsie Eleanor Ramnulfid of Aquitaine, born circa 1122, was a pretty, wealthy teenager when she married her first husband. No confirmed likenesses of Eleanor exist, and it is not known what she looked like other than that Eleanor was a beauty with gorgeous eyes. Eleanor’s father died when she was young, leaving her the vast, rich territory of Aquitaine in southern France. She was … Continue reading Breaking Up is Hard to Do: Eleanor of Aquitaine and Henry II of England

The Increasing Horrors of War in 16th Century Western Europe

by Heather R. Darsie The 16th century saw rapid changes in military capabilities. The medieval knight and a knight’s form of armor and fighting reached peak efficiency by around 1450. After 1450, advances in military science made armor more and more vulnerable. The advent of pike attacks and guns made armor almost ineffective, and the flat walls of many fortifications made excellent targets for canon … Continue reading The Increasing Horrors of War in 16th Century Western Europe

Who was a True Renaissance Prince? Part II: Francis I of France

by Heather R. Darsie This is Part II of a four-part series, which seeks to look at what were considered the attributes of a Renaissance prince, and who of our four princes embodied the ideals of the Renaissance best. What were some of those themes? The idea of a Renaissance man stood for a person who strove to embrace knowledge and develop himself. This included … Continue reading Who was a True Renaissance Prince? Part II: Francis I of France

Her Brother’s Keeper: Marguerite of Angouleme, Queen of Navarre Rescues Francis I from the Emperor

On 24 February 1525, the Battle of Pavia was fought as part of the Italian Wars that began in 1521 and ended in 1526. The French troops, led by King Francis I, fought against the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V’s Imperial army, which was reinforced by Spanish troops. The battle lasted around four hours, with the French taking heavy casualties. Francis himself was taken captive … Continue reading Her Brother’s Keeper: Marguerite of Angouleme, Queen of Navarre Rescues Francis I from the Emperor

A Very Brief Introduction to the Master of François de Rohan

by Heather R. Darsie Illuminated Books of Hours were items commonly kept by the nobility. The Master of François de Rohan completed at least one Book of Hours for Francis I (François, Françoys) of France. Other items identified as executed by the Master of François de Rohan include translations of Italian works, a treatise on hunting, books or poetry, and a copy of the English … Continue reading A Very Brief Introduction to the Master of François de Rohan

The Battle of Agincourt

On 25 October 1415, Henry V of England took on French forces at the Battle of Agincourt. The 100 Years War “This day is called the Feast of St. Crispian.” The Battle of Agincourt was one of numerous battles fought during the 100 Years’ War, which began in approximately 1337 and formally ended in about 1453. The 100 Years’ War was fought over a struggle … Continue reading The Battle of Agincourt